During an interview, an author I respect said that he was a good speaker. He then went on to say that he didn’t prepare much for his speeches, because he knew he was good on his feet and preferred to keep the speech spontaneous and stream of consciousness. When I was listening to a speech the author gave at a conference, he was good but being good got in the way of being great.
Please be aware, when comparing good to great, it helps to know something about the topic. I have spent a significant quantity of time, energy, and money developing my speaking the past four years so I notice how people speak. Because of my expertise in the field, I use speaking as a way to generalize the differences between good and great. I hope you don’t mind.
To stay on topic, what is the difference between a good speaker and a great speaker?
- Good speakers share ideas with their audience. What the audience does with the ideas is up to the audience.
- Great speakers share information of value that allows the audience to take action.
- Good speakers are memorable. The audience will remember the ideas presented.
- Great speakers are remarkable. The audience will be repeating key phrases from the speech for years to come.
The difference might not seem great, but when it comes to influencing people to pay you for something, being great is of vital importance.
Many marketplaces are crowed with businesses fighting for the same dollar. Some examples are speaking, web design, and life coaching. If you are a speaker, web designer, or life coach, why should we pay you? You are good, but what about your competitor that is great?
For many of you, good is the enemy of great. You are comfortable with your current level of knowledge and skills and are making money, so it is not essential that you become great at what you do.
For a moment, consider what would happen if the market plunged again in the coming months. Would your customers all stay? If the pool of buyers shrinks, what makes you stand out from your competitors?
Being great at what you do is essential in the current business climate. In many fields, customers are gone and are not ever coming back. To continue to grow your business you have to make a decision.
Let me know in the comments if are you going to continue on the path of good, or are you going to become great?
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