Tuesday, January 24, 2006

An alternative career...Or not

I just came from a new gig - as motivational/inspirational speaker at a sales/marketing rally for brokers/dealers of a major real estate company (was tempted to write another slash there, but resisted the urge). Until today, I never really fancied myself as a rah!-rah! kind of trainer or speaker - I thought I was more of the let's-reflect- share-and-try-to-be-profound facilitator. But a friend in need is a friend who threatens - so I was coerced into accepting the gig, all for the love of saving friends from deep shit.

Aside from my natural aversion to doing rah-rah-siz-boom-bah, my beef with being inspirational speaker in these sales rallies is the time element. You are given 30 minutes, perhaps 45 minutes, 1 hour tops if you are lucky - to do your thing. Within that span of time you are supposed to rouse them from sleep and make them do cartwheels while shrieking Kill The Competition!!! Tough job. At least that was what I though I was supposed to do.

But I figured, why be like everyone else, do it your way! (Actually, the more accurate reason is - you can't do it their way, so stick to what you do best which is tell your sob stories, make them think, and then move them somehow).

I am so glad I accepted the gig - it was one of the most exciting 45 minute talk I ever had. Whew! Now I am seriously thinking of buying fuschia and golden suits and begin my own religious congregation. Just kidding about the last sentence.

Anyway. What did I do? I made an outline of topics to cover and developed three sets of talking points, each set with its own bullets. For the first set, I developed quick one minute quizzes and teasers such as optical illusions and trick questions for each bullet and learning point. It was fun and interaction was quite high. For the second set of talking points, which was on paradigms and positive attitudes, I developed metaphors and pictures. And for the final set of talking points (5 attributes of successful salespeople) I looked for really dramatic and short stories.

My last set of talking points were on Belief, Optimism, Courage, Conviction and Action. For belief, I told the moving story of Viktor Frankl and his book "A Man's Search for Meaning." For optimism I told the story of Socorro Ramos of National Bookstore fame. For Courage, I told the story of John Nash of A Beautiful Mind. For Conviction, the story of Christina Bugayong, the 12-year old poor girl who returned Php300k worth of cash and checks simply because "they are not mine." And for action, I told the story of the "man dancing on a seashore picking starfishes."

Of course I spent the whole night (until 3 am) trawling the net for pictures and images for these stories. But it was damn worth it.

Anyway, I'm ready for my next gig. Keep it coming!

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