After quite a long time, I’m blogging again. I finally decided to break the silence because something caught my attention. They are called “claims.”
I’m sure we all have a share of experience when you meet people, in the Internet and in real life, who claim a certain authority without factual basis. I’m writing to give you my thoughts on how to maintain composure when you stumble upon or meet this kind of people.
Let me use our industry as an example. I have been in motivational speaking category in a personal development industry. There are only a few known people in this business and we are all but trying our very best to help people grow and succeed. There’s no question about that. We all have our intention.
But because of the Internet, the web can become a place for a high claim with an unfounded basis. For example, you can’t write a blog title that says you are “Asia’s Best Motivational Speaker” where you have not covered most parts of Asia. It’s simply trying to fool your self and others. By wanting to optimize your website using these keywords, you turn away from the reality. How many people can say that you are really the best is Asia? How many seminars, conventions, conferences, or training have you done in the last couple of years and months? Who are you clients? Who are the people who get your services? What are the these Asian companies that hire you to speak in their motivational events? Which sales rally have you been a keynote speaker?
Funny thing is, overnight, someone is saying that he’s the “Best motivational speaker in Manila, Philippines” and that he’s the “Best Coach in Asia” as well. How can that be possible?
If you are to surf the web, say, search for a “best motivational speaker in the Philippines” you’ll find at least three people with this kind of a claim. Try searching and checking on them and you’ll see my point. They use the Internet so when you search these keywords, their website will be there. Now, you can consider hiring them.
There are a many self-glorificatin and self-gratification, too! Some may try to sugarcoat what they really are and how they really do their job on stage by words that might convince you. Some try to use their organization, religious or otherwise, to back their claim.
Why do they have to do that?
I can’t represent them and I can’t answer on their behalf. And really, I won’t dare to do that.
So here’s how we handle these kinds of people or circumstance.
First, people will know the truth. If you over-promise and under-deliver, you know there are almost no second chance. So let them do what they’d like to do. This kind of self promotion and marketing doesn’t last long. There are professional speakers who build their houses on the sand. There are some who build on the rock. You know how this story ends.
Second, continue building on you own sets of strengths. Don’t get discouraged when they do it because in the end, it bounces back to them. Relax and enjoy. You have more important things to focus on rather than making them honest. They can lie as long as they want and you don’t have any business in it.
Third, state the fact. When you claim something in the Internet, make sure you have hard facts to support them. When people look for your portfolio and client listing, and that you claim that you are Asia’s best speaker, then write down these countries and your specific engagement with them.
Who’s the best motivational speaker in Asia or in Manila? Well, Google doesn’t have a precise answer. That’s why you can’t just rely on searches. One best example of this is, a good friend of mine tried to use the search engine to look for a motivational speaker. They were so impressed with the website and the words in it so they got the speaker only to frustrate themselves after the talk. This is over-promise-under-deliver situation in real sense.
Our website is very particular on facts and figures. We list down almost everything that a client would need to help them make the best judgment whether they will need us or not. I think this is what legitimate motivational business is about.
It’s not about getting on stage, getting the deal, getting to speak, and getting away with the money. I think it is about telling people who we exactly are. We don’t have to projecting too high about our selves and what we can do. Humility is key.
I hope speakers like my self put premium on the legitimacy of their ambition and intention. Let us not take advantage of these people who need our help. Let’s not make a living from them. Many of them are weak. Many of them are helpless and voiceless.
Let us not tell them that we are wealth experts where in fact we declared bankruptcies several times in the past. Let us not claim that we are the best in Asia where in fact, we don’t have Asian speaking stints in the past. Let us not make them believe that we are the best there is. Let us tell them that we speak on these topics and subjects.