The thing with technical speaking is that you get too bothered about the technical quality of your talk that you don't often notice the other aspects. So all the while, for the last two years, that I have been overly concerned about the soundness of my training, slowly and steadily my crowd control skills, public speaking skills and ability to wow an audience have been improving.
Listing out the improvements I have noticed, when my eyes suddenly opened to this unexpected benefits I have been enjoying:
- I found my speaking voice/style. Like I found my writing voice/style. At the start of my training delivery career, I was trying different styles to see which works best for me and trying to imitate other expert trainers. I was always paying attention to the feedback people give about the delivery of my training. But the problem with feedback is like asking for feedback about C. Ronaldo or Messi's performance. Everyone, including the person who has never kicked a ball in his life, will have many things to say. Logically, what they will say will make sense, but the problem is that they won't be practicable. So your journey to expert public talk delivery will come more from you exploring and evaluating yourself, not having different random people doing the evaluation for you. When you've done many many speaking with conscious efforts to improve, you will suddenly see the results you are seeking gradually surfacing. You will find the style that works for you and get you raving high star reviews from participants.
- I became a show man. Nowadays, I see my trainings as a magic show, some form of extraordinary performance. The goal is not just to deliver the content promised but to wow the audience and hold their attention from start to finish. With that kind of mindset, great improvements over time is inevitable. And now I am beginning to reap the rewards of those improvements. I am booked weeks and months ahead. Some training consulting firms who use me for bidding for and facilitating Excel related trainings have so much rest of mind with me that they shift trainings rather than find someone else if I am not available for the original dates. And it is not because they like me, it is simply because they read the reviews/feedback of the training participants and they want that type of feedback always.
- I now know my speaking niche. Just as I know the type of writing I can engage in, now I know the type of speaking that suits me. I don't do well with motivational talks even though I am good with motivational writing. I used to make the mistake of thinking that I can translate my writing prowess to speaking talent. And I failed too many times with motivational talks that I have signed off doing it. I found that I am good at teaching rather than encouraging. I have always been an excellent teacher from my secondary school days. If I know something, no matter how complex it is, I can teach it to even a child. The only other piece is the person must have some desire to want to learn it. I hate teaching people who don't need what I'm teaching them. If I don't see any desire in you to want to learn what I have to teach, I lose all interest in teaching it. And that is the main reason I focus my Excel training business on just working professionals. People who already have a strong motivation to learn Excel, and not someone just wanting something to put on his CV. Even the times I have been able to successfully motivate people via talk; they were cases where the persons had genuine desires to hear what I had to say, so I was essentially teaching them how to be better at something or overcome a challenge they had.
- I have a new goal -- to become a celebrity speaker. I was once paid N80,000 for a 20 mins talk. Then I once charged N250,000 for a 4.5 hours technical talk/training. The goal is to one day charge N10,000,000 for a few hours talk. And I already know how to get there, or attempt to get there, I simply keep raising my price until it's that unreasonable. And I know there will be some clients who will be okay with it.