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5 Tips for Gaining Speaker Experience

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I often receive requests from experts who would like to gain speaker experience so they can eventually speak at BlogWorld, but they’re not quite sure how to go about doing this. The thought of public speaking can be overwhelming and figuring out where to start can be equally as daunting.  For many, it’s simply a confidence thing as most folks just want practice in order to get over their nerves.

Truthfully, it’s not difficult to find places to speak. The hardest part is getting started.

1. Try Video

If you don’t want to jump in with both feet, trying getting your toes wet with video. They beauty of video is that it will allow for you to practice as much as you want while receiving feedback from others. Create videos to teach others how to do what you do, or use video in replacement for text in your blog posts. Granted, uploading something to YouTube isn’t the same thing as standing in front of a room full of people, but it’s a starting point and will help you to gain some confidence.

2. Participate in Webinars

Shy types appreciate giving webinars. No one has to see you, they won’t know if you’re nervous or even if your shirt is inside out. Attendees aren’t the only ones who benefit from attending webinars. Speakers also gain experience, establish expertise and get their name out there. Don’t forget to allow Q&A’s in order to practice interacting with your audience and make sure there’s a feedback survey sent to attendees so you know how you did.

3. Go local

My first speaking gig was at a blogging seminar at my local library. Libraries, networking groups, business organizations and even businesses bring in speakers all the time. Get your start with one of these local locations. Many towns want to work with and showcase their local experts.

4. Take some classes or join a local chapter of Toastmasters

Community colleges all offer public speaking classes and noted public speakers also offer classes and seminars. Your local chapter of Toastmasters will even give you people to practice on. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with taking lessons in order to learn to be an effective public speaker and gain confidence.

5. Speak at smaller conferences and networking events

If you don’t feel confident starting big, start small. Look to see where the smaller events are being held. Many businesses hold conferences just for their employees. Also local chapters of business organizations hold conferences and seminars all the time. Find out where the small events are in your neck of the world and grow your network and expertise. Gain experience and go bigger.

Feedback

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  • Michael Carnell

    Excellent options. Our local library here puts on a monthly lunch & learn for non-profits and small businesses. They are always looking for speakers who can address topics of interest to those groups. It is a great place to cut your teeth on speaking with an eager and appreciative audience. Also a good source of business contacts and networking!

  • Lynette Young

    Part of the problem is making the switch to larger venues when you have only been seen in smaller ones. Getting a spot on bigger stages (like BlogWorld or SxSW) is nearly impossible unless you have some pretty impressive credentials or have enough online friends to ‘like’ you and vote you up. Catch 22, if you haven’t got a larger venue or a paid gig under your belt, it’s hard to get one.

  • TrafficColeman

    Deb I started in my local library..I will have an free work shop their every Wednesday and we will just talk about being successful and the things their doing to make it happen..

    “Black Seo Guy “Signing Off”

  • Nicole Rosen

    How do you ‘sell’ this speaking experience when filling out a proposal? That was the hardest part of my BlogWorld Proposal. The past speaking experience part. While I have not spoken at an insanely large conference I am frequently invited to come to one hour monthly meetings to speak.

    I attended Toastmasters when I first broke into public speaking, but have not had time to attend a meeting in several months.

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