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June 2019

When to call in the pros

I recently had an unexpected client: a well-regarded attorney who does a lotof speaking. He's not a person who normally needs help with any sort of speech. And yet... 

He'd been chosen to be the speaker for a community celebration in a large, impressive venue. People he'd known for years would be there, and he wanted to deliver a message that was smart, heartfelt, and with a touch of his trademark humor. It was very different from his usual type of speech! He spent a couple of weeks kicking ideas around, trying them out on friends and family. Somewhere along the way he realized he wasn't getting the job done. So he picked up the phone and called me. 

We tweaked and cut, rethought structure and word choice. He sent me rewrites. We perfected the 12-minute speech in a week! He vowed to practice more than the seven times I recommended. Afterward, he told me it was quite a success. And he even enjoyed himself!

Circumstances forced him to look beyond his usual circle. They meant well, but they didn't have the expertise. It's always good to hear a successful professional say that no matter how much experience you have, often there's something--an unfamiliar theme, unusual occasion, or lack of prep time--that makes you realize you're the one who needs help from an expert!

It's a humbling thing to admit. And can cause some consternation, maybe a bit of panic. But don't worry: I got this!


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