Want to break into the world of public speaking or to increase your exposure and become a sought-after speaker? These tips will show you how:
- Start small. You should not start by speaking in front of large audiences; increase your skills and comfort level by speaking to small, local groups as much as possible. As your confidence grows, you can expand your reach. Expect to speak for free until you have proven your value and expertise.
- Look for “crumbs.” As more experienced speakers become busy, their schedules often cannot accommodate all the event requests they receive. Build close relationships with one or two speakers who are a bit more experienced than you are. Ask them to mentor you, and watch them present so you can see what works and learn from their mistakes.
Let them know you are available to cover for them, and ask them if they would feel comfortable recommending you for assignments they cannot accept. You can repay the favor by running their resource table when they speak or by promoting their books and services when you speak in their place.
— Adapted from “Quick Tips for Beginning Speakers,” Rob Eagar, Wildfire Marketing, www.startawildfire.com.