It's part of my profession. People hear me speak at an association conference or a corporate convention and reach out to ask a question or to make a connection. Every year, I go to my own speakers convention and occasionally get a newer speaker who reaches out and wants to connect with me in person. I get a LOT of spam, so I rarely respond to requests that smack of mass e-mail hoping someone will respond.
But, this one was different. This one person saying they, too, were a motivational speaker, wanted to connect with me after my presentation. They mentioned where I was speaking, mentioned that they had been inspired by my YouTube videos and my website, so they really would appreciate a bit of my time. I saw this as a sincere opportunity to give back to my speaking community, so I responded openly and positively.
Then, I never saw them.
Panicked that I had let this person down or that I forgot about a specific time we were to meet, I reached out to this person apologizing that we never got a chance to meet and would they like to set up a time to talk. Then, the reality hit. This person responded as if I was seeking them out, wanting to talk and pick their brain about the speaking industry! Then, they wanted to know how I heard about them.
I take pride in my authenticity and connecting with my audiences in a positive way, and even with speakers who sincerely want some help. So – if I reach out wanting some time with someone, I would most certainly remember it!
If there are people out there claiming they are motivational speakers and mass e-mailing people to get them to sign up for an online course or something after trying to disguise a sales offer through a 'let me pick your brain' meeting, I think it's giving the rest of us true motivational speakers a bad name. Remember the van down by the river skits from SNL? I give anyone permission that if I dis-honor the profession in anyway, please call me out on it!
From your willing to get together with you if you're sincere about it motivational speaker, Marilyn Sherman