Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Coming Together

I didn't write any new chapters today, but I added new intro sections to two existing ones. The more I think about it, the more I feel like there needs to be this "hook" -- taking lessons from the performance world and applying them to business communications.

A couple of others still don't quite have that tie-in. I'm not sure how fanatical I need to be about it, but we'll see. At least I'm feeling better that I've got a direction in mind. And I'll give myself a break if I fall short of three new chapters this week. Maybe two will do, with revisions to others.

It's fascinating how things are suddenly coming together from a lot of different directions. I'm doing this book on business communications at the same time I'm working with a client on designing a communications training program for their executives. That project has not only allowed me to use some of the material I've drafted for the book, it's also given me ideas for additional chapters.

At the same time a friend sent me information the other day about this organization that does a lot of writing workshops and coaching and said I should teach a master call there. So I wrote them and they said I could submit a proposal for a one-night class. Looking at their site I saw that the heavy-duty business communications stuff is done by their core staff, while guest faculty teach a lot of courses on writing things like novels, screenplays, memoirs, essays, etc.

So I don't know if I exactly fit there, but I thought about it and came up with an agenda for a class on speech and presentation writing. Which is perfect. That's an area I identified as a major strength of mine years ago at the PR firm. In fact, for a while there I was dubbed "Speech Boy."

I'd thought for a long time that I could do classes on speechwriting, but I never thought I had the material to fill a whole class and give people practical steps they could use. So then I later broadened that goal to teaching and coaching writing and more recently to communications. And now that I've put together nine chapters of this book, suddenly I see all the material in front of me.

And now I'm thinking, even if the class doesn't work for this group, I could pitch it elsewhere. (And actually, I can still pitch it elsewhere.) But beyond that, I've got material for a second book. Okay, more like a manual. Six chapters or so offering people who give speeches or write them for others a simple guide to putting it all together. And all of it can be adapted fairly quickly from the stuff I've already written.

All of that was just today. Revise two chapters of my book, finalize and send a proposed workshop curriculum to a client, devise and send a proposal for a speechwriting class to this other group, and outline the content for a possible manual on speechwriting. Next up, look for other venues to give speeches and teach classes and trade and business media to submit articles to.

This is really fun and exciting. And I think I owe it all to getting out there and meeting and talking with industry people, getting exposed to new ideas, building on existing ones and getting feedback and encouragement. It's funny how the rewards that come to you are often not the ones you set out to look for.

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