I had the best time, yesterday! I gave the last lecture in a series presented at the University of Texas, Austin called “Wolf to Dog.” The series was comprised of the following topics:
- The Nature of Wolves & Dogs
- The Nature of Wolf Evolution
- The Nature of Wolf Transformation to Dog
- The Nature of Ice Age Human Hunters
- The Nature of Hunter & Scavenger
- Discussion with a Dog Behavior Consultant
I’m the Dog Behavior Consultant! We did actual case studies, using the attendees’ animals. We resolved simple problems such as the cat who wants the owner to scratch her ears and lift her onto the eating table; the Shih Tzu who jumps on people at the door, and runs away when called. It’s always great fun to use operant learning in order to change yourself and others – owners always think it’s about animal! The lady with the cat mentioned that this cat is not as smart as her other cat. I had to ask her which cat was really smarter – which cat is getting his ears scratched and being lifted onto the food table?
While resolving these problems, I was able to weave in basic information on dog behavior and learning principles. A good time was had by all! Although I don’t do much consulting anymore, I do enjoy these types of presentations, because they’re fun and you are able to help both people and dogs.
However, as a behavior consultant, don’t overestimate the good that reaching out to your community can do for your business. A presentation such as this reaches an affluent, well educated focus group – just the clientele we’re looking for. And, if they learn from your presentation and are impressed with your style and ability, they’ll spread the word.
Think about your market niche, find community groups that serve that niche and offer to do a presentation. These groups are often looking for speakers, so should welcome you with open arms!
If you do not feel comfortable speaking in front of an audience, consider joining a group such as Toastmasters. Toastmasters is a non-profit group which specializes in public speaking. They have many groups around the country – some are very business-like, while others are into having a good time – you should be able to find a group that suits your needs.