18 Nov

My Failure: My First Speaking Engagement – Part 1

My first speaking engagement was a mixture of ups and downs, but was a valuable learning experience nonetheless.

A couple of months ago, I had been asked to present at a music concert geared to increase support and participation in some of the music programs a few church friends offer in their business. I was so excited, as I have been becoming more and more interested in motivational speaking. Although I’ve presented plenty of times during my MBA program, and felt very comfortable in front of large crowds, getting my first break was going to be a very exciting if not anxious experience.

The first thing for me to do was gather the requirements. What were the goals my clients were trying to accomplish with this presentation and what was the message they were trying to convey? Should I create Power Point slides as visual aids? How long was this presentation supposed to be? I wrote down a list of questions and scheduled a meeting to hash them out. Scheduling this meeting also helped me show that I was serious about performing at a high level for them.

The second thing I needed to do was decide on a presentation style. I wanted to really let my passion for the subject matter (music is very important to me) and my excitement for the opportunity show in my presentation. I wanted to move the crowd and convince them that my clients’ programs were top-notch. So as I developed my material I kept this in mind.

The third task was obvious: Practice! Practice, practice practice, rinse, and repeat. And that’s exactly what I did. I practiced in front of the mirror, in front of my wife, and in front of a camera to ensure I got a 360-degree view of how I was doing.

I had to meet with my clients two more times before the concert to track my progress and deliver the presentation. I had given myself a week to get my thoughts together and a proposal on the presentation points written down. How did I do in my second meeting? Stay tuned for part 2 of this post!


  • i love how you handled the process like a true Business Analyst would. Understanding your audience and their expectations are key always.

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