Tuesday, April 24, 2012

You Would Not Give "Poop" As A Gift!

You want to speak at business events?  Many have a desire to speak, but have no idea where to get started.    Speaking at industry events can be a great ways to promote your business, and those who speak are often seen as the expert.

But just saying you are a speaker is not enough.  Networking can only go so far.  Blogging is not the same as speaking.  The reality is that speakers speak. To be a speaker you must be in front of people.  When you do this well, other groups will invite you to speak to them.  Often these early talks are "free", but their is a whole world of opportunities for those who want to get paid to speak.

There is a whole "Speaking Industry" made up of those who earn a living from presenting.  The business of speaking is unlike most professions.  There is no "one way" to become a professional speaker, and no two speakers are exactly the same.  Where I may be the right fit for one company or association, someone else is what another group needs on their stage.

The hard part to quantify is "skill".  Judging ability is left up to the subjective nature of other human beings and their feelings.  Perception is reality. To show skills as a marksman one need to his the bulls-eye repetitively.  However, to be a great speaker means people's opinions of the talk is the bulls-eye.  The mind is a moving target and it is not as clear cut to know if you hit the spot.  Plus the make up of every audience is different and most people are so conditioned to mediocre presentations, that they do not expect anything better.

To improve as a public speaker you must make "Presentation Skills" a priority.  Most who choose to wing it are destine to be those speakers that audiences find blah (and that seems to happen a lot).  Few who are really good at presenting to audiences got that way by natural ability alone.  It takes practice and preparation.  Speakers speak.

A speaker is not a commodity product.  When selecting a band to play at an event most event organizers would never just choose someone without vetting their abilities in front of an audience and without getting feedback from people who have heard their music.  However, speakers are often chosen because they are smart or have done something cool, without regard to their experience speaking.  "We just want content" is a lazy answer, as this mindset leads to lots of mediocre presentations at events.  (Content is important, but should not stand alone).

A friend recently attended a real estate industry event where several local executives participated in panel discussions.  He was shocked that these successful brokers from companies were all horrible communicators from the stage.  He could not figure out why these people were asked to present in the first place.  But it happens all the time.

Anyone can become a better speaker if the make it a priority.  It does not matter if your personality is more introverted or extroverted.  All that matters is that you understand where you are coming from and where you want to go.  When you understand that speaking is about the audience, not yourself, then you will want to deliver better talks.  They call it "giving a speech" because it is a gift to those listening.  Nobody would bring a piece of dog poop crap as a gift to someone they care about....  But that is what an unprepared speech is for an audience.

Have A Great Day.

thom singer

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