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Save time with these public speaking basics

If you aspire to get paid to speak, or you want to become better at public speaking to build your business, here are some tips to help you nail the basics of public speaking.

Getting started with some public speaking basics

As a Public Speaking and Storytelling coach I am often asked about getting started and the journey to becoming a better public speaker. 

You may be keen to take it a step further and include speaking as part of a portfolio career or at least a stream of income. Many people who get paid to speak are not only speakers, they are also a coach, mentor and/or trainer. 

What does it take to become a professional speaker?

Before you go and hit the pavement as a speaker, think about your intention. How can you  leverage speaking as a tool to help you grow your career or business, as well as your brand. What does it take to become a professional speaker?

Start by deciding what you are going to speak about.

One of the basics of public speaking  and often the hardest thing to pin down is the theme and topic that is going to form the premise of your message. 

Turning your dream into a purpose

You may have a dream to motivate and inspire others, perhaps you are keen to get in front of the camera to build your business or start a podcast. Before you go any further, be clear on your topic. 

Start by thinking about your Ikigai (japanese for reason for being). It’s the Japanese word for ‘a reason to live’ or ‘a reason to jump out of bed in the morning’.It’s the place where your needs, desires, ambitions, and satisfaction meet. Ikigai is well worth the read if you want some guidance on finding yours 

What gives you joy?

What is the topic that makes you feel joy and really excites you when you speak about it? It takes commitment and a lot of practice to become competent at speaking in public. You need to enjoy what you are speaking about, or it will quickly become dull.

What are you good at?

What is your area of expertise? Perhaps you can combine these skills and experience with another aspect of your life such as a hobby or way of living. For example, you may have studied architecture and be interested in all things design, and now you are interested in, and regularly undertake mindfulness. Perhaps you could combine the principles of design with mindfulness in some way. Think laterally. Find a topic that is centred around the essence of you and what will help you stand out. 

What does the world need?

What topic is useful to others. Do some market research to find out what topics are in demand right now? Find a topic that is needed in the community as well as one that you have credibility to speak about, and that you are also passionate about. When you are starting out as a speaker, it’s better to have one well crafted and refined talk on offer rather than a long menu of talks. 

What will the market pay for?

If there is a flood of leadership speakers what aspect of leadership can you niche on? Again do some research and find out what type of speakers are being booked to speak at conferences.  It may be more difficult to find out what fees are being paid for that topic and speaker as there are many variables. If you would like to book a clarity call with me, I can offer you some tips on what you may expect to be paid as an emerging speaker. (link to book a comp clarity call)

Maybe working with a public speaking coach is right for you. 

When you combine the four elements of Ikigai you will have a better understanding of what topic to choose.

You may like to work with a n experienced coach to help you discover your speaking strategy. Here are some tips to help you find the right speaking coach for you. I suggest you work with a coach who is accredited and experienced in not only the art and science of speaking but also the business side of speaking. 

In my next blog article in this series of the basics of Public Speaking, I will share with you how I craft a speech from scratch. 


About the author

Lisa Evans helps professionals to craft compelling business stories and become exceptional speakers. Lisa is a certified speaker coach, TEDx speaker coach, four times author, NLP practitioner, graphic recorder and visual storyteller, and improvisational actor. 

She has coached thousands of leaders across a range of industries, including resources, banking, finance, engineering, retail and sales as well as not-for-profit and community associations. 

If you wish to take advantage of a complimentary session in order to chat about how you can become an exceptional and successful speaker with a stand-out brand, then use this link to book a time to chat.

Here’s how I may help you

My services include:

Business Storytelling Coaching – together we can get started to create your suite of stories.

Executive Speaker Coaching – if you have an upcoming guest speaking opportunity, funding pitch, conference talk or you want to be an outstanding speaker, we can work together on your technique. You will see the results after one session.

Tailored Workshops – I can come to you, or we can host a workshop offsite for your team. From half-day to two-days immersive, this customised workshop is an ideal way to kick start your business storytelling strategy and get the whole team telling stories.

Keynote/Guest Speaking either in person or via virtual means at your next conference or event.