TIPS FOR CLARITY, CONFIDENCE, AND EFFECTIVE SPEAKING
Over the past year, I’ve had the opportunity to be a speaker, presenter, podcast guest, as well as run workshops and small groups of my own. Perhaps even more valuably, I’ve had the opportunity to witness the brilliance of other effective speakers, presenters, and podcast guests.
If you’re looking to create more connection, gain more speaking and podcast guesting opportunities, and communicate with more confidence, this blog is for you!
For the purposes of this blog, I’ll stick to effective “speaking” as it relates to:
- Teaching in workshops and breakout sessions
- Giving presentations and keynotes
- Podcast guesting
- Podcast hosting
- Facilitating discussions and roundtables
- Being a part of a panel discussion
- Leading a small group program
- Creating video content
You may see how other things can tie into this as well! These are just the experiences I’m drawing from and talking about in writing this.
If getting visibility through speaking and podcast guesting is a goal for you in the coming year, NOW is the time to start thinking about it!
Not sure yet whether or not speaking and/or podcast guesting is for you?
Here are some reasons WHY you might consider it:
- Personal connection: When you’re speaking or delivering a verbal form of content, it gives people an opportunity to see you, hear your voice, read your body language (in many cases), and it can also be highly interactive! It brings you RIGHT there with people and creates a powerful and effective personal connection.
- Storytelling: I LOVE speaking and podcasting as a platform for storytelling. It can, admittedly be harder in short form (ie. social media), but even in blogs and sharing it with a listening or live audience just gives it a layer of depth that I think is hard to compete with. And, if you have visuals, facial expressions, re-enacted movements, etc. you can often bring those into the scene too!
- Visibility: Effective speaking and podcasting can help to increase your reach and visibility. You get the opportunity to go from 1:1 to reaching 1: many. These opportunities are often collaborative in nature and you get the benefit of collaborators sharing and promoting to their audiences/platform/communities as well.
- Credibility: Speaking is a great way to show your expertise, give you more credibility, and build your authority in your area of genius
5. Find your voice and refine your message: I find speaking and podcasting alike to help grow your confidence in what you’re sharing, how you want to be sharing it, and what you really most want to be saying. It also helps deepen your understanding of how people learn and receive what you’re sharing.
6. Content repurposing: Ok, I can’t help myself here! It’s what I do. I did a whole blog on repurposing podcasts and speaking engagements. But it’s a genuinely great way to give yourself a whole TON of content without needing to reinvent a single wheel.
I’m super passionate about this topic and the possibility of speaking and podcast guesting has not just to change someone else’s life but also YOURS. It’s a win-win-win!
If you’re asking yourself “How do I go about finding more opportunities to get speaking engagements and podcast guest opportunities?” You’ll want to listen to my episode of Content with Character on that very topic HERE. I also include a list of resources to get you started.
3 Effective Speaking Tips to Implement Right Away
Here are my three speaking tips I gleaned from all the various event formats, speaking opportunities, and watching other speakers this past year.
1) Storytelling is King.
I fell in love with quite a few of the speakers and podcasters I met over the past year as the beautiful human beings they are. Even if I didn’t like their content, or their message didn’t 100% land for me, or they weren’t super duper eloquent or dynamic, what I was always constantly drawn to was their stories. Stories brought me in every time. My friend Erin Ollila did a podcast episode on Strategic Storytelling on her Talk Copy to me Podcast with guest Emma Boshart which you can check out HERE.
To sum it up: MORE storytelling in our spoken and written content to create more connection, please!
2) Be Present.
There’s so much power and more effectiveness when a speaker / presenter/ podcast guest host/ etc. is PRESENT. There’s a noticeable difference when a speaker is simply worried about covering all their points and what they’re “supposed” to say or when they’re all up in their head trying to figure out if they’re saying it “right”. Nerves and anxiousness when we’re speaking are normal. Some people even claim to have an out-of-body experience. What I found in watching so many speakers over these past years is that the most dynamic, connecting, and magnetic speakers are the ones that are in the room and present with us. They bring the audience in and engage with them. They respond and react livetime to body language and happenings of the room.
Being present is a skill that comes with practice. It helps to remember that speaking (no matter the format) is really just a conversation. A dialogue.
Our presence is a gift to the people we’re sharing with. Be present.
3) Avoid Distracting your Audience!
Consider the experience whether you’re using slides, handouts, no slides, no handouts, and how people will move through it during the actual presentation. How can you keep them engaged vs. distracted with what you’re providing for tangible accompaniments?
Often I find when I’m giving a list, I like to let people know they don’t have to furiously scribble it all down, it’s in the handout, the slides, or the show notes. Don’t give people a reason to beeline it for their phones because you may lose them down the rabbit hole of replying to emails or Instagram messages.
Three Tips on Overcoming the Fear of Getting Started:
- Join a speaking organization! Ie. Toastmaster’s, Innovation Women, etc.
- “Embrace mistakes. Even experienced speakers make them! Instead of dwelling on errors, learn from them and move on.” (Kristena Hackett, a fellow Innovation Women member)
- Watch and learn from other experienced speakers. Pay attention to what they do well!
- Record yourself and review to look for areas you can improve!
“Personal discomfort getting up and speaking can be overshadowed by the great ideas, insights, and examples one can share for others – so in other words, “it’s not about you!” -Lori Richardson (fellow Innovation Women Member)
Remember, speaking and podcasting guesting are visibility opportunities and visibility is a two-way street.
It’s a gift to others when you show up and share with them AND it’s a gift when others collaborate with you and give you the platform and opportunity. When they share their audience and community with you, it takes trust that you will deliver on your end of the bargain.
- Show up prepared and with what they’ve asked you to do.
- Send thank you’s after an opportunity
- Help them share and promote!
This isn’t just another date in your calendar! Be yourself and come with a giver’s mindset ready to offer as much value as you hope to receive (and maybe even a little more!)
Content with Character Episode on Speaking and Podcast Guesting
She Built This Bonus Episode: 3 Powerful and Simple Speaking Tips
*Please note: This is an affiliate link and I do receive a small commission if you choose to purchase an Innovation Women membership