Posted on October 24, 2016
Dictionary.com defines a mentor as “a wise and trusted counselor or teacher” and as “an influential supporter”. I have been very blessed throughout my life to have mentors show up in my life who have helped me become the person I am today.
Mentors help us in a variety of ways. They are role models for what we aspire to be. They give us advice on how to do well and how to avoid pitfalls. The best mentors see our success before we see it, encouraging us during our dark days and cheering us on when we reach a milestone.
I was at a conference last week where introduced my two mentors, JoAn Majors and Tonya Lanthier to each other. These two women have inspired me, believed in me, taught me by example, and encouraged me along the way. I am so grateful for all they have given me and only hope to one day pay it forward. I also have other mentors in my field who don’t even know I exist, but I watch what they do and emulate them.
Speakers serve as mentors, often without even knowing it. I recently spent time with Kay Huff, a speaker who is a rising star. Kay shared with me that when she was brand new in her field, she had seen Linda Miles speak, and in that moment, decided she wanted to become a speaker just like Linda. Since that day, Kay worked to build her expertise and develop her speaking skills. Kay also reached out and started writing Linda and asking her advice. The two of them corresponded for years, becoming dear friends. And just recently, Kay received a speaking award in front of Linda. What a thrill!
I believe every speaker works hard to deliver a good presentation. Do we also honor the privilege of the podium in all we do, recognizing that people are watching us as mentors? For me as a speaker, I want to know I’ve spent time and effort on developing concise and actionable content, create slides that drive comprehension or memory moments, and then put in the practice hours to deliver my very best.
Laser Pointer works with speakers who want to Formulate A Winning Presentation with 3 levels of service: