It's not for everyone, though.
To succeed, says Rast, you must possess the following qualities:
- A demonstrated expertise in a topic or category
- A pleasant speaking voice and consistently good grammar
- A personable presence and a sense of humor
- A commitment to polished, professional presentations
- An ability to read a crowd's interest and make adjustments mid-speech
So how do you get started and maintain momentum? Rast has this advice:
- Publicize your availability. Add a media-rich speaking page to your website, and include relevant contact details in social media profiles. "Surprisingly, many people who are receptive to the idea of speaking don't convey that in the two primary venues where events people prowl for talent," she notes.
- Request feedback and recommendations. Use critical comments to improve future presentations. And ask event coordinators if they'll endorse you at LinkedIn or SpeakerMix.
- Share your content. Unless your speaker agreement prohibits repurposed material, use slides from your deck in other venues—at your blog, for instance.
The Po!nt: Public speaking raises your company's profile, lends you personal credibility, and might just generate new business.
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