Erik has always felt comfortable speaking in public and actually enjoys it…we know, shocking!
But his point in being there is not just to have an enjoyable time speaking in front of people. There are people there to learn from you and what you’ve done. Erik used to talk about whatever topic he was told to talk about even if he didn’t actually sell those conversations. He realized after years of doing this that if he’s not pitching his services in these talks, then he’s losing a great opportunity.
There are ways to provide value while also extracting value. No matter what he’s asked to talk about, there has to be a tie-in and if there’s not, this may not be the right opportunity. If you’re going to take your time, energy, and probably money, then you really need to have an ask as part of your talk.