So You Want to be a Speaker? How Can You be Unique as a Speaker?
by Patti A. Wood, MA,CSP - website PattiWood.net
Melissa Etheridge, Rush, Aretha Franklin, the Bee Gees, Prince, Ray Charles—these well known musical artists are all unique talents. You can turn you can turn your radio dial and instantly recognize them. A friend of mine in the music business told me that it is not a beautiful voice or great marketing that creates success. It is the quality of being unique in the marketplace. The same rule applies in the competitive speaking business. Anyone with a computer can make brochure and a website and call themselves a speaker. What can you do to insure that you stand out among the pack?
Develop Your Own Speaking Style
Begin by practicing twenty minutes of content and then give those twenty minutes in front of anyone and everyone. Join Toastmasters or the Southern Order of Story Tellers, teach kids, offer to introduce speakers at meetings or work, sit your friends down after dinner and give them a twenty minute after- dinner speech, offer to speak a volunteer group. Ask everyone who hears you speak for oral and written feedback. Ask specifically, what is unique about you. Get contact information and letters of appreciation from any group you speak to, describing your special gift.
Nourish your Unique Delivery Style
Steven Covey whispers powerfully, Keith Harrel preaches enthusiastically, Ken Futch is down home funny, how you finish this sentence: “I….” Once you have some experience and know your delivery style, hire a speech coach for a few hours of one on one.
Seek Quality Role Models
Join the Georgia NSA and National Speakers Associations. This is where the standard of quality in presenting is set. Discover what you like, not to copy but to inspire you to excellence.
Be an Expert on Your Topic
Ken Blanchard taught us to manage in minutes, Tom Peters and Robert Waterman taught us to search for excellence. What area do you have experience in? What subject fires your curiosity? What could you talk about till the cows come home? If
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you can identify a problem that’s hot and offer a solution, and be the guru on that topic, you can make a niche in the marketplace. Read every book on the topic, and then add to the knowledge. Do surveys and polls. Ask your friends and clients what their experiences are. Can you form a solution for the next hot problem? Then the world needs your uniqueness.
Have a unique story to tell
Some speakers stand out from the crowd because they are magical story tellers. Don’t know any stories? You probably know more than you think you do. Create a timeline of your life from birth until now and write down every event you can remember. Then find the most special event and tell its story from your heart. Being unique and speaking from the heart will enable you to continue speaking through any economic slump or technological change. There will never be anything like the special connection you can make with a live audience. When you allow your uniqueness to shine in your speaking, you can inform, touch and transform audiences. And then, without a doubt, you’ll be a successful speaker.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Patti Wood MA, CSP is a Professional Speaker and a Communication and Body Language expert based in Atlanta, GA. Patti's clients include Fortune 500 companies, government agencies and associations, and she has written seven books. Patti is currently finishing her newest book People Savvy. To learn more go to the People Savvy Web site www.pattiwood.net