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Much is written, most of it true, about importance of developing your product line. For BOR sales. For your catalog. For passive income. Let's take a look at another aspect of product development. Let's look at fundament. Let's probe foundation of your product development. Let's look at you. At your core. At your essence. At your state of being. At your perspective. At your sense of your accountabilities.
You know that for a structure -- whether of steel and concrete or of wood and stucco -- to withstand elements, a sturdy foundation is required. There must be a foundation that is solid, stable, rooted in earth as it reaches toward sky. Let's examine structure of your speaking business for a moment:
I've been studying my fellow speakers for close to 20 years. With eye of an anthropologist. With approach of a research specialist. With heart. With empathy. With love.
A few of us are brilliant marketers. Look at dazzling success of luminous figures who come to your mind. On other end of scale, some of us produce nothing more than a demo tape.
You are your product. Let's look at most important aspect of your product. Let's examine keys to your impact on productivity and profits. (That's what decision-makers want, right?) Let's look at how you affect hopes and dreams, and possibilities. (They are what audience members want you to illuminate, right?) Let's look at your authenticity:
How real are you as you address your audiences? From what depth of know-how and caring do you speak? How much timeless wisdom is involved in your phrasings, your stories and examples? How deeply do you look into industry conditions, competitive considerations, and, if applicable, market-share concerns?
How many audience members and top executives do you interview as you prepare your program? How far do you probe beneath surface of responses to your questions? To what degree do you balance concerns and interests of sponsors of your program, (They pay your fee), decision-maker who hire you, (S/he wants to look good because of this choice,) and your audience members (whose concerns may be entirely different)?