Saturday, August 21, 2010

Speaking Season - 3, 4, 5, 6 of 107

Sometimes you just have to keep going, and going, and going.

Yes, today was what we call a 4-pak - four presentations - 10, 12, 2, & 4. Started off with two high school groups who had identical itineraries for next year, then a middle school group, then an elementary audience.

My supplies showed up at the hotel at 11:00 am, and my team of teachers was able to go pick them up, averting a daylong disaster that I had feared yesterday. The one meeting with limited supplies still went well - I actually used the obviously copied application brochures as an illustration of the kind of flexibility travel builds in individuals, as a benefit to the program they were there to consider.

In a day of meetings, two challenges stick out to me:

A. Energy level - The day tends to start light - a banana is my typical start to the day. For a meeting that starts at 10, I get to the venue at 7:30 to ensure setup is taken care of. Audience members show up up to an hour early most days. I also make sure to have food and water there for the day, even if food simply means a Clif Bar to tide me over. I don't actually get very hungry during the presentation, but to keep my enthusiasm up, a little sugar about halfway through helps push me to the end. Each audience deserves a high energy level, and the feeling that they are the only ones you've talked to all day - because to them, they are.

B. Keeping track of what I've said - by the third presentation, its easy to think you've already said something to the audience that you actually haven't - you instead discussed a particular benefit with a prior group, and its all blending together. Memorizing the tentposts of your script is essential in keeping yourself on track, and in this particular business, repeating oneself is a better option than leaving it out, especially when it comes to safety procedures, dates of departure, and tuition costs.

I'm still gauging what works for me during these marathon weekend days. Almost every weekend for the next three months is filled with 6-7 meetings. I'm sure by the time a few more weekends go by, I'll have a solid personal routine to share with you.

After the day, I headed back to the hotel to pick up the balance of supplies (including an extra suit I asked my wife to FedEx to me). Dinner was at Drover's here in Omaha, where I had perhaps the best steak of my life. At least top 3. The whiskey steak was a 2 inch thick marinated filet, and literally melted in my mouth. If you ever get to Omaha, I highly recommend you check this place out. A bit loud, but the food far outweighs that particular problem. Back on the road, I took the 55 minute drive to Lincoln, to be greeted my Memorial Stadium as the town's centerpiece - the home of the Nebraska Cornhusker football team. I'm actually at a Marriott tonight that calls itself the Cornhusker hotel. Tough for a Hawkeye to take, quite honestly!

More tomorrow....

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