Thursday, January 05, 2006

Defining Moments

Geoff and I have been talking about our first (test) teleseminar. I want to get some experience with the medium and the format. And there's no sense in waiting the months it will take for the book to be released to start making Geoff's expertise available to the people who can use it.

Our first teleseminar will be as much practice for us as anything else. But that doesn't mean it won't contain useful information. We intend to record it and make the audio file of the teleseminar freely available as a downloadable MP3 file, while we play with the presentation and start building awareness of what Geoff has to say.

Since Geoff is an "R" Hunt Seat Equitation judge, he thought that a seminar explaining what judges look for in the showring would be useful. I agree.

Too often, people approach an event from a limited perspective without realizing what things the person or persons evaluating them are looking for. I almost always find this to be true when speaking to writers who are just beginning their writing career. Instead of asking what editors or publishers need, they think only of getting their words into print. More often than not, such a limited view actually keeps them from achieving their goals.

The same sort of problem is common in the horse show world. Many riders (and too many instructors) set their sights on riding in a particular class or division without ever considering how the judge will see their performance.

Settling on the topic was relatively easy. Now what we must do is narrowly define our presentation. I've suggested coming up with a list of either 7 or 10 things to illustrate whatever topic we decide upon. Timewise, those numbers lend themselves well to an hour of discussion. From a marketing point of view, they also work well ("7 Deadly Sins..." "7 Secrets of..." "Top 10...").

Some of the narrowly defined topic ideas that I've come up with for a 1 hour teleseminar on Judging Hunt Seat Equitation are:

* Common Hunt Seat Equitation problems. How to identify them and eliminate them from your riding. Possible titles:
"Seven Deadly Sins of Hunt Seat Equitation (and how to avoid them)"
"Top 10 Hunt Seat Equitation Faults (and how to correct them)"

* Demystifying the judging process. How to know what the judge is looking for and evaluating. Possible titles:
"You Be the Judge: Seven Simple Steps to Evaluating Your Own Hunt Seat Equitation Skills"
"The Judge's Card: Top 10 Secrets to a Winning Round"
"The Unbeatable Ride: What the Hunt Seat Equitation Judge is Dying to See"

* Tips for improving Equitation over fences. Improve accuracy, consistency or presentation. Possible titles:
"Seven Secrets of Fault-Free Fences"
"On Course: Top Ten Tips for Hunt Seat Equitation Success"

What I find fascinating is that though they're all really just variations on a theme, each would yield a very different hour of conversation. We haven't decided on a particular approach yet. Any preferences?