For many product or brand managers, agency C-suite executives, and small business owners, public speaking is a notch on the "Advancing the Brand" belt of objectives. And for good reason.

Whether used to promote a company report or in-house expertise, or simply to engender brand awareness, public speaking is a powerful—and often economical and organic—way to get your message to key influencers and decision-makers.

So, why do so many speakers sabotage their own results or only weakly pursue their objectives? Perhaps because of a lack of understanding of the organizational and marketing side of public speaking? If so, let's work on that.

Public Speaking's Cost of Entry

Many active and emerging speakers have a grasp of the "gimme" requirements for being featured in a webinar or group panel. Criteria such as the following are the cost of entry:

  • Possess expertise in and demonstrated knowledge of a category or subject.
  • Have a pleasant speaking voice well suited for groups and large venues.
  • Consistently use good grammar and diction (orally and in written materials).
  • Study human behavior; know how to read audience silence and reactions.
  • Possess quick-thinking skills and the ability to shift or skip ahead in content if necessary.
  • Escort your audience along the path to understanding via your storytelling abilities.

Bonus: Entertain the audience (be clever, with a light touch of humor), and effectively apply the art of self-deprecation as an ice-breaker tactic.

Three Habits of Successful Speakers

Of course, great public speaking involves taking other, less glamorous (or maybe less obvious) and often neglected, steps.

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Heather Rast is a writer, digital marketer, and project pro. She is also senior content manager for MarketingProfs University.

LinkedIn: Heather Rast