“Speech is power: speech is to persuade, to convert, to compel.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson
While speaking in public may not be a fate worse than death, some people believe it is. Standing in front of a group of people and speaking on a topic can frighten some people.
Public speaking is a great asset
As someone who has been speaking to audiences for over 20 years (yes, I started when I was a teenager – some would say I have never stopped!), I can assure you that public speaking is not something to fear. There are three reasons to make public speaking a key part of your business.
1. You are perceived as an expert – If you speak on a topic in front of an audience, you gain instant credibility. You are the person sharing your experience and expertise. You control the room and the conversation.
2. You can build your platform – A platform used to be something to stand on so you were heard. As Michael Hyatt has eloquently explained in his best-selling book “Platform” (affiliate link), your platform is now how you distinguish yourself in a noisy and cluttered world. Speaking is a strong plank of any platform.
3. You can create a new income stream – This may take several years and many presentations, but you can make good money speaking on a topic you love. More on that in just a moment.
How can you make your speaking happen?
I highly recommend two opportunities for you to improve your speaking opportunities. One program helps you become a better speaker. The other program helps you create a business from speaking. I am part of both opportunities, and I cannot recommend these programs more highly.
- Toastmasters International – Toastmasters is the world’s leading organization designed to improve speaking and communication skills. Members have the opportunity to deliver prepared speeches and receive helpful evaluations. Toastmasters meetings also include opportunities to speak “off the cuff” for 1–2 minutes on a spontaneous topic and to learn about how to reduce filler words like “um” and “ah”. I have been a member of Toastmasters since 1998, and it has made a great difference in my career. If you live in the Quad Cities, the Quad Cities Executive Toastmasters Club is holding a membership drive in September.
- Speak it Forward Boot Camp (affiliate link) – Toastmasters can help you improve your speaking skills. Kent Julian’s Speak It Forward Boot Camp can help you build a speaking business. I attended this event in 2011, and I learned a great deal about expanding my reach and building a marketing plan for my business. I believe so strongly in this event that I’ll throw in three special offers if you sign up with the attached affiliate link. First, I’ll treat you to lunch at Five Guys Burgers on the first day of the conference. Second, I will give you the opportunity to be a guest on my Making Business Happen podcast or submit a guest blog post on the subject of your choosing. I only ask that the post or podcast topic relates to my themes of productivity, business planning, information technology, or multiple streams of income. Finally, you will get a $25 discount on the September “Discover, Design, and Deliver” webinar series my friend Dave Wellman and I are hosting in mid-September.
Public speaking should not be a fear. It is a great chance to demonstrate how you are an expert and add value to others. Take advantage of these two opportunities to build your speaking skills as a key part of your platform.
How can speaking take your business to the next level? Share your thoughts in the comments below!