Monday, January 14, 2008

5 Simple Tips To Get You Public Speaking Immediately

So you wanna speak eh? You’re just starting out and don’t know how to get your foot in the door? Well the following 5 tips will get you out there and in the public eye immediately. While these jobs may not pay the big bucks – if you’ve got a killer presentation, getting out there like this will ensure you get noticed and get more bookings which can lead wherever you like.

1. Rotary

The Low Down: There are probably about a dozen Rotary, Lions, Probus or other similar service clubs within 15 minutes driving time of you meeting each week worldwide. Most of these clubs are crying out for interesting speakers at each and every meeting. You’ll typically get about 15 – 20 minutes with about 5 minutes for question time at the end.

The How’s and Where’s: Got to your local Rotary website, start here: and search from there.

The Thing to Remember: I’ve always found I have to slow down my speaking at service clubs due to a percentage of the members not being… shall we say Gen Y like myself. This is a great learning experience and has actually dramatically improved my speaking.

The Bonus: Hook up with a Rotary club to speak while travelling and you’ll instantly be able to say to future clients that you’ve recently arrived back from speaking in… Brazil (or wherever you’ve travelled). Glamour plus!

2. Schools

The Low Down: I have found in my many speaking experiences that kids are painfully honest. While this can be bone shatteringly brutal at times, if you can wow a room full of high school age kids you can speak almost anywhere.

The How’s and Where’s: Write to your local schools, include a profile and tell them why you should be allowed in to corrupt, er, shape young minds.

The Thing to Remember: Get kids to remember you by setting up a myspace page that they can log into and join as your “friend”.

The Bonus: If you really crack a kid audience, they’ll go home and tell their parents and voila – more work!

3. 5 x 5

The Low Down: If you have 25 friends you can do this. Ok, that scared a lot of you, if you have 5 patient friends you can do this. Set up a regular time each week for 5 weeks and give a 20 minute presentation to 5 of your friends. Then sit down with them for 20 minutes (yes a whole 20 minutes afterwards) and drill them for feedback. Each week a different presentation, and different (hopefully improved) feedback.

The How’s and Where’s: Bring coffee and doughnuts and be well prepared - don’t waste your friend’s time.

The Thing to Remember: Pick friends who won’t just tell you that the sun shines out of your… microphone. You want honesty. Get the friend who tells someone when their bum looks big in the mirror!

The Bonus: With only one week to prepare a new speech you’re under the pump – use this to your advantage and don’t cancel for any reason even if there’s only one person in the room!

4. Be Industrious

The Low Down: If your industry has a convention, local, national, whatever, start volunteering to play a part in it. Introduce one of the keynote speakers, provide an update on a new technology or do as I did and offer to do a keynote at a convention of over 1,000 real estate agents before you’ve ever done a big speaking job. (You never know they just might say yes!)

The How’s and Where’s: Your local industry group is the best place to start, as is attending a conference first (so you can get your bearings).

The Thing to Remember: Your peers will be one of the more terrifying audiences you will ever speak in front of. Rock this crowd and you’ll be a legend, fall on your face and you’ll never live it down.

The Bonus: Speaking is a great way to become known as an expert in your field. Being an expert naturally leads to more business.

5. Shmaltz, Lives and Videotape

The Low Down: Before you attempt any of tips 1 – 4 videotape yourself giving an entire presentation.

The How’s and Where’s: Even many digital still cameras these days have a video function so you’ll be able to borrow a camera.

The Thing to Remember: Regardless of the fact that there’s no audience do NOT stop for anything. Pretend you’re on stage and kick through it, regardless of how badly you miff your opening line.

The Bonus: In 5 years time when you’re an old hand at this you’ll have some hilarious videos to watch with a cocktail in hand!

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