Yesterday I was in New Jersey coaching an executive on his upcoming video presentation. I arrived early so I stopped at the local diner and had a bite to eat.
As I was leaving I asked the young waiter for directions to the office building he asked me if I worked there.
I said , "No I have a meeting." He seemed interested so I explained that as a communications consultant, I was there to coach someone on his presentation and that I had my own business.
He became even more interested and said he wanted to be a public speaker. I told him I was a professional speaker. He wanted to teach speech in a college but wanted to know if he could also be a public speaker.
I said he surely could and that I had written a book called Knockout Presentations. He grabbed a pen and wrote it down. I then told him that I had a youtube channel with a series of instructional videos and a free newsletter on my website. And he could go to my SpeechMaker website, where he could find templates to craft a speech.
He was thrilled. He thought he had just discovered gold. I even told him about toastmasters!
As a bonus, I threw in my appreciation marketing tool. What's the point? All I had asked him was how to get from the diner to the client's building. By asking questions and engaging me in conversation he gained tremendous value. There was no sign on me that said Professional Speaker. The way to discover hidden treasure is to dig for it one person at a time, one conversation at a time.
A conversation is a type of presentation. If he hadn't appeared friendly, inquisitive, and engaging, I might not have continued talking to him. It's the same with networking. It's easy to discount somebody as a contact because they don't have the right title. But with the right conversation you might unleash a powerful resource. September is One-on-One Communication month. Savor your conversations.
By the way, if you're wondering why I have all those websites listed, September is also Shameless Promotion month. :)