By Charlotte L. Hanna CMO and Director of PMR / CMBS Global
One of the most powerful and profitable skills you can possess as an entrepreneur is the ability to speak to audiences. You may understand and realize that the potential benefits are huge – but you may also be wondering, “How do I know if I can speak publicly?” It’s a question that many of you are asking these days as the demand for interesting and informative event speakers continues to grow.
But, here are a few other questions you should also be asking when considering becoming a highly sought after, paid speaker in your market.
*Do you genuinely like people?
*Do you feel comfortable in crowds?
*Do you enjoy traveling?
*Do you know any good jokes?
*Do you know anything about lighting, sound systems, choreography/body language?
*Do you have a story?
*Do you know how to tailor and deliver your story to various audiences?
*Do you have any acting skills?
*Do you know the differences (if any) between a Keynote, Facilitator and Trainer?
*Do you have a pleasant sounding, strong voice?
Can you be perfectly honest and direct when it comes to answering that last question? It really should be the very first question, because for many listeners – it is the most important. A humorous and compelling story can help to make up for a speaker’s annoying tonal quality and an inviting and cheerful disposition can go a long way toward establishing rapport with an audience – but the sound of your voice can determine to what degree you will have to work to be an effective speaker. It is not necessarily an obstacle – there are ways to overcome a less than appealing voice – and it need not be the reason you give up on the dream of a speaking career, especially if you possess the passion. However, it does factor into how you approach speaking to an audience and how they may – or may not – receive you. For these reasons, it must be considered.
So, how did you score on the above questions? How many were you able to answer with an honest, “Yes!” – and how many generated a resounding, “No!”
What would you think if I told you that your answers don’t really matter? Because, they don’t. Not really. Only one answer really matters and that is your answer to the following:
“Do you passionately desire to be a sought after speaker whose message helps others and transforms lives?”
If your answer to this question is affirmative – then you can work on anything else you may be lacking to become a qualified, paid speaker for events related to your market.
Now that you know that you can speak to an audience if you truly want to, you might be surprised to know that you don’t have to wait for an invitation. If you already have an online presence (a website, blog, Facebook page, Twitter account, etc.) then you can begin speaking to audiences online with minimal effort.
Virtual Events can be a perfect jumping off point for the beginner. Appearing as a Guest Speaker on a Virtual Event hosted by a colleague or being interviewed for an online Radio Program can be an extremely effective form of P.R. for you and your business without the level of stress often experienced by those appearing ‘onstage – live and in person’ as a solo presenter.
Once you have a few online speaking engagements under your belt, why not consider hosting your own online event. Whether a Telesummit, Teleseminar, Webinar – or your own weekly Radio show – hosting online events can be an interesting, educational experience for both you and your listeners as you build your speaking career.
There is some planning and prep work required to host any online event, but if you don’t have a clue how to set it up properly or just don’t have the time to put into the effort – No Worries! A great virtual event planning team can help you make it a success with even less stress!
Of course, there is nothing quite as exhilarating as a live speaking engagement. Big or small, getting up front and personal with your audience is definitely a great way to build lasting relationships, generate repeat sales of products and services – and just plain FUN and enjoyable if you really love to speak. There is a process to securing live speaking gigs and it can take a little time to get that coveted invite, but the market and the opportunities for those who can teach – who can provide real substance and beneficial material to their audiences – continues to grow explosively. If you have knowledge that you are able to share in a creative, professional, thought-provoking manner and leave an audience wanting more – you will have no problem being a sought after speaker. The key lies in your ability to market yourself.
How do I know that you can speak to an audience? Because, you read this entire article. You obviously have a keen interest in being paid to speak to audiences – which means you must have at least some of the skills required and are willing to acquire those you do not already have. You know that you want to speak – I know that you can because you want to – so, what’s the real question?
If you are passionate about speaking, the real question is no longer, “How do I know that I can speak to an audience?” Most likely, the question you now have is, “How do I get started?” If you would like help finding your audience and beginning your speaking career – or if you want to revive your existing speaking career and need someone to manage it – We would love to help you! That’s our passion.