How to raise your visibility : You need to start speaking publicly at third party events

It’s unavoidable : speaking helps you raise your visibility. In fact, it not only does that but it’s one of the best aids in this educational journey towards raising visibility. It’s instant feedback, it’s brutal and it’s a fast learning curve.

I believe strongly that everyone should embrace public speaking.

But unlike writing, the rapport built is somewhat more tangible, I feel. And speaking works.

I believe strongly that everyone should embrace public speaking. But you can start small and start slowly – join a panel session instead. You have two choices which I wrote about  – accept an invite to moderate a panel session or be a guest on the session itself. I’d love to hear what other tips you have to add to these lists.

As you do this a few times, you can start to develop a process for how you approach each session – yes, plan it out. Panel sessions are great for the fact that the weight of the session does not rest on you alone – unless you’re the moderator, in which case, you’re the glue holding the whole thing together.

A panel session is a good way to slowly get your feet wet. But it’s a good idea to be careful who and where you get involved.

Be clear about the reputation of the organiser

You will be in a far better position understanding who the organiser of the conference is. There are many conferences out there and just because you receive an invite does not mean it should be accepted. Have they been doing this for a long time? Is this their core expertise? Have you heard of any events they’ve run? What do your colleagues who are in the same space think about them? What kind of reputation do they have ? What’s their online presence like? What expenses will they pick up? These are just some of the issues you should be thinking about before you say yes.

Speak about what you care about, what you are passionate about, what you have experience in.

Speak to the conference organiser to get a good vibe as to where this conference is headed.

Speak on topics you are well-versed in

Speak about what you know – not about what they tell you to. Speak about what you care about, what you are passionate about, what you have experience in.

Start with a short session – don’t take on more than you can chew

For your first session, keep things short. Lengthy sessions don’t necessarily mean better sessions. Your end goal should be positive impact – from your interactions before your session, the session itself and post-session.

Avoid slides – speak with passion and make eye contact

It’s unnecessary, takes the focus away from what you’re talking about, and most times, completely forgettable. Unless of course, its image heavy, beautiful and really enhances your speech.

Keep it short

Enough said.

Temperature check event progress as the date draws near

Things change. People cancel. Programmes get modified. Keep the organiser close so you know how things are going and can then take action as you see fit.

Find ways to leverage content pre and post event

It’s a wonderful opportunity to create more drama, drive interest and create meaning.

Do you agree? Love to hear what you think, so please leave a comment.

Updated – here are the links to all the posts in this series :

#1 How to raise your visibility – give it time
#2 How to raise your visibility – put your stamp on it
#3 How to raise your visibility – build expertise and show value
#4 How to raise your visibility – test and tweak relentlessly.
#5 How to raise your visibility – a presence on all platforms.
#6 How to raise your visibility – start speaking publicly at third party events.

I run the platform and Accelerate Magazine. I blog regularly on personal development, mindfulness, growth and habits. I also contribute posts regularly to Women of HR and post on LinkedIn.  Check out Accelerate Magazine’s August 2015 issue – let me know what you think! 


About rowena morais

Media Communications and Editorial Specialist. With my strong professional network of contacts, I help individuals and organisations, particularly those within Human Resource and Technology, strengthen their skill-base and brand through compelling writing, beautiful design, content marketing and publishing. Let's talk.

2 responses to “How to raise your visibility : You need to start speaking publicly at third party events

  1. Hi Vincent

    Oh yea, absolutely.

    Slides can completely make the difference in impact on presentations esp for your builder example where I believe visuals are key to helping people understand the possibilities involved. Creative work, advertising, architecture of any sort – all these would definitely require visuals.

    What I was referring to was what I see in my experience which has been mainly in the legal, business, call centre, human resources and tech space where slides seem to be a crutch. I’ve seen presenters verbalise verbatim what the slides present (what’s the point?), flip back and forth between 120 slides for a 20 min session as they move through topics. It’s detracting from their message and at some point, gets irritating.

    We’re not thrilled you did 120 slides and don’t have an order to your presentation so you rush through it. There’s also been some who warm up slowly in their talk to the point that they are unable to go through all the slides in their session so they say they cant – again, should we be happy you prepared that many slides but we now cant see them?

    I’ve seen smooth presenters who have style and flair but its all fluff – its easy and fun to listen to them though. And their message gets through. And I’ve seen great content presented dryly and enthusiastically that just falls on deaf ears. The key – good content, well delivered and backed by lots of preparation.

    The point is to make an impact and to do so well, people need to see things from the perspective of the user, the reader, the audience. That’s hard, I give you that. When you’re attached to the topic, passionate about your product, it takes a lot to step outside and see things from a different perspective.

    But visuals as a whole – I love them – I think they can be such powerful tools and human beings respond and are attracted to a visual experience. So yea, thank you for your feedback.


  2. vincent bradbury

    Your comment about use (or non-use) of slides brought to mind a presentation I attended at the International Builder’s Show a number of years ago by a custom builder. He spent an inordinate amount of time and effort verbalizing (without visuals) on a variety of features that could be used to add value and appeal to the product (home) when an appropriate image (slide) would have conveyed the message easily and effectively. I couldn’t believe he didn’t use them. It was frustrating to watch and experience. Slides do have their place. I guess it depends on the topic and the nature of the presentation.


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