Have Passion. Have a plan.
There are only two types of speakers in the world. 1. The nervous and 2. Liars. –Mark Twain
Did you know that public speaking is often polled as American’s number-one fear? It routinely ranks before death, loneliness, heights, going to the doctor, dogs, dogs wearing sweaters, cats, cats wearing sweaters, etc.
I remember my first “real” speaking opportunity, that is, outside of a sixth grade version of Cinderella (where I of course played the evil stepmother) and recitations of songs for Spanish class. I was a sophomore in college, taking the appropriately titled “Oral Communications” class.
On the first day of class we had to stand up, and were given a topic by one of our peers to present a one-minute improvisational talk.
Now, I’m a huge Boston Red Sox fan, which was a fact that was well known to a few members of my class. It was 2005, shortly after Red Sox darling Johnny Damon was traded to the Yankees and shaved his signature beard (traitor), and I was given the improv topic of, if I ran into Johnny Damon on the street, what would I say?
You know what I learned during that one-minute impassioned rant (that went by entirely too quickly, with no stumbles or nervous ticks)? You can get past any fear if your passion for your subject matter is genuine.
Why do speaking opportunities?
We often provide our clients with speaking opportunities to tell their story directly to the people they want to influence. Our speech writing and coaching skills help them make the most of these opportunities. Each has his or her own speaking style, public speaking faults and strengths, but all also have at least one thing in common: enthusiasm for their business and industry.
You can get past any fear if your passion for your subject matter is genuine.
It’s my job to line-up speaking opportunities for clients that are full of captive, engaged audiences. If the audience also has buying power and decision-making capabilities, well, then we’re really talking.
To find these opportunities, you first have to put together plan, and the plan starts with a speaker package. Much like a media kit or one-sheeter, this package gives your speaker credibility and gets you in the door.
The package should include:
- A list of expert topics
- Topics of prepared presentations, including abstracts and catchy titles
- Video demos of previous speaking engagements (these should also be available on YouTube)
- Lists of companies/organizations the speaker has spoken at in the past
- Testimonials/evaluations from past events at which the speaker has spoken