I am a professional speaker. That means I get paid for speaking. Sometimes I get an up front fee and other times I get nothing.
When I get nothing, it’s then my responsibility to earn money on the back-end by selling some product or service to participants in the seminar. What I’m about to share with you is of utmost importance if you are to create the life that you truly want.
Usually I speak for free. It’s far easier to get speaking engagements that way and it’s pretty obvious why. But, based on my experience I never walk away with nothing.
I deliver valuable information in the time that I have and more often than not there’s a good percentage of the audience that wants to learn more. They can do this by buying a book, an audio seminar, a 3-day intensive course or they can even buy my time.
I’ve gotten pretty good at it. Speaking I mean. After taking some public speaking courses from some experts a few years ago, I’ve honed my craft into a viable business.
But, what happened yesterday tested the limits of my patience and my sanity. The story goes like this…
Yesterday, I gave a free 4-hour internet marketing seminar for businesses in and around the Southern Ontario area. I’ve done this many times before and felt quite comfortable going into this one having had plenty of experience under my belt.
However, I came across a situation that’s never happened to me before. There were 2 people in this course, a husband and wife, who declared themselves to also be internet marketing experts and as a result were incredibly disruptive to the class.
In fact, they would not shut up. Time after time they blurted out opinions about what I was teaching. They would either agree or disagree with everything, out loud. Then whenever I challenged their knowledge, which in my humble opinion was more often wrong than right, they would literally argue with me in front of the entire room.
At one point, after a taking a break, due to sheer exhaustion, I asked everyone to pick up their belongings and move to a new seat on the opposite side of the room and to not sit beside the person they came with. Did that work? No, this couple, even though they were separated, became more vocal and more disruptive.
I remember one instance I asked the class if anyone knew the formula for discovering how many incoming links they had to their website from other sites. “Oh I do,” declared the husband in a very knowing manner.
This was my chance. I promptly handed the Flip Chart Marker to him and asked him to write the formula on the chart in front of the class. Sure enough, it was wrong. Not to mention the fact that he wrote it so small no one could even read it.
However, my delight in pointing this out was my biggest downfall. From that point onward it felt as if I no longer had the trust of my audience. I had beaten myself by revealing my ego.
Now, I usually pride myself on being a learn-it-all not a know-it-all. But, when faced with 2 know-it-alls in the same class, I lost it.
As a result of all this, I had put out such an incredible amount of negative energy that I actually made far far less sales than normal. Is it because my information had changed? No. I changed. I, in an effort to control the situation and prove my expertise, lost control.
All the way home in the car, I beat myself up. Not just for making less money, but because I had literally beaten myself. Of course it was an unusual circumstance but it was supposed to be my room. I should have been able to contain the virus… I didn’t.
So, what’s the point to all this?
As far as I see it, the point is that I still have an ego. My little voice is still telling me that there are situations to be afraid of. I was afraid that these know-it-alls would disrupt the class and the more they did, the more I was in fear.
And, fear is the easiest emotion to pick up on. When the audience sensed fear, I lost all their trust.
So it is with your tinnitus. In any situation in your life, such as tinnitus, if you have even the slightest fear of things getting worse, they usually will. If you are afraid your tinnitus will ruin your life, it will. Simple as that.
In fact, on the way home in the car I actually took the time to listen to my tinnitus. I had not noticed it in weeks, yet there it was. Why could I hear it? Because I was afraid.
Today is different. I’m back. I’m focused and I realize that I learned a valuable lesson and here it is; if I ever get a pair of know-it-alls in my class again and no matter what I do they will not stop being disruptive, I will ask everyone to take a break and I will ask the disrupters to leave.
Does that sound harsh? Maybe. But it’s better than trying to contain a negative energy that can’t be contained.
Paul Tobey is a professional speaker and a professional concert pianist. His seminars include varying topics such as; tinnitus, piano lessons, internet marketing, public speaking, train the trainer and more.