Then life changed… as it has a way of doing.
When I began At the Podium in 2014, I remember wondering if I’d feel that way again… you know… that feeling of knowing what you’re doing, and confident in what you’re saying. When people heard about At the Podium, it was just a matter of time before they asked me what I spoke about. My response was always the same. “Oh, I’m a behind the scenes person. I don’t need to speak.” And that’s the way it was, until I realized I wanted to share all that I’d been learning “behind the scenes” of people becoming speakers.
It’s true that speaking to an audience is not for everyone. But fast forward 7+ years into my future, and I can attest to 3 basic facts I’ve learned about public speaking and how knowing them has led to me once again feeling knowledgeable and confident, both personally and professionally.
#1: Knowledge fuels confidence – In the beginning, I knew how to get the business part of ATP up and running, but there was still a lot to learn about speaking itself. I learned and learned and learned, soaking up everything I was learning. Then, one day, I realized how confident I was about my ability to help speakers create a great signature talk, and just knew I was ready to start speaking publicly about how to do it.
#2: Public speaking helps us be more focused – Back to my topic of creating a great signature talk, as you might guess, this is a vast area to cover. There are many components that go into a good talk, and strategies for putting them into logical order that won’t have your audience snoozing or going into overwhelm. It’s also way too much to cover in one talk.
So, I focus my attention on the basic components of a successful signature talk: Deciding how much content to share, making sure you’re providing your audience with a valuable/actionable takeaway, and providing stories of how you’ve helped your clients succeed. Yes, it’s a simple formula, but for me, and for speakers in general, it’s a way for us to show our audiences we know our stuff. Oh yeah… can’t forget to add a call to action too. Without that, people won’t know that we’re available to work with them to help them succeed too.
#3 Being a speaker compels you to learn and grow professionally – Besides the jitters almost all speakers experience when they start speaking, not much else is scarier than the Q&A at the end. You’re on “the edge of your seat,” hoping no one asks you a question you won’t know the answer to, right? But, as you begin to step into your expertise and take ownership of your topic, you’ll find that those Q&A sessions will be much less scary. In fact, because you keep learning and growing professionally, it not only feels great when you can answer people’s questions, but when you can take it a step further and help them reach a new level.
So… Have you arrived? Are your talking points interesting? Do they do a good job of showcasing your knowledge and confidence in your topic of expertise? Do you feel like your audience is interested and engaged in what you had to say? Can you help them take your info from point A to C, while leaving them wanting to know how to get from D to F… and maybe even beyond? If you’re not sure, maybe it’s time for a tune-up. Feel free to hop over to my calendar here and schedule a free chat.
‘Til we speak again….