Four Quick Tips
1. Define Your Market
Before you even start down the journey of becoming a public speaker, I think it’s important to define your market. What audiences do you see yourself speaking to? Are you a comedian, a corporate speaker, a Christian women’s speaker, etc? Do you see yourself giving workshops and training seminars? Or do you picture yourself being up on a keynote stage giving inspirational messages? Or are you something entirely different or somewhere in between?
2. Practice Your Presentations
If there is one huge mistake you can make when preparing for an event, it’s to not prepare enough. I cannot stress enough how import it is to practice your talks over and over again when you are first starting out.
In fact, I’d encourage you to practice them standing up exactly as you plan to deliver them, including using your slide presentation and any props, at least 3 full times before you ever deliver a talk on stage. If possible, ask a few family members or friends to watch these practices and give their feedback.
3. Offer Your Services
Once you’ve defined who your ideal audience is and you’ve created and practiced some talks, it’s time to get out there and start speaking! For many people, this can be the hardest part.
But here’s the thing: it doesn’t have to be really difficult to find audiences to speak to if you’re not too picky about who your audience is. There are many community centers, libraries, and even nursing homes that will allow you to come in and speak. All you have to do is call and offer!
4. Refine Your Speaking
After you’ve had 5-10 speaking opportunities, go back to the drawing board. Consider what’s working and what’s not. When I first started speaking, I was just so grateful for any opportunity that I would speak on pretty much whatever I was asked to, within reason. I quickly learned what kinds of talks and subjects worked for me and what didn’t. I wouldn’t have known, though, had I not gone out there and tried.