By Babette Ten Haken, One Millimeter Mindsetâ„¢, NSA-MI Member-at-Large

At first, when we decide to follow our passion, heart, and pathway in delivering the spoken word, it seems like we spend a lot of time kissing frogs. Searching for our lane (as coach Jane Atkinson says): the narrow subject-matter niche for which we are exquisitely well suited.

Eventually, we gather courage and take a major leap in faith in ourselves.

We begin our speaking careers by accepting sporadic engagements (some paid, some in exchange for a chicken lunch or dinner or a mug or a gift). 😉

Initially, the road to speaking success has potholes. We speak on topics that really are not part of our wheelhouse. (But, hey, as we rationalize to ourselves, we are professional speakers, right? We can speak about anything, right? Should we? Uh, duh, NO!)

As we refine our skills and content, some talks become magical. Others simply fall short. Why? Because we evolve and become true to our unique, glorious, niche-focused purpose. Instead of speaking about all things to all audiences, we commit to the differentiated value we deliver to specific audiences.

When we make that promise to ourselves, we gain professional momentum. We network in, and promote to, specific industries, corporations, and associations. We are on-brand: our unique, distinctive brand. Also, we are on-fire. Our keynotes and workshops are delivered with passion and purpose. We have conversations with audiences, instead of feeling like we are memorizing a script and delivering a performance. We develop our signature phrases and signature stories.

We gain personal and professional momentum, as Speakers of Worth. We leap out of bed each morning, energized for what the day brings. And, our day seems less full of kissing frogs and more focused on delivering our unique mix of not only what people want to hear, but also what people need to know.

Our momentum changes the on-brand of how we speak, our delivery, our physical appearance, our on-stage movements, and our success connecting our message with our specific audiences.

And, our audiences have absolutely no idea how much work we put into delivering the spoken word. Continuously refining our art and craft takes process, discipline, and renewing our faith in ourselves. Often, we are the worst critics of ourselves.

Today, regardless of what phase you are in as a Speaker of Worth, focus on your momentum. Look how far you have traveled this year, as part of NSA Michigan. How much have you developed, as a result of not only our programs but also the amazing and inspiring network of colleagues you meet. Together, we continue to fuel each other’s professional momentum.

Babette Ten Haken’s One Millimeter Mindset® Storytelling Speaking Programs leverage storytelling for STEM professionals and left brain thinkers to catalyze employee and customer success and retention.  Her playbook of communication hacks, Do YOU Mean Business?, is available on Amazon.com. Babette’s speaker profile is on the espeakers platform. To learn more, please contact Babette here.