It was clear to everyone in attendance at the event that one of the speakers failed to prepare, probably because he thought he could just “wing it”, while the other five speakers had obviously put in a great deal of thought, time and effort preparing.
I was listening to an interview with a trainer who is in demand for speaking engagements across the US and was shocked and disappointed when he said, “I have given this talk a number of times, so I don’t really have to put in a lot of time preparing.”
I don’t care how long you have been a trainer, or how many times you have taught a class or given a presentation, you owe it to the audience members to spend time preparing. They are giving up a part of their day, a part of their life, to attend your presentation. It does not matter if they are there because they were told to be there or are there voluntarily, you have a responsibility to them.
It is arrogant to think that you can “wing it” or just show up and do what you have done before. Every audience is different. If you are going to accept the title of ‘Trainer’ or ‘Speaker’ then you also need to accept the responsibility to invest time preparing that comes with the title. That means investing time preparing for every presentation regardless of how many times you have done it before and ensuring that you bring your best that day for the people in attendance. It does not matter if there are 2, 200 or 2000 people in the audience, you have a responsibility to every one of them to do the work in advance.
If you are not willing to put in the time, then do not accept the position as a trainer or the speaking invitation. Being a trainer is a privilege, not a right, and it comes with responsibility and accountability, and they are not to be taken lightly.
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