Getting paid to speak in public is a fun, lucrative and legitimate career goal. But, to be sought after and respected in the speaking arena there are essential elements that you need to get right.
Know Your Audience
Even if you already have a speech prepared, it needs to be tweaked and changed to suit each audience that you present it to. This will help personalize your presentation for each set of attendees and make it more interesting to you and more importantly them.
You want to avoid yelling when you’re speaking in public. Instead, you want to adopt a calm, purposeful tone of voice that most people can hear and understand. If you’re too shrill, people will turn off their brain. But if you modulate your voice and speak in warm, smooth tones, most people will relate.
Let Them Know What’s in It for Them
As you start your presentation, you want to tell them why this presentation/speech will benefit them if they pay attention. It’s a great idea to tell them to put down their mobile devices, after you let them take a few pictures of you and maybe even do a selfie of yourself to break the ice.
Stick to the Time Limits
When you’re speaking at a new venue, always talk about the time limits so that you can adjust your basic presentation to fit in with the time allowed. Some places are very particular about your time and will cut you off, while others are looser.
Use the Right Technology
Check with the venue to find out what tech is available, but always bring your own backup so that if something goes wrong you have a solution to offer. In addition, most people do use MS PowerPoint, which will be your best choice for speaking for pay.
Be Ready for Anything
Tech that doesn’t work happens more than it doesn’t happen. Presentations on the computer get corrupted. That’s why it’s so important to be extra prepared with backups of everything, so that you can go on even if things are going wrong.
Don’t memorize your speech. Instead, get to know the stories you’re using in your speech and understand the points you want to make according to the audience you’re speaking before. You don’t want to sound like a robot regurgitating your speech; you want to treat it as if you’re talking to a friend instead.
Engage, Don’t Lecture
It doesn’t matter what your topic is about; it’s dangerous to turn it into a lecture. Even college professors who are well loved and enjoyed by students who learn a lot from them know this, and avoid problems with lecturing. Instead, tell the story and impart the information in a relaxed and conversational way.
Don’t Be Afraid to Move Around
Podiums are nice, but sometimes that can be a little boring. If you have a headset, don’t be afraid to get away from that podium and take a stroll. Use your body and your facial expressions to get your message across to your audience.
In addition, it’s important to understand the components of a speech that make it memorable to those attending. The order people are accustomed to is telling them what you’re going to tell them, tell them, and then tell them again. If you can mix that format with a story and examples that make sense to the audience, you’ll have a winning presentation that people won’t soon forget and you’ll become a sought after speaker.