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Do you hold an MS, MBA, Ph.D. or some other degree? Maybe you do or maybe you don’t, but that’s not what truly matters, as a public speaker. What makes a difference is your experience or expertise in your chosen field. You can always indicate that you will obtain a particular degree by a specified date or point in time.
One of the reasons I mention this is because in my two (plus) decades of being a Corporate Communication & Speech Specialist, I’ve never once been asked about my degree—either what it is or what it entails. As part of conversation or coaching, where appropriate, I will mention that I have a master’s degree only if I feel the prospect or client has a need for which my degree is pertinent. By doing that, I believe I can shed light on a particular issue that is meaningful to that client. Otherwise, I rely solely on my experience to resolve what is important to my client.
This subject came up in a recent meeting I had with a prospective client. The client was considering delaying communication coaching until the client obtained a particular certification. While that is always an option, I believe it is unnecessary as long as the individual has a meaningful scope of knowledge upon which to draw.
Therefore, it is not warranted to hold off on getting coached as a public speaker until you have a degree or certification following your name. As I stated, most people aren’t interested in your technical degree, unless it’s a requirement for you to speak. Conversely, what is of interest is how you come across, how passionate you are about your subject, and how relevant it is to your anticipated audience. That means you want to invest your time in being genuine and credible.
Only you can decide what degree you want and when you’ll pursue it. However, please remember that a lack of a degree (for a public speaker) is not always what determines if you’re the best fit. Best fit is often assessed with experience that will benefit the audience. That is more worthwhile than having certain letters after your name.
If you’d like to discuss this further, please contact me at email@example.com or 518-664-6004.