Wednesday, March 30, 2011

How to Start Your Speaking Career

Becoming an effective speaker is one of the most fascinating experiences you will encounter. It is a process that all starts with self-examination. It’s important to identify your goals and your areas of expertise. Identify the things that you enjoy talking about the most. You’ll notice topics that create enthusiasm when you speak about it. Other people will comment on your presentation and the value of your topic. Take time to seek their feedback so that you can increase the success of your presentation.

Many public speakers will talk about their experiences from working in a particular industry. Identify some key talking points that you want to specify during your presentation. You can focus your speech around your main talking points. Get out to different conferences and organizations to give your presentation. When you first start you want to gain visibility. People want to witness the delivery of one of your successful presentations. There are several steps that you can take to get started:
1. Create a website that highlights your skills
2. Give a workshop at a conference and let the participants know that you are a public speaker
3. Create a brochure that you can distribute and share by sending it as an email
4. Join Linkedin and other social networks
5. Create a list of topics that you can present
6. Send an e-mail to friends letting them know about your availability
7. Create several videos on YouTube
8. Join the National speaker Association
9. Speak at a community events.

There are a lot of public speaking professionals on social networks. You can join groups, read their articles and view their videos. There are many people who are willing to help. You can ask questions or respond to questions to obtain even more advice. Expect to put in a lot of hours when you are ready to get started. You should use every week as an opportunity to do something new to market your public speaking career. There are many forms of media that you can use to market your services. Start with your local community newsletter. They are always looking for articles about local people who are experts on a specific topic. You may also put a small advertisement concerning your services. Also, approach some of your local radio stations because they are always looking for guests.

Your destiny is in your hands. Do your best to spread the word about your speaking career. You never know when someone is looking for a speaker. You may want to start your own newsletter and mail it to a consistent group. The people who’ve signed up for your newsletter will regularly receive information about your expertise. You can find all kinds of information to write about in your newsletter and invite others to share their expertise too. The Constant Contact Company is a good newsletter resource. You can find their company on the internet.

If paid speaking opportunities don’t start right away don’t be discouraged. It’s all a part of the process that will shape you as you become an excellent speaker. Continue to research your topic and look for stories that you can tell when you’re speaking. The story that you tell for one speech may not fit with a different organization so make a list of stories. Each individual is the captain of their own success when giving a presentation.

Surround yourself with people who will encourage you to keep going. Too many people start down the pathway to public speaking and give up. It is natural to have some second thoughts about public speaking but don’t give up. Identify several mentors who can encourage you and offer their words of wisdom. They can help you to stay focused and uncover several topics that you can speak about. Mentors may also help you to identify individuals who are looking for speakers.

Now is the time to get started on your speaking career. Your career can be bright when you invest your time in motivating others to achieve their dreams. It starts with your commitment to speaking wherever you can. Enjoy the ride to on your way to a successful speaking career.

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Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Seven Habits of Motivational Speakers

There are important habits that help motivational speakers to excel and expand their speaking career. However, some speakers get focused on identifying speaking opportunities and they forget some of the basic speaking principals. So it is important for speakers to identify their public speaking goals. An organized speaker can increase their visibility and create more ways to be a distinguished speaker. Each speaker must be prepared to meet the unique needs of their audience. In order to have success as a motivational speaker there are seven habits that you must practice.

1. Research - Make sure to research the group that’s invited you to present. Ask them about a website or literature that they can send to you. Become very familiar with the organization.
2. Stories – Find ways to incorporate stories into your presentation. The people who are listening want to make a connection with you. Your stories will tell them that you are aware of their challenges. It will increase your audience’s interest in listening.
3. Practice – Always set aside time to practice the speech that you are giving. You can organize a small group to give you feedback on your presentation. You need feedback so that you can get better.
4. Passionate - It’s important to have a passion about the topic that you are presenting. People will feel how much you care about their challenges. They will know that you want them to benefit from a great speaking engagement.
5. Quotes – Using quotes can be an effective way to get the audience’s attention. There are hundreds of books and websites that offer quotes. Also consider coming up with some of your own.
6. Empathy – Demonstrate throughout your speech that you understand what your audience values. You should also exhibit greater empathy by talking to people in the organization and asking them about their biggest challenges.
7. Conclusion – Use your closing to tell them what you told them again. End on a high note by encouraging the audience. Tell them about your expectation and what they can accomplish.

In order to become a motivational speaker you must have a plan that you will follow. One effective way to enhance your skills is joining organizations like the National Speakers Association and Toast Masters. It’s always good to get feedback from others who have an interest in your success. Use these organizations to learn how to give an effective impromptu speech. You can also get better by listening to other speakers and witnessing how they engage their audience.

Most effective speakers have a very high motivation level. They’re inspired and they want their audience to benefit from their words of wisdom. They have a great thirst for the chance to encourage others who are new the speaking profession. The motivational speaker has learned the value of helping others to feel confident. You are able to see the audience’s reaction and identify points that will motivate your audience.
Getting into the habit of speaking whenever possible will help you to overcome your fears. Create opportunities where you can speak in front of large and small audiences. There are organizations that look for speakers. Many of them are right in the communities where speakers live. There may be a rotary club or chamber of commerce that invite speakers. Also many of the sororities and fraternities work with young people and they ask speakers to talk at their meetings.

You should become an inquisitive researcher. Read books, visit websites and also watch videos. You want to learn about a lot of the public speaking techniques that you’ve heard about. It will give you an opportunity to think about how you might incorporate certain techniques. I have found many books and e-books that are valuable too.

A motivational speaker is hungry to give their best to every audience. They are passionate about their topic. They dig deep to understand their audiences needs and desires. The time to become a motivational speaker starts today. Give your best presentation to every audience and they will leave wanting more.

Dr. Stephen Jones is owner of Dr. Stephen Jones and Associates. He is a keynote speaker, seminar presenter, consultant and author. You can contact him at or 610-842-3843.

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