Speak up, stand out, make an impact!

Speak up, stand out, make an impact!

Public speaking is the fastest way to grow your knowledge, your influence, and your base of clients.That’s not just my opinion, either. Nearly all the 40 or so practitioners that Julia Zaslow and I interviewed in our Prosperous Practitioner Summits told us that giving talks was a game-changer for launching their careers.

So why am I telling you this?

Because the NANP is now accepting speaker proposals for our upcoming conference in April and I want you to give serious consideration to submitting yours before our deadline of September 15th.

Many people dread the idea of speaking in front of an audience. Jerry Seinfeld, in fact, once quipped:

“According to most studies, people's number one fear is public speaking. Death is number two. This means to the average person, if you go to a funeral, you're better off in the casket than doing the eulogy.”

All joking aside, many brilliant nutrition professionals I know would love to share their ideas through pubic talks. Yet they wonder whether they have the competence or the credibility to be effective at it. But you cannot be either of those things until you make the commitment to speak. Just like learning how to ride a bike, you cannot ride one until, well, you start to ride one.

If you have the desire to be a speaker and a burning idea that you want to share – and want to help your peers take their understanding to a whole new level – here’s how to move forward with submitting a proposal to us… or to anyone, for that matter.

First, consider your topic. Here are some thought-starters on what you might want to focus on:

  • Your strengths and skills. What talents of yours are responsible for great client outcomes? Are you strong at interpreting labs? At digging into and solving complex health conditions? Your ability to successfully coach clients toward compliance? What aspect of your work are your clients and peers constantly praising you for?
  • Your method. Is there a distinct aspect of your work that others might like to hear about? Do you enhance your nutrition consultations with a unique supplement protocol or modality, such as exercise, yoga, or mindfulness training?
  • Your business acumen. What practice marketing or management tools have played a big part in your success? How might you teach these ideas to others?
  • Your research. Have you identified patterns in the research that relate to a specific disease or condition? Or perhaps you have been digging into fascinating revelations in fields like nutritional anthropology or behavioral science?
  • Your passion. What do you constantly find yourself drawn to? What topics will make you drop whatever you’re doing to read about? For me, it’s gastronomy, food security and food systems. What’s yours?   

Next, develop your proposal. The very act of consolidating your ideas into a comprehensible outline will sharpen your knowledge on your topic and boost your confidence. Of course, you do not want to take any shortcuts in preparing this! Given the volume we receive, proposals that are well thought-out and reflect deep understanding will rise to the top. Be sure to demonstrate that you understand the NANP audience, their needs, and their level of knowledge, too. If you’ve done any speaking at all – even at your local food co-op – that’s a bonus as well.

If you are selected to speak, you have plenty of time to pull your talk together. This means not only developing your material, but rehearsing it and fine-tuning it so that by the time the conference rolls around you know it inside and out. Knowing exactly what you’re going to say has an amazing calming effect if you tend to get the jitters in front of an audience.

I cannot guarantee that you’ll get a speaking gig at next year’s NANP conference. However, with a fully developed proposal, you are in great shape to submit it elsewhere. There are many people in your community who want to hear your words of wisdom. Don’t make them wait any longer.

It’s “go” time!

To your health,

Miriam G. Zacharias, MS, NTC, BCHNTM
President, NANP 

P.S. – Speaking gigs at NANP conferences resulted in great success, including book deals, for many members such as Trudy Scott, Julie Matthews, and Laura Knoff, to name a few. Perhaps you’ll be next?

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