Friday, March 26, 2010

Public Speaking

Today, you can make nothing less than ten thousand dollars per hour through public speaking if you are a celebrity. And making three thousand dollars per hour as a non celebrity is not uncommon. This of course does not include other expenses like hotel reservation and flight fare if you are to speak in another state or country. Those expenses will be taking care of too!

Now, why would I be killing myself trying to earn less than three thousand dollars in a month when I can make more for just talking about what I know or do? Ignorant is the right answer to that question.

Few people who had realized that public speaking is a money making vendor are diving into it. Why not you?

Oh, I understand. You can’t be a public speaker, so you think. Pastor Thomas Dexter Jakes was told he would never be on National TV because he sweats a lot, screams and makes funny gestures while preaching. But today, he’s on global TV, if there is anything like that.

Now, how can you make money from public speaking despite never done it before?

Very simple!

First, you have to be a good public speaker before you can learn the art of making money through it. To be a good public speaker, take to these tips:

Face the Crowd. Not everybody can face the crowd, no doubt about that. But everybody talks to someone. If you have ever spoken to someone before, then you can face the crowd! Your crowd could be one or two. You have to practice a lot in your secret place, then, start by facing your friends, families and so would your crowd increase and you will build your confidence.

Have a message. When the messiah walked this planet, He had a message—to unite God and humanity. When Martin Luther King Jr. turned an activist, he had a message—to stop segregation. Adolf Hitler had an unusual message—kill the Jews. So, you need to have a message. Not a negative, but a positive one. One thing you must know is that, any message you have for the people will sell in as much as it is solving their problems.

Specialize. Now, having a message is a good thing when it comes with specialization. I do not mean you need to get a doctorate to be an effective speaker. It could be a plus, but your specialization should be based on what you are doing for a living. Or what you enjoy doing. People want to hear how you have successfully managed yourself to become a success, so package your story for your audience. Donald Trumps is a successful real estate guru and would be and wannabes are paying thousands of dollars to hear him talk about his success in real estate. People want to hear your success story too.

Be your self. Now, some would-be-public speakers want to be great orators. So, they enrolled in communication or public speaking classes. Anyway, there’s nothing wrong about that if you have some money to throw away. You have to learn to be yourself. You have to learn to talk like yourself. Great orators like Abraham Lincoln never went to any of those schools; they only spoke from their heart. Learn to speak from your heart. Nobody can teach you how to tell your story, or how to captivate your audience. You have to teach yourself. And the only way to do that is by standing in front of the crowd. But if you believe you can get better through public speaking classes, good luck!

Know your personality. This is something nobody can teach you. You have to know your personality all by yourself. Public speakers are not those who fit into corporate dress like the penguins. Nope! Look yourself in the mirror. Do you feel good in tee shirt? Then wear it. Wear what you feel comfortable in. It’s your image.

Stride and gestures. If anyone is going to teach you any of these in a public speaking school, it will be a plus. Your strides and gestures are very important. You have to walk like you are just another Julius Caesar. Do you understand what I mean? You need a lot of confidence like you are about to conquer the world. While talking, your gesture matters a lot. Make use of your hands. Walk in-between the audience if you have to. Tap your feet if you need to. Wink at someone. Laugh, smile and jump if necessary. Create what makes your audience singles you out of the crowd of public speakers. I can tell a Zig Ziglar from a Brian Tracy by just looking at a gesturing silhouette. People should be able to tell yours too.

Avoid reading from your laptop or notepad. This is perhaps one of the great flaws of some speakers. If you really want to be taking serious, avoid reading from your laptop or notepad. Nobody wants to listen to your thesis. Rather, they want to be entertained and inspired. Instead of reading from your laptop or notepad, glance at it one in while. Talk from your heart like you know what you are talking about. Anybody can read from his or her laptop and you should not be caught.

Graphic pictures and stories. Principles are better explained graphically with pictures and stories. Your audience will forget the principles you are given to them. But they will never forget your graphic images and stories used to illustrate your principles. So, tell a lot of stories and use countless images in your presentation, but don’t over do it.

Smile, laugh and humor. Nobody wants to listen to you when you are not smiling or laughing out loud. Why do you think Ellen Degenere’s got more crowds these days? Because you can laugh and dance on Ellen’s Show. People want some smiling and laughing. And humor is just the key thing. Never stand in front of your crowd without some brilliant humor. People want to laugh their worries out and that is part of what they are paying you to do. Then, do it!

Interact with the audience. Whatever you do just don’t stay glued to the lectern. Move around. Interact with your audience. Laugh, tap shoulders, wink, and smile and make lots of eye contacts. It’s a plus for you anytime.

Use layman English. Except you want to be booed by the crowd, drop your grandiloquent words. Use layman English. Talk to the mechanics in the crowd and the professors will understand you. Don’t try to impress your crowd with vocabularies, you will only lose them. Be simple not complicated.

Create fluidity and transition. I am not saying talk like a parrot. But move from one point to another gracefully. Your transition is a very important part of your speech. And it conveys your message to your audience without complications.

Brand yourself. Now, if you have read through all these tips and learn from them, then you are a brand. You will be everything different from just the public speakers. You will be original and that is what makes you a brand.

Be approachable. Don’t be quick to disappear from the venue, let people have time to see you after your speech. Someone always have a question to be answered. Someone wants to give out his or her card or telephone number. You may never know where your next speaking engagement is coming from. Stick around for a while before you disappear into thin air.

Now you know what it takes to be a good public speaker, then you have to start making those grand pretty soon. Check back soon. I remain Alfred Ade-Ijimakinwa, Editor-in-Chief, Business101 magazine.

Business101 magazine…Think. Believe. Become.

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