Expert vs. Speaker: Are you the Coke Machine or are you the Coke?

By Jane Atkinson

Several years ago, my NSA colleague Randy Pennington was talking about positioning as an “expert” vs. a “speaker” and he asked the question “Are you the Coke machine or are you the Coke?”

The Coke is our knowledge, our expertise, our content.  The Coke machine is the distribution channel for that knowledge, and speaking is just one of those in most situations.

When we sit next to someone on a plane and they ask, “What do you do?” The answer might be, “I help sales people become top performers” or “I help women be bold and brilliant”.  And they might ask, “oh, how to you do that?”  That’s when your distribution channels (or how you deliver your message) might come into the conversation. “Well, I write books and a blog, I coach executives, and I speak at conferences.”

When we open a conversation with, “I’m a speaker”, people often say, “Oh, you mean like Tony Robbins.” We’ve all had the experience where people really don’t “get” our profession or their eyes glaze over when we mention it.

[Tweet “Remember that speaking is typically just one of the ways that we deliver our knowledge. “]

You don’t visit a bestselling author’s website (for example Dan Pink) and see “Hire me, I’m a speaker”.  You see “Dan Pink…big ideas reshaping our work, transforming our businesses, etc.”

That’s expert focused.  Not speaker focused.

See the difference?

Are you the Coke machine or are you the Coke? Share your story here on our blog!

See you soon, Wealthy Speakers! (Or should I say Wealthy Experts?)

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PS: If you are a seasoned speaker looking to reshape your expertise, check out our Masters Platinum Class starting in March and drop me a line with questions.