Continuing on in my log on how to become a cruise ship speaker.
I have interviewed a lot of people over the years. I have hired folk and let some go. Going into the interview to be a cruise ship speaker, I had complete confidence.
Mostly because from my experience people have no idea how to interview. That means I can usually take control and lead the interviewer to ask questions I want them to ask me. Not this time.
I was on the phone for 45 minutes with one agent. An hour or so with another. And an hour and half with yet another. We went over our cell phone minute allowance for the month. 8-(
“Why do you want to be a cruise ship speaker?”
“Tell me how you gained your expertise in your area?”
“Where have you spoken in the past? What size crowds? Topics? Response?”
“Can you do powerpoint?”
“When are you free? How flexible is your schedule?”
And and and … and I asked a lot of questions, too.
“Great. Mr. Belew. We will take our recommendation to our committee that decides and get back to you.”
” … ”
“Great. I will be waiting to hear from you.” = I will never hear from them.
A week later an email came. “Congratulations. Mr. Belew. We are happy to have you on our list of recommended speakers. Please keep in mind that the ship will make the ultimate decision. Please let us know which cruises you would like to be considered for and we will contact the ship on your behalf.”
Uh… more waiting. (I didn’t say this.) But I thought it pretty loudly.
“Where can I see a list of cruises that are looking for speakers?”
“We will send that to you, Mr. Belew. Congratulations again. Glad to have you on board.”
Point – The interview is not a done deal. Lots of waiting. Persistence is key. But still not enough. The ship will ultimately decide.
When on a cruise, the most important thing you are going to do is attend the lifeboat drill. It’s mandatory, yet many just show up and go through it with glazed eyes. The recent crash of the Costa Concordia off Italy should wake up people to the importance of the briefing. Without a life vest, you can tread for maybe an hour. That is, if you are lucky and in your heated pool back home. Try floating in 55 degree water. Heck even in the tropics, if the water Is a warm 88 degrees – your body is at 98.6 and the heat will be sucked out of you.
So – know where your life vest is. Practice putting it on. Learn how to connect all the buckles and straps. Notice where the light is (it will come on in contact with the water). Notice where the whistle is. If you are floating away from the ship, your voice will only carry a few yards. The whistle will extend your call over several hundred feet. And rehearse just where your “group” is to assemble. The life you save might be your own.
What does it take to become a cruise ship speaker? I already know what it takes to be a whimpy kid. I was a fat clarinet player in the marching band growing up. I was too small to play any sports.
But a cruise ship speaker? Give me 40 years of experience beyond high school and I think I can do the speaking thing … on a cruise ship. Or anywhere else for that matter.
As I write this I am on the 14th floor in the forward part of the Freedom of the Seas ship, courtesy Royal Caribbean Lines. I am reflecting on what it took to get here.
And maybe I can reiterate here some of the dos and don’ts and lessons learned along the way.
For this first post, however, I want to make just one point.
Cruise ship lines need speakers. If you have experience, an expertise, and aren’t afraid to speak in front of crowds or go through the effort to put 4-6 good powerpoint slide programs together, then you could speak on a cruise ship, too. And they’ll ask you to bring along your significant other, too!
I know this because … here I sit.