My soapbox this week is all about the honor that we get when we have a conversation. I’m positioning the idea so that it will stick in my mind. When we sit down to have a conversation (not that we always sit) are we honoring the conversation and the other person? I’m pointing three fingers back at me, just so you know. As I sit here constantly air-checking (or now it should be called mic-checking) and things become a blur. There are times when I even throw it all away. You know what I mean? I going to say something like “good, good, good, good” and think, now go away so I can move on to the next thing.

Put it this way. Doing a radio show, podcast, or vidcast on a regular basis becomes machine-like. You have things to read, announcement to make, and commercials to play (hopefully). That’s the job. You are supposed to take one message from someone and put it into someone else’s brain and make it come alive there. There in THAT spot.

To the point, my passion play here is about the idea that someone has given you their time. When they turn on the radio to listen to you, or download a podcast, or stream up your video, they have said “here have my time.” What are you going to do with it? “What will can do with my time” is the unspoken question coming back to you.

As you sit down to have a conversation with someone, your wife, son, or whoever do you not look them in the eye? Do you say the same thing that you said to the last person except with no emotion? Do you approach it as a duty? You know, “I just want to get through this conversation and on to the next one.”

You’ve had this feeling from the listener perspective. You’ve been in that conversation where someone is looking you in the eye, right across from you, and you can tell they are ready to move on—disconnected. Pastors are my favorite to pick on. They have 15 or 20 conversations after church on Sunday. If you’re in the middle of the pack, you can definitely get that feeling from time-to-time.

Our professional life is full of distraction, much of which is personal and/or social in nature (Facebook for example). The entire soapbox today is that you will do much better in developing fans, Neilson calls them partisans, if you honor the conversation, the person, and acknowledge the pleasure that we get when somebody gives us their time. If you approach your on-mic performance as if you are sitting across the table from your listener… those things you “have to” do will become more effective for your success and career.