When you are a mentor

As a mentor, you have the opportunity to share your wisdom, knowledge, and experience with a fellow speaker who wants to learn, grow, and achieve. Most new members join the bureau because they have needs that relate to pro speaking speaking. It’s vitally important to most new members that they solve their problems and meet their pro speaking-related needs.

When you are booked to speak at the bureau, you can choose one of our Qualified Speakers for mentoring: http://www.fdspeakersbureau.com/speakers/. If you are a Qualified Speaker, you will be approached for mentoring by our emerging speakers. Below is what is expected from the Mentor/Mentor relationship:

Responsibilities When Mentoring a New Member
1. Sit with the new member. Explain the various parts of the meeting, such as Educational Talk, Qualifying Speeches, and Evaluations. Answer any questions the mentee may have.
2. Orient the new member to bureau customs and procedures. Help the mentee become comfortable and a part of the bureau in any way you can.
3. Explain how to sign up. Ask the Bureau Chair to schedule the mentee’s Qualifying Speech as soon as possible then encourage the
mentee to keep a regular attendance to bureau meetings.
4. Help with the Qualifying Speech. Many experienced speakers still consider their Qualifying Speech to be an intimidating experience. This is
because Qualifying Speeches are very carefully reviewed and evaluated. Discuss speech ideas with the mentee and offer suggestions for organizing if necessary. Listen to the mentee practice the speech and offer feedback.

Responsibilities When Mentoring Experienced Members
If you are mentoring a more experienced member, your responsibilities will differ depending on what your mentee wants to learn – for example, your mentee may want to develop certain leadership skills or learn how to use humor in speaking.

Whatever skill the mentee wants to learn, you can help by:

  • Providing your own insights on, and experiences with, the subject;
  • Observing, listening, and providing feedback on the mentee’s efforts;
  • Referring the mentee to books, tapes, or other materials on the subject which you have found helpful; and/or
  • Introducing the mentee to other people who may be able to help, too.

More Mentoring Tips
When working with your mentee, remember that your function is to help the mentee learn to think and act successfully and independently. Don’t tell the mentee what to do or do the mentee’s work yourself. Simply guide and offer feedback.

Keep in mind, too, that for the mentor/mentee relationship to be successful, you must be…

  • Available. You must have time to spend with a member to help with speeches and answer questions. New members may require additional time.
  • Patient. People learn at varying speeds, and some need more guidance than others.
  • Sensitive. Tact and diplomacy are vital. Be careful to say and do things that will motivate and encourage the mentee. Be loyal and take care not to betray the mentee’s confidences.
  • Respectful. Everyone is different. Respect the differences between yourself, the mentee, and others.
  • Flexible. You must adapt and adjust to various situations and accept that the mentee may make decisions with which you may not agree.
  • Supportive of the bureau. You must be proud of the bureau and what it has done, and can do for members.
  • Knowledgeable. Before you can help someone else, you must be familiar with the bureau and its operations. You should have enough speaking skills yourself to be of help to your mentee.
  • Confident. You should be self-assured and friendly.
  • A good listener. Often simply listening, without taking on the other person’s problem, can be of great help to the mentee.
    Just by listening you can enable the protégé to articulate the problem and sort things out.
  • Concerned about others. You must care about your mentee and truly want to help

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