Sandra Schrift, personal success and business coach to emerging and experienced speakers shares 5 tips on how to become an expert at speaking.
Become an Expert at Speaking
by Sandra Schrift
Does anybody really have anything new to say? There is no end to the number of people who enjoy bringing their expertise to the platform. There will always be an audience who will want to hear your good ideas communicated uncommonly well in an uncommon way. Your challenge as a speaker is to figure out how to do that.
Here are some starter tips on how to become an expert at speaking:
- Study the best. Choose a topic that you love to speak on and that others need to hear about. Then listen to those who are either most successful in that area, most gifted, or both. Some speakers who get paid very well for their information may not necessarily have outstanding delivery styles. Content is always king, but all speakers should deliver their talk with eloquence. I tell my professional speaker clients that they will be hired for their content, but paid for their delivery!
- Listen to tapes, videos, DVD’s – and attend lectures when possible. Expose yourself to as many speakers and styles as you can. You can learn from everyone, the good and the bad. Listen with an ear that helps you to know what you like best about the speaker’s presentation and what you like least. How can you use this to make you better at the platform.
- Practice for Free. Don’t charge for your first speech. There are many service and business networking clubs looking for speakers every week. Check the clubs in your area (ex: Rotary, Lions, Leads, Chamber of Commerce, church groups) and contact the program chairs to speak to their groups. Speaking often is critical to your development as a sought after speaker. I encourage my clients to speak for free often as they are building their speaking careers. The audience will tell you what your best material is and this will help you hone your skills so that you can eventually be a paid speaker with groups that have budgets.
- Get feedback. Interview clients and friends who can provide you with input about the value of your topic(s) as well as your content and delivery style. After you speak to a group, verbally get some feedback from a few attendees. You can do this with a phone call or email. Better yet, provide your audience with an evaluation form. I always encourage my clients to do this and include a line that says: “Do you know of any other groups who would benefit from this program?” “If so, may I call you to get that information?” Be sure to include a line that requires their name and phone number.
- Get good, and then get better. Even the best, at the top of their game, keep working at doing it better, doing it differently, keeping their material current and interesting. There is always room for improvement. Don’t rest on your commercial success alone. Always be present for “breakthroughs.” You never know when the next one is around the corner. How do you get better? Hire a speaker coach, like me ,and get out there and speak, speak, speak!
Find out how to take your speaking to the next level by purchasing one of our programs. PDF handouts and twenty minutes of coaching with Sandra are included with several products.
“Written by Coach Sandra Schrift – a career telecoach to emerging and experienced speakers who want to get to the next level in their profession. Visit her on the web at: http://www.schrift.com to learn more about her Speakers University teleclasses. And, be sure to sign up for her great newsletter – Monday Morning Mindfulness!” Phone: 619-688-9467 or email Sandra@schrift.com.