Public Speaking Jobs Are on the Rise – 10 Ways to Improve Your Chances of Getting One

When it comes to public speaking, most people are a little apprehensive about considering it as a career. Some of those people may have a fear of public speaking while others just consider it a fantasy job that only the luckiest can even hope of getting. In recent years, this widespread stereotype of the public speaking profession has begun to slowly change over into a definite possibility. Many people today are beginning to seriously consider public speaking as a viable career.

If you are one of those people that think a career in public speaking would be a dream job, you should know that there are certain ways to improve your chances of landing that perfect speaking gig. You don’t have to cross your fingers and hope that you are the lucky one. By following the ten suggestions below, you can greatly improve your chances for success in your public speaking efforts.

The following are 10 Great Ways To Start Your Career In Public Speaking:

1. Decide on your style – There are many different styles of public speaking. Comedians, sales trainers, motivational speakers, and corporate entertainers are all different styles of public speaking. Think about what you’re good at. Talk to your friends and acquaintances about how they perceive you. If they think of you as the class clown type, then your presentation style may be laid-back and filled with humor. If people find you to be a straight to the point kind of guy, then you may be more cutout for corporate presentations and success training. It is very important to decide on a style that feels comfortable with who you are. In order to succeed in public speaking, you have to come across as very natural and believable. If your style of presenting is not reflective of your real-life personality, then you’ll be less believable.

2. Find a great niche – After you have decided which style of public speaking fits you best, its important to come up with a topic. Your topic should be something you’re very passionate about, and something you enjoy talking about, but the subject should also be broad enough to relate to various groups and situations. For example, one great niche is sales. Many speakers have found great success in presenting on the principles of being a great salesperson. The niche here is sales, and the presenter can present that topic through whichever style he or she has chosen for themselves. A few examples of good niches are success, wealth, and fitness.

3. Study your niche – The best way to ensure a good presentation is by making sure you’re very knowledgeable about your chosen topic. Read as much as you can about your subject. The more you know about it, the more comfortable you’ll be when speaking about it. You can also check out online videos and articles regarding the same subject. There are tons of ways to prepare yourself for any particular topic. There’s nothing worse than not knowing the answer to a question asked by your audience. It’s extremely important that you present yourself as an expert on whatever topic it may be. If your audience doubts your expertise on the subject of your presentation, it’s unlikely that you will be asked to speak again by that group.

4. Join Toastmaster International – Without a doubt, the number one organization for aspiring public speakers is toastmasters international. This group has helped countless speakers develop essential skills for effective presenting. Toastmasters has groups all over the country in virtually every city. Members meet regularly and participate in various speaker related activities including competitions and impromptu speeches. This organization can quickly improve your skills and put you on the fast track to the public speaking career you’ve dreamed about.

5. Study great speakers – Most professional speakers will agree that its very important to have a mentor to guide you through your journey to public speaking success. Even the most successful speakers today have their own favorite speakers that they looked up to, and tried to emulate. As you read books and watch videos, take note of which public speakers you like. As you become more familiar with each speaker, and their particular style, you will be more drawn to one of those styles in your own public speaking endeavors. As you choose your favorites, take the time to study their style in detail. Things such as pauses, jokes, and body language are very distinct between each individual speaker. Before too long, you’ll start to see your own style develop. Once that happens, you can begin to follow it in whatever direction it takes you.

6. Practice at work and at home – There are several ways to practice your public speaking without actually speaking formally in front of a large group of people. At work, you can take more opportunities to put together presentations or hold meetings. This is a small, but very effective way to improve your interpersonal communication skills. You can practice this at home as well by speaking to groups of neighbors in a homeowners association meeting or even when having a few friends over. As you incorporate improving your public speaking skills with your home and work life, make sure that you don’t get too carried away. You’ll want to make sure that the public speaking side of you starts resembling the real-life you more than the other way around.

7. Find alternative to PowerPoint – There’s no shortage of public speakers using PowerPoint slides during their presentation. Using slides has become that status quo when presenting. Many speakers would be lost without their slides to guide them through their presentation. For the most part, presenters use PowerPoint as a crutch. You can stand out by using something other than PowerPoint to aid you in your presentation. It’s also quite possible to rely completely on yourself and do away with any other visual aids. Having PowerPoint slides throughout your presentation leaves your audience remembering slides instead of you. That defeats the purpose of public speaking as a profession. Your goal is to make an impression on your audience, and have them remember you specifically, and not your slides. This can go back to studying your niche. As long as you’re knowledgeable about your topic, you’ll be able to talk about it freely. When you do this, you get rid of the need for PowerPoint slides as a crutch.

8. Try Network and Direct Marketing – These types of marketing strategies are perfect for the aspiring public speaker. Home party sales are a great opportunity to speak in front of groups of people. This is a great tactic for those that want to start out slow and speak to smaller groups at first. Typically, companies that use direct marketing such as Tupperware and Pampered Chef are great companies to be in association with as a public speaker. Their sales philosophies pair well with those of public speaking, and the combination can prove to be extremely beneficial to your public speaking future.

9. Meetup.com – A great way to start practicing your presentation and getting your name out is through a website called Meetup.com. Here you can find groups on any topic imaginable. You can either find a group that is based on your chosen topic, or start your own group. Many public speakers have taken advantage of meetup.com by creating their own groups based on their chosen topic or area of expertise. If you start a group, you have more control of meetup topics and other important factors of the group. Once you get a certain number of people in your group, you can start holding actual meetups where you can discuss your topic with the other members. This will get you used to speaking in front of strangers. There are many other benefits to joining Meetup.com including expanding your social network, and improving your event organization skills.

10. Audiovisual Etiquette – The Audiovisual aspect (or AV) of public speaking is often overlooked by most speakers. Most public speaking training courses teach basic communication skills such as conquering your fear of public speaking, or how to make proper eye contact. There is one particular way to drastically improve the effectiveness of your presentation. This involves using the audiovisual elements such as sound, video, and lighting to make a greater impression on your audience. By knowing basic AV issues such as microphone placement and embedded video, you can get a head start on becoming a very successful speaker. By using the often overlooked audiovisual techniques taught in programs such as [http://www.avetiquette.com] you can make your first presentation look like your 50th.

T.R. Hill is an Audiovisual Technician and writes extensively on Public Speaking. For more information on improving your public speaking skills, visit [http://www.avetiquette.com]

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