Knowing Yourself is the Secret to being a Compelling Speaker

Uncategorized May 12, 2023

"But who are you?" 

This was not the question I was expecting as I was chatting with the CEO of a Speakers Bureau that I was interested in being represented by.

Typically, the conversation is about areas of expertise, experience, and audience outcomes, but this interview was going in a different direction and I was intrigued.

Being a Compelling Speaker

A compelling speaker connects to the audience with their own authenticity, storytelling, and humanity. The audience has to think and feel, "Yes, that's me too".

I was born in 1961 and so I shall shortly be version 6.2 of myself, as I thought about the CEO's question I realized that:

"I am more than the sum of my experiences, I am the sum of my reflections on those experiences, and the choices I have made as a result of those reflections."

I think I started researching, writing, and speaking about self-leadership because it was I who needed to develop my self-awareness, self-management, and self-learning.

It has been my experience that we teach best that which we found hardest to learn. When you listen to a speech, don't you want to know that the speaker has struggled and is invested in their message?

When I first started coaching and speaking, I imagined myself as a pebble dropped in a pond with the ripples of influence radiating out. As I started to work with senior leaders and Executive Leadership Teams I imagined myself as a Catalyst for Change, creating a safe environment to challenge people to take greater ownership and responsibility to be at their best.

The Secret to Knowing Yourself

Answering the "Who are you?" question is not easy, it takes work, but it is worth it.

  • You can reflect on your life journey and notice the metaphor or narrative that describes it. I mentioned my pebble in the pond and Catalyst for Change metaphors, your could be a journey, a quest, a labor of love.
  • You can ask friends to describe you in three words, this can be a window into your values. I discovered that my top three values were, transformation, ownership, and impact.
  • You can write, whether that is journaling, posting, or a book. When you write you get clarity about what you think on a topic. Having written and published four books, I can certainly attest to the transformational power of putting your ideas on paper or a screen, and having a co-author sharpens your insights even more.
  • You can travel. Travel broadens the mind, reveals our own programming and biases, and opens up to the realization that there is more than one way to be in this world.
  • You can volunteer. When we take our eyes off our own wants and needs and serve those who are less fortunate than us, we become grateful for who we are and what we have. I am fortunate to have worked with at-risk and disadvantaged teenagers, and in coaching them to self-esteem and self-confidence, I learned so much about myself.

Not Everyone wants to be a Professional Speaker, but everybody needs to Speak Professionally

This blog was written as the result of an interview with a Speakers Bureau, I have been a Global Keynote Speaker for nearly 25 years, but I have also coached countless executives to step on stage. Being able to speak professionally gives you influence and impact, but only if you are prepared.

I hope this blog has inspired you to work on getting to know, and like, yourself. We are transformed by questions and I have updated my About Andrew Bryant page to include my conclusions about who I am - at this time.

(Cover image created by #midjourney #ai)





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