Listen to me

I love speaking.

I promise this is not because I love the sound of my own voice – although my mum might argue this. I just love sharing my thoughts and hope that I might be able to enrich other people’s thinking or perhaps provide them with a different approach to a known subject.

It is probably not surprising therefore, that I look for new ideas, interesting thoughts and a lot of passion when I do make my time available to listen to other presenters.

I love to hear people speak who are passionate about their field of expertise. I love to hear people speak because they are giving up their time to share and give their thoughts and ideas freely – without an obvious desire to get something in return.

There is nothing quite like getting lost in somebody else’s story about a business related subject.

Just to make it clear at this point, I am not looking for a perfect, flawless performance. I would never expect something of others I am unlikely to ever deliver myself! This is all about real people, their stories and the genuine approach they bring to their spot in the limelight.

Recently however, I have been attending various networking events with guest speakers, whose sole purpose was to sell their wares.

My first reaction was to be a little put off by the experience.

The question though is whether it is actually wrong for people to take the chance to ‘sell’ in return for their expertise, their time and the nervous energy they might expend before and whilst speaking?

Clearly, we all need to somehow be able to live and support whatever bad habits we might have…..

So how do you strike a good balance between ‘giving value’ in return for people listening and ‘receiving value’ for speaking when being asked to share expertise?

My approach has always been about giving first, without worrying about the possible return. Maybe, I need to change? Maybe, I am not really ‘on the money’ with my current thinking on this subject.

Or am I?