Most ambitious people enjoy attending educational presentations where they can learn a new skill or be introduced to a concept or story that will help move them forward. Usually speakers are chosen because they have knowledge about a particular topic that the meeting organizer felt would be of value to the attendees. Because the speaker was chosen and people made the decision to attend the event, the person at the podium is automatically the expert. Did you know that everyone is an expert at something? I believe this to be true. Even people like me who have worked in many different industries in various positions have something they know a lot about. All one has to do is think about the common thread that has appeared everywhere. What is it that comes easy to you? What you think is simple to understand or do is probably a topic that alludes many. You might even think about what topic you often get asked to help others with or that people mention when you are together. Where do you often feel you are able to give advice easily. Trust me everyone has a message. It may not even be business related, it could be a personal challenge you overcame or a hobby that you have spent years mastering.
Personally, I don’t get to leave my office very much, but when I do, I try to attend live speaking events for my own personal development. I have seen some great speakers over the past 8 years that I have attended the MA Conference for Women in Boston and one of my goals is to someday speak there. With that goal in mind, the first thing I needed to do was start speaking at smaller venues to get my feet wet. First I started doing Google Hangouts and Conference/Training Calls. This was a great way to start crafting my message and get experience with that important part of the process. Since they were usually short, 30-45 minutes in length, the presentation got right to the point and stayed on topic. The other advantage to starting this way is that I could read my notes, because I was not standing in front of a live audience.
It was not long after I started doing these types of events I was asked to speak at a conference. My presentation was not as perfect as I wanted it to be, it was my first one! I was able to keep my audience engaged as they listened to a topic that I am passionate about and I inspired some of them to take my advice and use it in their businesses. I have gotten more interest in my coaching services since I spoke at that conference than I could of imagined and my presentation was not about the value of coaching.
If you set your sights on inspiring others or helping them solve a problem that they are struggling with, you can not go wrong. If your only intention for speaking is to get new clients you will ultimately be less successful. Remember you are the expert, use your power for good and your audience will follow you anywhere.