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Sunday, December 8, 2013

Do Authors Make Great Speakers?


Should you pursue a career in public speaking? It can be a lucrative opportunity to sell books, get paid for presentations, and to create a feeder for getting consulting clients. To determine if public speaking can play a key role in your career, first consider the following:

What makes you unique?
·         Is it your life story?
·         Did you develop a method or system to solve a problem?
·         Is it your professional experience?
·         Do you have a special presentation style?
·         Do you meet the needs of a specific demographic?

What kind of presentation do you give?
·         Do you use humor or are you very serious?
·         Do you tell stories?
·         Do you invite audience participation?
·         Do you offer steps one can take to improve?
·         Do you raise questions or deliver answers?
·         Do you incorporate video, sound effects, or handouts?
·         Do you entertain more than inform?
·         Do you address important issues, even taboo subjects?

Once you know what kind of speaker you are and develop your own voice and style, you can be in a better position to package yourself and sell your brand on the speaking circuit.

But how do you know if you should become a professional speaker -- or at least incorporate speaking into your bag of tricks? Ask yourself these questions and let your answers dictate your path:

1.      Do people find me interesting?
2.      Do I tell good stories?
3.      Do I have useful advice?
4.      Am I different from others who talk about what I talk about?
5.      Do I talk about what others don’t discuss?
6.      Do I have a unique background that positions me to be qualified to talk about the things I have to share?
7.      Do I have a chance to shape one’s life or career with what I say?
8.      Do I speak on a subject people are willing to pay for?
9.      Do I speak well: voice, accent, command of the language, enunciation?
10.  Do I present a visual element to support my works?

What really is a good indication you’ll be a strong speaker? Is it your level of confidence that plays a factor? Is it your story-telling ability or jovial ways amongst friends that serve as a strong indicator of oral success? Is it an ability you are born with or one you work hard at perfecting?

As an audience member, we may not even be aware of why we are drawn to certain speakers, repelled by others. Certainly, some factors are at play, including, but not limited to these factors:

1.      Bottom-line -- are you boring or interesting?
2.      Do you make me feel better about myself?
3.      Do you show me possibilities and inspire?
4.      Do you share useful information?
5.      Do you speak new ideas?
6.      Do you reveal stories, based on your position, experience, and research that I couldn’t otherwise obtain?
7.      Is your voice commanding, soothing, or at least pleasant?
8.      Are you physically attractive?
9.      Do you remind us of someone we like?
10.  Do you speak long enough for impact, short enough to avoid drowsiness?

No doubt if you want to network with speakers or become one -- or learn how to be a better presenter -- check out the National Speakers Association at www.nsaspeaker.org.

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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer, Media Connect, the nation’s largest book promoter. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2013

2 comments:

  1. Many authors seem to flow into public speaking and I admit to giving it some thought. Thanks for laying it out and adding issues I hadn't considered.

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