Category Archive Blog

ByBill Belew

Diary of a Whimpy Kid, um, Cruise Ship Speaker – Finishing Up My Talks

Continuing on in my log on how to become a cruise ship speaker.

After finishing the 3rd of my 4 planned talks I had one last stop to make before being done. It wasn’t something I was required to do. But something I felt was important to add to my list.

Cruise Ship Speaker - Belew

Cruise Ship Speaker – Belew

While still in my speaking get up, I went off to find the activity director, Jamie.

Jamie was a really busy fellow, running events and keeping track of who else is doing what else for whom. We had tried to get together the entire week … but in vain. I met him just momentarily when I was departing the ship to go ashore during one of our stops. Had I not done that he wouldn’t have had a clue who I was from any of the other 4213 cruisers. Seriously, I was just a voice on the ship telephone messaging machine. He left me a message, I called him back.

Still I wanted to meet him. Sit down. Have a talk. Didn’t happen. But for a brief moment he knew my face.

Still, when I finished up my last talk, I went looking for him. I found him running a game show in one of the lounges with 30-40 people sitting around him.

He acknowledged me and I sat and waited to the game was over – 30+ minutes.

He wound down a bit and I went up to see him. Shook his hand, gave him a quick run down of what I did, how my talks went, how many showed up – that sort of thing. That’s when I learned to my relief that the lack of attendance in my second talk was not my fault or the topic’s fault. It was the time slot.

But my aim to meet him was to give a quick run down and to say, “Thank you for the opportunity to be a a part of the ship and to share with the cruisers.” That’s it.

A little bit of small talk and we both went our ways, never seeing each other again.

Still, I came to the ship. Connected with him – after all I ‘worked’ for him. Gave the ship my best. And connected him one last time to say thanks.

Point – no point this time. Just saying thanks.

ByBill Belew

Diary of a Whimpy Kid, um, Cruise Ship Speaker – Making Friends at Dinner and Elsewhere

Continuing on in my log on how to become a cruise ship speaker.

I am generally not a sociable person. I don’t not like people. I am just not as outgoing as I used to be.

Cruise Ship Speaker - Belew

Cruise Ship Speaker – Belew

Still, Rick told me that it makes sense to be friendly, strike up conversations, meet new people. So, I tried.

Since I traveled alone this go round I decided to sit at the table where you didn’t know who was going to sit with you. The meet new people table or something like that.

Other people looking for others to chat up or just chill with show up.

It was a good thing I did.

Half of the people who showed up at my second talk were people I had eaten with. One big reason was there we so few people at the second talk. I was really disappointed.

The first time was a full house. I was expecting everyone to come back, tell their friends and bring some of them as well for an even bigger crowd.

Didn’t happen.

Later the cruise activity director told me why. It was the time slot. The first time I spoke was at 2 pm. The second time was 4 pm. He apologized. He said, people just don’t turn out at that time. Still I had more than a dozen people. But not like the first time with nearly 50 people or so.

And of the dozen, half were people I had met at dinner. And they came back for the remaining talks as well.

Point: Be friendly outside of your talks. The people you meet might be all that show up.

ByBill Belew

Diary of a Whimpy Kid, um, Cruise Ship Speaker – The First Talk – Part 2

Continuing on in my log on how to become a cruise ship speaker.

I don’t usually get nervous before I talk. But I did this time. Not antsy or anxious. But with high anticipation. The ship is full of young people. Lots and lots of families. I couldn’t be sure who was going to show up. People my parents age. People my age. People with teenagers. College kids. Teenagers. All of them. None of them.

Cruise Ship Speaker - Belew

Cruise Ship Speaker – Belew

Would there be the 2 people I met at dinner who promised to come? (They didn’t.) Or others? Or nobody?

Not to be disappointed people starting showing up early.

“You here for the talk or to get drunk?” I asked.

“Not sure yet. I will let you know.”

More people. Then more.

“Yay!” I shouted to myself.

Then more.

I gave late-comers a 2-minute grace period and then started right off.

Nearly all the seats were taken by 5-8 minutes into my talk.

Then the aisle behind the seats started to fill up as people were wanting to get a head start to get into the show. They were quite noisy, so I stepped up the level of my voice a bit. It worked. I got their attention, too.

They were there to get in early to get good seats for the ice show. But I not only got their attention. I kept their attention.

On Social Media?!

Yeah, on Social Media.

What can be so interesting about social media that you can grab the attention of people on vacation?

Why would people interrupt their vacations to hear some old guy talk about something they really don’t know anything about? Why? How? Really?

Yeah, really. You should have been there.

“Wow. I wasn’t expecting that.”

“When is your next one?”

“How many more do lectures do you have?”

“Only two more? How come?!”

“You really are a teacher, aren’t you? I can tell.”

Point: Throw your heart out there and the rest of you will follow. No matter what it is you’re talking about. Or who you are talking to.