People interested in my Present Like a Pro (PLAP) online training course are asked to answer a quick survey as part of the enrollment process.
The survey shines light on whether or not a person is a good fit for the class. I learned a long time ago to only work with people that I am confident I can help.
One of the survey questions is:
"What's your biggest challenge when it comes to speaking and presenting?"
A surprising number of presenters answer that they don't have any challenges or problems to speak of. For these lucky people, things are going just great. They have plenty of speaking opportunities and feedback is fantastic. Their presentations are earning all the money they need and everything is pretty close to perfect.
And these people are not invited to enroll in the Present Like a Pro class.
Because I can't help people that already have it figured out. I can only provide value to people who need to solve problems, rise above challenges and drastically improve their situations.
There's an old saying in sales: "No problem, no sale." Because a prospect has no need for your product or service if they don't have an existing need or problem.
Anyway, I just read the best answer EVER to the survey question, "What's your biggest challenge when it comes to speaking and presenting?"
A gentlemen on the West Coast replied:
"My biggest problem is unknown to me."
This is BRILLIANT!
You don't know what you don't know
It's so true. Most presenters become so attached to what they already know, that they stop seeking out new ideas and trying new things.
The older we get, the worse this situation gets. The longer someone has been doing sales presentations, the harder it is for them to change their ways and learn new strategies.
And yet, we don't know what we don't know.
My take on the old adage is that what you don't know can hurt you.
When you focus too much on what you know not enough on what's to be learned, you'll get left behind by speakers who study the trade.
Don't settle for average results. The juice is in what you don't (yet) know.
Keep learning, people.