Lessons Learned as a Professional Motivational Speaker
We all need a lift in our lives. I love being able to deliver that ‘lift.’ Like a cup of coffee with legs.
For me, being invited to stand in front of a room full of people I have just met and exploring the power of humor to help us better manage the stress in our lives – is an incredible feeling – and a real privilege.
However, there are days when this job does not feel very glamorous – like when I am dining by myself at the only restaurant in a remote town, eating a hamburger that looks like the charred remnant from a recent meteor shower. At moments like that you need a reason to laugh…
Fortunately, the rewards of my work far outweigh all those ‘charred burger’ moments from over the years. And if this business has taught me one thing, I would have to say it is the ability to let go of things I cannot control.
If it doesn’t help you GROW … let it GO.
A great deal of the energy I bring to a motivational presentation is drawn from the people in the room. Early in my career if one person in the room was talking or otherwise detached, I would get rattled and might not perform at my best. I will never forget the day that an audience member in a half-day session took a front row seat and proceeded to hold up and read a magazine while I was speaking at the front of the room. Had I been born with the powers of Harry Potter, that magazine would have suddenly burst into flame. But as this was not the case, I did my best to ignore this rude behaviour and carry on. But inside, I was seething.
Recently I was speaking to a healthcare audience. Attendance was voluntary and there were approximately 80 people gathered at round tables. As I was being introduced, I noticed a young man in the second row who sat with his back facing the front of the room. He was a big man, and his back loomed like a brick wall. I assumed that once I was introduced, he would turn around. WRONG! I was getting rattled. At about 8 minutes into the presentation I went over to his table. I had, in fact, met him before the presentation as I went around the room introducing myself. As politely as I could I said “Hi Alex. You know, I would rather see your smiling face than the back of your neck. Can you please turn your chair around?” He kindly obliged, smiled, and even laughed a few times through the presentation.
I will never be everyone’s cup of tea/coffee. I accept that reality. I also accept that as a professional motivator I am accountable to my audience to be at my best. If I tell my audience that they need to shift perspective, or adopt new strategies to live more effective and productive lives, I need to be prepared to do the same. I need to do whatever it takes to be at my very best.
Many things are out of our control. We can avoid dealing with what is bothering us at the risk of letting it undermine us, or we can respectfully approach the situation to seek resolution. It feels much healthier to deal with issues in the moment. If something is bothering you and you can take steps to resolve it … do it. It may take us out of our comfort zone, but in the end it will be worth it!
Stay tuned for the next instalment with more lessons learned!
Meg Soper is a motivational humorist speaker who can help you learn to shift your perspective and laugh along the way of life as you take on life’s stressors. Get in touch with Meg today!
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