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From the desk of Steve Lowell, Master Speaker and Mentor to those who speak in public.

The SPICE Formula of Sensational Speaking

Be an Expert Who Speaks

There’s an old adage in the speaking business that says “Don’t be a speaker, be an expert who speaks.” An expert is someone who speaks from wisdom. Wisdom is simply knowledge gained from experience. If you have personally experienced something in your life, you have earned the right to speak about it.

In Chapter Three, we’ll discuss finding the profundity in the mundane. This basically means you can extract value from just about every daily event that you experience and turn it into a lesson. This qualifies you as an expert on that specific lesson, since you’re able to validate the point with personal wisdom.

My wife Sharon and I will sometimes do seminars and speaking engagements about the experiences we dealt with due to her depression and emotional illness. Through the first six years of our marriage, our lives were almost destroyed by her illness. We lost our home, our life’s savings, all of our investments and, to top it all off, we accumulated $160,000 of debt, all due to her illness. She and I both went through hell and back because of her depression and all of the associated illness and behavior that goes with it.

When Sharon and I speak about her illness and how we dealt with it, Sharon will open up her heart and share her deepest and darkest thoughts about her former behavior. She says she stands “figuratively naked” before her audience to help them understand exactly what goes through the mind of someone who suffers from this illness.

I do the same, but my expertise was gained from the other side of the coin, being the person facing the challenges that present themselves when your life is intertwined with someone afflicted by depression. I share the trials that I endured at the hands of her destructive illness and, together, we share what worked for us, and what didn’t work for us.

Do these experiences qualify us as experts on the subject of depression? No, we’re not experts on the subject of depression, but, we’re experts on how to deal with Sharon’s depression, having found the combination of treatments that works for us through trial and error. This means that when we speak, our audience regards us as experts in dealing with depression, since we have lived the every-day life of those who suffer because of depression, and how it affects their families.

We speak from experience, since we’ve lived through it ourselves and we’ve earned the right to speak about it. This experience provides us with an enormous amount of confidence when we speak, being easy for us to recall the turmoil through which we’ve lived. You can do the same with whatever experience you’ve gained in your life!

So, what’s the lesson? Explore your life’s experiences and select significant events that have taught you your most valued lessons. You’ve gained expertise from those lessons. Share the wisdom that you’ve derived from those experiences and become an expert who speaks.

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