Resting On Your Laurels Does NOT Rock!

Resting On Your Laurels Does NOT Rock!

Just over a year ago my tennis club hired two new tennis pros. Many of us were ecstatic, looking forward to new energy, new drills and new ideas.

But there were a few naysayers in the crowd, too. A handful of older, “country club” women didn’t like that one of the pros, a Brit with a dry wit, dared to actually tell them what they could do better. They didn’t care to get better, they just wanted to get an hour or so on the courts, wear a cute skirt and say they played tennis.

Happily, all but a small few of these naysayers have been won over by the fact that they are now playing better tennis, thanks to the careful, but absolutely constructive criticism shared by these pros.

What happens when this behavior moves into the conference, convention and event sphere?

Are You Reaching? Or Resting?

I’m in the process of prepping for WordCamp Atlanta, which I’ll be attending this weekend. As I make some small tweaks to this website and wait with baited breath for my new business cards to arrive (on the truck to be delivered, WOO HOO), I’m also seeing a lot of posts from Social Media Marketing World 2015.

Derek and I, Derek especially, love WordCamp. But, as with any event that repeats year after year, there are some frustrations. One that I find gets me a bit up in arms is the presenter that’s simply phoning it in. Yes, though they’re actually speaking in person.

Too often repeat speakers don’t take into account that repeat attendees deserve something new. Presenting the EXACT same material year after year, with little to no research into the changes in our industry or the changing needs of our audience is unacceptable.

I wrote about idioms yesterday, and I’m sharing a new one today: Rest on Laurels.

Here are a couple of my favorite “definitions” of the idom, as per The Free Dictionary:

… to stop trying because one is satisfied with one’s past achievements.

… to be so satisfied with your own achievements that you make no effort to improve.

The professional speaker that stops trying and simply presents the same tired and sadly dated information, event after event, is resting on his or her laurels. Event and convention planners need to take steps to keep this from happening in future. But, that’s another topic for another day!

Push The Envelope, Paper Cuts Be Damned!

I get it, it’s safer to repeat a speech or presentation that’s already gone over well. But as a speaker or presenter, you have to look beyond yourself to your audience.

Have they heard this spiel before? Are you speaking to beginners or seasoned veterans? You can’t just assume and speak. You’ve got to put in the time and effort. How?

Talk to the event promoters/owners. Research the attendees engaged in discussion using the event hashtag. Reach out and ask what it is they’d most like to hear.

[clickToTweet tweet=”Push the envelope … paper cuts be damned! #entrepreneur” quote=”Push the envelope … paper cuts be damned!” theme=”style4″]

Take the time to discuss your topic with your trusted peers. Ask them how they might take it to the next level.

Because you have to take it to the next level if you want to continue to engage a specific event audience. Want to dazzle digital marketers? You can’t share the same shizz over and over. or they’ll snore through your presentation.

No matter the audience, nor the event, you’ve got to strive to be fresh, exciting, interesting and on top of your topic. Otherwise, what’s the point? Another event you can list on your “I’ve been here” page?

Past Victories Are Great, But Future Wins Await!

We should, all of us – me included, be proud of our past achievements. But are those glory days enough to sustain us through the next ten, fifteen, twenty years in business, in sport, and life?

Keep striving, keep bettering yourself, keep reading, keep discussing and keep connecting with new voices in your industry. Stop resting on your laurels and take the steps to keep you business, your brand and message fresh, while still on topic. It can be done. It should be done!

[clickToTweet tweet=”Past victories are great, BUT future wins await! #smallbiz #entrepreneur” quote=”Past victories are great, BUT future wins await!” theme=”style4″]