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/

25 Best Tips When It Comes to Public Speaking

I found these 25 Best Public Speaking Tips from 300+ Public Speaking Experts and I want to repost them here:

  1. Be Audience Centered
  2. Know Your Audience
  3. Prepare & Rehearse Your Presentation
  4. Know Your Stuff
  5. What’s the Core Message of Your Speech?
  6. Customize Your Presentation
  7. Check Your Equipment before the Presentation
  8. Meet the People in Your Audience
  9. Open Your Presentation with a Bang!
  10. Your Speech Should Provide Practical, Useful Tips
  11. Public Speaking is about having a Conversation with Your Audience
  12. Involve Your Audience in Your Speech
  13. Smile
  14. Don’t Forget to Breathe
  15. Keep Your Presentation Fun and Humorous
  16. Be Yourself. Be Original.
  17. Your Presentation Doesn’t Have to Be Perfect
  18. Learn How to Roll with the Punches
  19. Don’t Use Powerpoint as a Crutch
  20. Do Not End Your Presentation the Question & Answer Session
  21. Keep Your Presentation Short
  22. Learn from other Public Speakers
  23. Video-tape Your Presentations
  24. Always Be Adding to Your Expertise
  25. Great Storytelling is the Key to Great Public Speaking

These 25 awesome tips were actually chosen from 300+ email responses when communicationskills.com asked: What’s the most important public speaking tip you’ve learned?

For more details, head to 25 Best Public Speaking Tips from 300+ Public Speaking Experts.

How do you tell a great story?

Anyone who is famous at something is due to the fact that they have skills that helped them get there, whether it be in basketball, singing, acting, cooking, or whatever field. The same goes for being a famous and great presenter or public speaker. You have to have the required skill so people will be drawn to you and will want to hear you speak more. What is this skill? It’s the gift of storytelling.

While some speakers seem to be born with this gift, those who aren’t as lucky need not fret because you still got a chance to shine by learning how to be a great storyteller.

Here are three secrets:

  1. Use Your Voice: And while doing so, create a different voice for each character in your story.
  2. Take Over The Stage:  No matter how big or small your stage is, use it and use it well. Go from one corner to the other. Use particular locations on the stage to convey the things  happening in your story.
  3. Don’t Say Anything: Just because you’re a speaker doesn’t mean that you have to talk all the time, every time. There should be scheduled pauses in your storytelling so you can let the message sink in to your audience’s minds.  Sometimes, a long pause is more powerful than saying a long paragraph in one breath.

    To get more details about the 3 secrets to telling a story well, head to: 3 Secrets To Telling A Great Story

     

 

 

Alternatives to the Use of Pointers When Presenting

Whether you’re using the old fashioned stick as a pointer or the modern laser pointer many presenters have these days, I found out that there are other better ways emphasize a point in your presentation and that is basically to not use them. Well, that’s what The Eloquent Woman suggests in her blog post. According to her, when presenters use pointers, it just goes to show that the slides have too much information on them which makes the presentation all cluttered bringing about a disconnection between the audience and you as a presenter.

However, we just couldn’t take away these pointers whether old or new as tools when presenting. So here are the alternatives you can use:

  1. Emphasize a point on a slide close-up: Use large photos if you want to highlight something in your presentation
  2. The audience’s eyes and mental acuity: Let the audience find that particular feature you want to show. This way, you are engaging your audience.
  3. Gesture: Use your hand instead of a pointer.
  4. Get creative: Maybe you can ask your audience to do something creative to make sure they understood the point like a short group skit.

I’m sure there are still other alternatives you can think of as a means of highlighting something in your presentation. Care to share? If you want to know more, head to The Eloquent Woman’s blog post: What to use instead of a pointer when you speak