Friday, August 3, 2012

Death of a speaker...NOT!



I listened to journalist and author Jeff Jarvis tell 1000 professional speakers from across the globe that a disruption is coming that will forever change the landscape of the meetings industry. He went on to say that speakers who refuse to adapt will find themselves in trouble. Jeff is an old school New York newpaper man who was on the last train into the World Trade Center when the first plane hit. In the following weeks, he began to blog about his experience which lead to hundreds of thousands of followers and a shift in his perception about the dessimination of content. He began to believe that freely given content was going to disrupt the media business and newspapers and magazines that tried to control and monetize it were going to find themselves on shifting ground…he was right. Thanks to free content on the internet, newspapers and print magazines around the world have been reluctantly closing down their presses with a swiftness that would make Gutenberg roll over in his grave. Jarvis told us (speakers) that youtube, Google+Hangout, and crowd sourced formats are going to replace the traditional speaker model and if we did not find new ways to communicate our content then we run the risk of becoming obsolete. I 43% agree with his line of thinking. If you paint all professional speakers as simply distributors of content then yes, there are multiple ways to receive information. Our audiences are now participating in the conversation and are more informed than ever before which requires speakers to remain current and relevant.  I do, however, believe that good professional speakers don’t just communicate content, we PERFORM content. As a professional speaker, I am responsible for not only delivering my message but also delivering an experience. In the interest of full disclosure, I am a humorist so there are no huge gasps of awe as I blow peoples minds with new information, but even the "content speakers" Like Gary Vaynerchuk, Peter Sheahan, Jeffrey Gitomer and yes Jeff Jarvis help create a live experience with charisma, talent, skill and PERFORMANCE that will never be replaced by google+hangout or youtube. The economy is still bad! we get it! conventions have been hit hard because it is expensive to make one happen when people are being forced to choose where to invest time and resources. This has created an opportunity to receive content from other sources BUT I believe that this is a distant second to being a part of a gathering with a charismatic professional speaker at the helm. I'd much rather hear the Eagles live than on my iphone wouldn’t you? So YES, I agree that like the newspaper and magazine business, the speaking industry is in a state of disruption. Yes, some of the speaker herd will fall to the wolves, but I also believe that as long as people gather in person to learn, share ideas, and eat Marriott chicken, there will be a need for a brilliant professional speaker to lead the conversation.
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About Me

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Patrick Henry is a professional speaker, humorist, author, and songwriter who delivers funny and entertaining keynote speeches. Patrick shows audiences how to create IMPACT! by creating extraordinary customer, client and co-worker experiences. He is what happens when Keynotes, Comedy and Concerts...Collide!