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27 Brilliant Bloggers Talk About Public Speaking


Brilliant Bloggers is a weekly series here at BlogWorld where we look at the best posts from around the web all surrounding a specific topic. Every week, we’ll feature three of the most brilliant bloggers out there, along with a huge list of more resources where you can learn about the topic. You can see more Brilliant Blogger posts or learn how to submit your link for an upcoming edition here.

This Week’s Topic: Public Speaking

One of the ways you make money with a blog or podcast is to use this content as a jumping off point for public speaking. Serving as a speaker had two benefits:

  • Making money directly through paid speaking gigs
  • Raising your brand awareness so people visit your blog, buy your products, etc.

People general don’t just come out of the woodwork to offer you speaking gigs, though. So this edition of Brilliant Bloggers includes links to help you find speaking opportunities, as well as what to do if you are hired or accepted to speak. You can also check out this guest post from Barry Moltz – “How to Monetize the Content of Your Blog in Speaking Engagements” – right here on the BlogWorld blog.

Advice from Brilliant Bloggers:

Be A Better Speaker: Go Commando by Jonathan Fields

If you’ve ever been to a presentation by Jonathan Fields, you probably would never guess that he still gets nervous before a speaking! His talk at BlogWorld is one of the best I’ve ever attended, and in this post, he talks about why that’s the case – he pays close attention to the audience and is able to quickly change things up on the fly to better connect. I think the mark of a true professional is being able to improvise, rather than relying on a script. Learning how to “go commando” can definitely help you improve as a speaker. Writes Jonathan,

So, what if your observation tells you you’re missing the mark? Here’s something to explore…Abandon the script.

Just the sound of that phrase terrifies most people. Off script?! Away from the planned, standard, tested, vetted bullet points, answers and slides I’ve prepared? No way! If the script is working and people are vibing with it, go ahead and roll with it.

But, if you’re bombing sticking to the script, why not at least give yourself the chance to recover, get back on track and give your audience what they need, rather than what you planned to deliver?

After checking out the post, make sure to follow Jonathan on Twitter @jonathanfields and check out his latest book, Uncertainty.

How to Get More Speaking Gigs: Write a One-Sheet by Jorgen Sundberg

No matter how poplar you become, there are always people out there who aren’t going to know your name (as was illustrated so clearly earlier this month when Leo Laporte was denied access to a tech event). When that happens, especially if your name doesn’t carry quite as much clout as Leo’s, it is super helpful to have a one-sheet ready to go. This tells people who you are, what you have done in the past, and why they should want you to speak at their event. In this post, Jorgen writes,

How do you pitch yourself and your speaking prowess to meetups, seminars and conferences? You obviously have to find out who does the bookings of speakers. The best way to convince this person to book you is by sending over a speaker one-sheet, basically a one pager outlining what you talk about and why they should book you.

Just like a resume is screened by an employer, the speaker sheet will be reviewed by the event planner and it needs to provide this person with enough compelling information to get you booked in.

In addition to blogging at Undercover Recruiter, Jorgen can also be found on Twitter @JorgenSundberg and is the founder and director of Link Humans.

3 Presentation Skills You Can Practice Any Time by Alex Cequea

You can find tons of awesome content for speakers at The Speaker Point, but this is one of my favorite posts. In my opinion, the best way to become a better speaker is to practice, especially if it’s a talk you’ve never given before. In this post, Alex goes over three great tips to help you write better speeches and present them in a better manner, so it’s definitely worth checking out, even if you’re an experienced public speaker. Best of all, you don’t need to be standing in front of an audience to practice these skills. From the post:

According to a recent study from the book Resonate, 86% of business executives agreed that improved presentation skills would directly impact their career and income level. The trouble is that only 25% of executives practice more than two hours for high-stakes presentations. The business world tends to downplay the importance of public speaking practice, and most think that natural talent is the only factor that separates the good presenters from the mediocre. Since you probably don’t have a willing public audience ready to watch you practice every day, here are some skills you can practice as you go about your day.

Like I said, the entire site is great for improving your speaking skills. After visiting this post and peaking around the rest of the site, you can follow Alex on Twitter @AlexCequea.

BONUS: Want to speak at BlogWorld someday? Then a podcast you definitely need to check out is this interview our community manager, Deb Ng, did with BlogcastFM’s Srinivas Rao (@skooloflife).

Even More Brilliant Advice:

Did I miss your post or a post by someone you know about Public Speaking? Unintentional! Help me out by leaving a comment below with the link

Next Week’s Topic: Bounce Rates

I’d love to include a link to your post next week – and if you head to the Brilliant Bloggers Schedule, you can see even more upcoming posts. We all have something to learn from one another, so please don’t be shy! Head to the schedule today to learn how to submit your post so I won’t miss it.

Empowering Women in Their Public Appearances


Power and Presence for Women from JD Lasica on Vimeo.

“I’ve always felt speaking is crucial in terms of strengthening relationships and ideas you might have online, offline. BlogWorld has definitely helped bridge that gap, bringing together prominent personalities and creators I might already know or haven’t had the ability to meet.” – Shira Lazar (past BlogWorld Speaker)

I’ve been amazed by how many of my friends and colleagues have thrust themselves into the public eye by writing books, appearing on panels or going full tilt into public speaking. I’ve even detected an uptick (finally!) in the number of women appearing on stage at tech conferences.

I’ve spoken at my fair share of public events, and what we often have in common is an uncertainty of how to engage the audience with command and assurance. That’s especially true of many women, who’ve been taught by the culture to prize “false power archetypes” rather than being true to their own voices, says Bronwyn Saglimbeni, a public presence coach in Silicon Valley.

“As women, we need to come up with our new power archtetypes,” she said at a recent Girls in Tech retreat in Santa Cruz, Calif. “Unfortunately we’ve been fed a steady diet of false power archtetypes — aggression, intimation, or leaning too heavily on our sexuality, or hiding behind our sexuality.”

Saglimbeni offers coaching on speaking, presenting and how to attain “true power.” “It happens when personality aligns with purpose to serve the greater good,” she says. “Where does the purpose of our work life and personal life intersect? During public speaking, what are the elements of our personality that need to be brought forward? Every time we have an opportunity to get up and speak, we have to really cherish that time and nail it.”

Watch, download or embed the video on Vimeo, or Watch the video on YouTube

Common mistakes in public appearances

Body language and posture often an issue for speakers. “Often we’ll hold our hands in front of our bodies, or we hold them behind our backs, or in front of our mouths — and the problem is those are not powerful positions,” she says. “The other thing I see is that people tend to get very serious when they take the stage. … We need to let go a little bit and have fun!”

Women often find themselves perplexed on how to behave in a largely male corporate setting. Says Saglimbeni: “If it’s a very serious board room filled with male executives, you can meet them there. But you can also establish credibility and start injecting a little bit more of yourself. Room reading skills are very important. It helps you tailor your message, know when you’re losing people, and know when you’re got ’em.”

Her firm Bronwyn Communications works with corporate clients to improve their public speaking and media relations skills. But any Blogworld Expo speaker can pick up a few tips by watching the video at top.

JD Lasica, a blogger since 2001, is founder of Socialmedia.biz, a leading social media consultancy, and Socialbrite.org, social tools for social change. Follow him on Twitter at @jdlasica, or contact him at jd@socialmedia.biz.

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