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
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 Verticaldistinct.com 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!