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BLOGThe Speaker/Author Thought Leadership Test

by Randall CraigFiled in: Make It Happen Tipsheet, Blog, Career Planning, Thought Leadership, TrustTagged as: , ,

One of the more important mechanisms to determine the strength of a person’s thought leadership is the speaker/author test.

The Speaker/Author Thought Leadership Test

While it is true that writing and speaking are both individual skills, this test isn’t really a question of evaluating those skills. After all, sadly, “everyone” writes and speaks.

The value of the test comes from two separate sources:

1) Third-party validation: To get a book published by a traditional publisher, the author likely has an agent. This agent will have done significant due diligence before agreeing to take on the author as a client. Then, an acquisition editor will do the same thing, going through a detailed process before agreeing to publish the book. And then once published, reviewers will also opine, as will book retailers, and eventually, individual book purchasers. While this isn’t exactly the same with self-published books, any book is a window into how a particular thought leader thinks.

The same is true for paid professional speakers. putting aside celebrity speakers and “pure motivational” speakers, there is a similar vetting process that exists, ranging from speakers bureaus to selection committees. If the speaker doesn’t measure up, then they won’t be hired.

2) Research: What most people don’t understand is the significant amount of work required to either write a book or deliver a presentation as a professional speaker. The more books and speeches a person has delivered, the more research has been undertaken.

Of course, not all professional speakers and book authors are thought leaders, but their work-product is open to everyone for inspection and evaluation.


While becoming a paid professional speaker or writing a book may not be in everyone’s future, writing a blog or a white paper is a far lesser investment, yet with similar benefits. This week, consider how writing a blog might fit into your schedule, and then write your first blog post. And if you already have a blog, consider how you might move it to video.

Related Post: Take the next Thought Leadership Test: The Social Follower Thought Leadership Test

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