How to promote yourself as a professional speaker

It is essential to know how you should promote yourself as a professional speaker since this will gravely impact the longevity of your career. Here are four things to help you out:

#1 Know Who is Your Target Audience – When you know who your target audience is, you’ve already conquered half of the battle.

#2 Professionalism – Always act professional at all times. Your name and reputation is always at stake.

#3 Knowledge of Your Competition – It’s not just about knowing your audience, but it’s also important to know who your competition is so you can have an edge.

#4 Spending – Spend wisely for things that will benefit your career.

#5 Be Social – Use social networks like blogs, facebook and twitter to communicate with your audience and reach out to more people who may need your services and expertise.

Find out more at Pivotal Points.

What we can learn from Malcolm X ballot or bullet speech

 

Malcolm X delivered this speech, “The Ballot or The Bullet” in April 12, 1964  in Detroit, Michigan. It was mostly about black nationalism. Until now, if you listen to what he said, you could pick up 5 lessons which you can use when you deliver your own speech.

What are these five lessons?

1. Address the Elephant in the Room Straight Away – If you think that that there are issues your audience would like to get addressed, do so at the beginning of your presentation. This will put everyone at ease and you can then move on to what your speech is really all about.

2. Unite People Together towards a Common Goal – When people feel that they’re united towards a common goal, they get more engaged with the topic and the entire activity. It drives them to listen and participate.

3. Unite People by Focusing on a Common Enemy – Another thing that drives people to get involved and take action is when they feel that they are standing together against a common enemy.

4. Highlight the Problem and Build Their Pain – Focus on all the problems and pains your audiences are experiencing. Highlight the troubles and hardships. This will push them to hunger for solutions and seek out for them. So when you finally give them the solution, they are more than ready for it.

5. Build the “We” Connection – Always make your audience feel like you’re on the same boat, that you are part of their group and that you are on their side. This way, they will listen to you more and find you very credible when you offer the solution.

You can find more tidbits of wisdom from Akash Karia’s post, 5 Public Speaking Lessons from Malcolm X’s “Ballot or Bullet” Speech.

Speakers should be thankful for…

Happy thanksgiving!

I am posting here Nick Morgan’s top ten things that public speakers should be thankful for:

10.  Toastmasters. 

9.  William Safire’s Lend Me Your Ears.

8.  TED.com. 

7.  Flipcams.

6.  Phil Davison, Internet sensation.

5.  The iPad.

4.  Garr Reynolds and Nancy Duarte.

3.  Herman Caine. 

2.  Mirror neurons. 

1.  Rick Perry’s “Oops.” 

Find out why and if you want to add something to the list, feel free to comment.

The Importance of Customizing Your Presentations

Everything is customizable these days. People respond better to customized stuff be it menus, schedules, programs, furniture, and even ads as proven by Facebook who seem to know their users very well by showing ads customized according to the users’ personal preferences. It would benefit presenters a great deal if they also do this when they make their presentations customized according to the needs of their prospective customers and audiences.

Unfortunately, this is not the case most of the time. When dealing with prospective customers and audiences, presenters tend to use an old template or an old presentation because they say they have no time to customize each and every pitch or presentation and they want to give the same message every single time anyway. What they don’t know is that by not customizing the presentation, they are giving off two negative messages:

  1. that they don’t want to spend valuable time getting to know the company or people they’re presenting to
  2. that they find it a waste of time to understand the quirks and eccentricities of their prospective clients.

Read more about this so that you may learn that customizing presentations is always the way to go. Head to

Help Your Audiences Feel Special with Customized Presentations

Body Language: Six Things You Ought to Know to Be a Better Communicator

Knowing how you act when presenting on stage or communicating to another, most especially a group of people, coupled with knowing how your audience is also behaving, can give you great advantages as a communicator. Being sensitive to one’s body language and that of others can give you clues as to how they’re accepting you, your message and if you should change your tactic so your audience gets more engaged and interested to what you are saying.

Here are six things you ought to know to improve your communication skills:

1. Most people overestimate their energy level. 

2. Stop thinking and look at me. 

3. Gesturing makes your words better. 

4. When you’re defensive, you remember less. 

5. Your feet point the way. 

6. If you smile, they smile. 

Continue reading and get detailed description of each pointer to help you become a better communicator:

6 things you need to know about body language

Pausing for Impact and How to Sharpen Your Point

There are speakers who tend to hit their audience with their point over and over, sentence after sentence, without understanding the fact that this practice makes them less confident, and worse, insults the audience of their capacity to comprehend what their trying to tell them. Yet, a number of speakers continue to do this because perhaps, it has worked for them in the past.

As a speaker, there is a better way to make your primary message stick and stand out and that is to PAUSE. Pausing makes for a greater impact than repeating the same words every other sentence. You just have to keep practicing until you master this skill of pausing for impact.  This way, you not only make the audience wonder and hunger for more, but you also get to look at them more and gauge for yourself if they are indeed getting your point.

This exercise is explained in more detail in Rich Hopkins’ blog post: Sharpening Your Points

7 Awesome Ways to Market Your PowerPoint Presentations

PowerPoint has always been the king of presentations. One reason is because it has been around for very long yet it still continues to come up with tricks and treats that are perfect and useful for presenters and public speakers alike. And it doesn’t stop there. I read from Mark Schaefer’s post that we can turn our PowerPoint slides into social media marketing gold. Here are his 7 ideas on how we can do this:

1. Populate Slideshare – This is a great place to share your documents, videos and other presentations.

2. Spice up a blog post – If you have the embed code for your presentation, then put it on your blog and spice it up a bit!

3. Embed in LinkedIn – Yep, you can also embed your presentations in LinkedIn

4. Create your art – You don’t need to buy and use photoshop just to include art or interesting images in your blog posts. You can actually do this in ten minutes or less by using PowerPoint!

5. Make an eBook – Did you know that a lot of eBooks these days originated from PowerPoint presentations? Go do it as well!

6. Integrate social aspects with traditional marketing projects – Let your PowerPoint presentations move virally within an organization so you can reach and help out more people.

7. Create premium content – Make your content exclusive to a group pf VIP.

For more detailed information, head to Mark’s post:  7 ideas to turn PowerPoint slides into social media marketing gold

To learn more about PowerPoint and how to make awesome presentations, read the various and interesting tips at Ellen Finkelstein’s blog: http://www.ellenfinkelstein.com/pptblog/