This past week, I attended Caterina Rando’s Thriving Speaker Platinum Program. The two day intensive is the first of a three-part series to teach how to be a great speaker. If you’re considering learning more about speaking (and how to get more business through speaking), I highly recommend it. Here are a few things I learned.
Don’t Speak at Every Opportunity
Some trainers suggest that you speak every chance you get, no matter the audience. But Caterina suggests that you only speak in front of your ideal audience. After all, you don’t want to come home depressed, do you? So my best audience is ambitious, tech-savvy startups where I can potentially be part of a team.
Know what you’re going to say, roughly, but don’t have it all memorized. Just know the high-level touchpoints, the beginning, and the ending. The middle part lets you connect with your audience, and stray from a script if you want. Planning is important for startups using social media, too.
Gauge the Audience
Always make eye contact, listen, and be flexible. As Caterina says “Look around at all the beautiful people!” This is easier said than done and Caterina teaches you how to stay connected. For instance, the two speakers before me told dramatic emotional stories. The audience was moved to tears. Then I decided to change my topic from an emotional one to lighten the mood. I talked about the wonders of my new Zipz shoes!
It’s always a good idea to be early, for several reasons. You can talk to people who’ll be in the audience, rearrange the room if it’s not perfect, check the acoustics, and set yourself up for success.
You can’t be a successful speaker if you only speak once in a blue moon. To be successful, you really need to speak as often as possible, keeping in mind that it’s important to target your ideal audience.
Learn from Someone Who Models
These are just a few ideas, and they may sound obvious. But Caterina brings the ideas to life. She models the best ways to speak, in a nurturing and safe environment. She is dynamic, inspiring, and kind. And she wants to teach you how to monetize! How cool is that?
Do You Loathe Public Speaking?
Would you rather get a root canal than speak? Both experiences can require a prescription for pain killers. Share some of your best or worst experiences in the comments! Or I will hunt you down and make you stand up and talk.