What is it you do that you are really good at? You know, that area of your life or career where you have lots of confidence. You think, “I’ve got this!” Confidence is good.
A few weeks ago, due to this craziness, I had an inspired thought, “You need to create a brand new 2-day Virtual workshop on virtual presenting.” What? Create an entire new two-day event? I don’t have time for that. I love the advice I heard from Mark Sanborn, CSP, CPAE, that he delivered on our podcast, “Respond to the new- found pain.” Brilliant.
So, full of inspiration and an idea I could not get out of my head, I was on a mission. I realized Mark Brown, Ed Tate and I have been offering Virtual Seats at our live events for years. Watch this short video so see what it looks like: https://vimeo.com/407843660
For a couple of years now we have also had live coaching calls every single week. During the calls, we coach members of Stage Time University; and the other members get involved in the experience. We also have been doing two free webinars per week for quite a while; it’s virtual time, virtual time, virtual time. We’ve got experience! More importantly, we have made a ton of mistakes and have come a long way. There was so much that we could show others as to what not to do and also how to do it correctly. The experience to draw from was not the challenge.
The challenge is pulling back the curtain and delivering content in a truly transformational way for the people attending. If you’ve ever put together two full days of training, you know it is a great deal of work. You have to set up the registration page, the shopping cart, the content, your slides to deliver the content (we had over 500 for this 2-Day event) and a long list of “to dos.” I also decided to do all of this from idea to delivery in less than a week and a half. I may have been a bit ambitious, but that, too, was not the problem.
When I made the decision, friends started to send me webinars that other people were doing on the same subject. Yes, there were a ton of webinars out there, but I inherently knew that what we would teach would be much deeper than you could ever cover in an hour-long webinar. To truly change the way you present virtually, it can’t just be quick tips. I knew there were highly paid keynoters and trainers who had great content but needed to change how they delivered it. Virtual changes the rules. It is much more than just turning on your webcam, opening a Zoom link, and delivering your same stories. I took a quick look at the links for the offer pages and politely replied to my friend, “Thanks for sending.”
One of the “offer pages” I looked at shocked me. The expert said that he had just gone to a three-day training and was going to share on a free webinar what he just learned about virtual presenting. What? The presenter was going to regurgitate what was just learned two days ago? Not from actual experience? Wow.
I shook my head and continued on setting my own mission in motion. I can’t honestly remember what stopped me in my tracks and got me to reevaluate my thinking. But I did. I realized, what if I did pick something up? However, it was an ungodly hour! So, I checked myself, “How serious are you about delivering the best of the best to your attendees, Darren?” Ouch! I set my alarm early and then dragged myself out of bed preparing to be underwhelmed. It was really good. I got some ideas that could be modeled. I ate crow. I was letting my ego get in the way. Honestly, my attitude sucked. I love this quote by Dr. Jeffrey Lant:
“We humans are an egotistical breed. We regularly ignore specialists who could help, and we’re experts in making cunning excuses for our self-destructive behavior.”
If you know my story, when I started in stand-up comedy, I was a sponge. Zero ego because I knew that I didn’t know. In 2001 when I met Mark Brown and he looked at my speech and gave me tough love, I realized quickly that I needed to be a sponge again. Well, looks like ego struck again. I became a total sponge again and realized we should never stop sponging. Sponge! is the title of this newsletter and I still needed this reminder! The new tools I learned helped make our first Virtual Presentation Workshop better. We did it a second time, and it sold out. We are preparing to deliver it again. It’s pretty bad when you need a dose of your own medicine, but it does help to cure the ego.
I had a keynote speaker friend who texted me this week, I’ll call him Pete. He was in the process of reinventing himself as a virtual keynoter. He asked me for my three best tips for engaging online.
I sent him my Podcast where we taught 11 pace elements to keep your audience engaged. He said the three tips were all he wanted. What? You are reinventing and you just want some quick tips? Then, I caught myself, because I did it, too.
Confidence is good, but ego and thinking we know-it-all stops us from truly being amazing and reaching our full potential. Where do you need to be a sponge again?
What do you take from this?