Penguin Speakers Bureau – Live!
I just wanted to share with you the launch of the Penguin Speakers Bureau. They unveiled their excellent (I think) website last month; I’m honored to be included in their inaugural roster of speakers, in the company of authors like Ray Kurzweil, Harlen Coben, Mary Pipher and Eric Jerome Dickey. The link above is the page they created for me.
This leads me to one of the many unexpected things that’s happened since Growing Great Employees was published. I knew (because my agent, my publisher, my brother-the-bestselling-author and my business partner had all told me) that part of what authors do – if they want to create an audience for their work and take best advantage of having been published – is speak to large audiences. Though I’ve spoken to groups in various contexts for many years, and wasn’t nervous or anxious about it, I simply didn’t know whether I’d like it.
The group work that I do most often is highly interactive and in-depth: I’m either teaching management or leadership skills, or helping senior teams envision and plan for the future of their organization. And that work I love: it feels as though I’m helping them to be more strategic and more effective in a very personalized way. I wasn’t sure if speaking to large groups – mostly them listening and me talking – would be satisfying to me; whether I could be as helpful to the audience as it is always my goal to be.
Fortunately, now that I’ve been doing it, I find it has its own unique set of satisfactions, and that it does seem to be helpful to people. While I don’t get a chance to interact personally with each attendee, I can still engage everyone with the topic in a variety of fun and personal ways. And – this is the feedback I’m getting, anyway – people are finding my presentations informative, thought-provoking and inspiring: they say they feel motivated and supported to behave in new ways or move in new directions.
And I want to thank two resources that have helped hone my skills in this endeavor. A couple of years ago, I took a communication skills course through Speakeasy, inc. that provided some great foundational skills. And earlier this year, I worked with a remarkable women named Isabelle Anderson, who really helped me to understand how to leverage my existing strengths as a speaker and develop new ones.
It’s great to discover that something you need to do is also something you enjoy doing!