I was working with a consulting client this week who wants to be a professional speaker like me. We found what I thought was a perfect opportunity for them to get some experience, the conference was in a related field of their expertise, it was an international conference that would look good on a speaker’s resume and we have more than enough time to put together a high-quality proposal.
There was only one problem – the conference was the same week as this speaker’s birthday and they didn’t want to travel that week.
It wasn’t the same day, in fact, the conference ended several days prior to the greatly celebrated birthday. These types of choices are what we face in the world of speaking.
There’s no right or wrong – part of the reason to be a speaker is you get to choose what your schedule is. For me, I don’t value my birthdays the same as my client. I’d rather be on a plane headed anywhere for the opportunity to speak.
Just this past New Year’s Eve I flew from Los Angeles to Guadalajara to speak for 35 minutes and then back the same night. In two weeks I’m flying to Auckland New Zealand to participate in the Global Speaker’s Summit to share on Podcasting for Professionals. I’m also speaking to the New Zealand Psychological Association while I’m down under.
When I get back from that trip I’m hoping I’ll hear I’m speaking in South Africa at the Professional Speakers Association South Africa annual convention, which would have me on a plane in April. I’d be home for a week then off to North Carolina to see another mentoring client participate in the finals of a speech contest. If I get the South Africa gig, I’ll be flying 5 hours from Los Angeles to Atlanta, then 16 hours to Johannesburg – to speak for 30-40 minutes on Podcasting.
Sometime in the near term, I should be hearing from the Professional Speakers Association United Kingdom / Ireland about their annual conference that I’ve applied to speak at.
This is my passion and my goal is to speak globally. I’m looking at global conferences in Dubai, India, and Australia because I want to see the world while I speak about podcasting and digital marketing. To me, that means I say yes to speaking engagements because I don’t know where it leads. I’ve driven 2 and a half hours to speak to a Kiwanis club for 20 minutes because as a speaker I only turn down speaking engagements if I’m already booked.
As a professional speaker, my desire to be on the stage outweighs other concerns for me. I’ve had lots of birthdays. I know what the cake tastes like at home, I want to see what the cake tastes like in Dubai, India and South Africa.
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