My journey as a public speaker may soon take to the high seas — literally and figuratively. Rarely does a week pass that I’m not engaged to speak. Venues vary in size and scope but probably my largest audience was 19,000 plus, at the Ottawa Senators’ home game when I introduced Sandrine’s Gift of Life — the organ donation charity I founded in memory of my daughter, Sandrine.
Last year, I conducted a series of training sessions for one of the world’s largest cruise lines and delivered numerous speeches during the course. Although I’ve enjoyed cruising vacations, this was my first professional undertaking with the cruise industry. It was a fascinating introduction and the entire program took place at the corporate headquarters — not “on-board.”
This taste of the industry has piqued my interest; so I’m now anticipating the next phase — as a guest speaker on an actual cruise. I think of it as a departure from my usual stomping grounds — from boardroom to on-board. The intention is to get both a better perspective of cruise staff training needs and passenger behaviour, to ultimately develop some timely protocols for both groups. Although a guest speaker’s responsibility is “to speak”, the social aspect is equally as important. Hosting a table at dinner, being available to discuss informally the finer points of your speech, and being sociable, friendly and approachable are all part of the job.
Fun and glamorous? Perhaps. What most aspiring cruise guest speakers may not realize is that the remuneration is the cruise itself, and not, I might add, first class or a stateroom with balcony. Most guest speakers, unless they are true celebrities, are assigned an inside cabin on a low deck. Nevertheless, I’m getting ready, thinking about some new luggage and preparing myself for un bon voyage!
Subscribe to our FREE monthly newsletter