Tag Archives: public speaking

Talking Up A Storm Today

I’ll be talking up a storm today before (literally) thousands of people. How? To start, from noon to 2 p.m. I’m volunteering on-air for the KCUR Fall Membership Drive. I hope you’ll tune in or stream it on your computer–then pledge your support for great radio. I’m in this fun video about why people love KCUR. Check it out:

Also, I’ll be a panelist discussing crisis communication at the National Educational Telecommunications Association national conference today at 3:30. Really looking forward to seeing some of my old colleagues from my public TV days.

Needless to say, after today I’ll be pretty “talked out.” (Nah. Not really. Check out my new “Speaking of PR” tab on this website for more about my speaking activities and topics I can cover for your company, organization or group.)

Speaking of Speaking

I’ve spent most of my life–almost literally since I could talk–speaking before¬† large groups.

As a kid my performances at family gatherings lead to school activities, plays, debates and student government. As a small town newspaper editor I occasionally gave the Kiwanis club luncheon my version of ham on wry. That led to a couple of ill-fated runs for political office, then community theatre (!) and some time behind the mic as a radio talk show host. Heck, I even showed my “face for radio” on public TV. Lately, I’ve been a master of ceremonies for a charity event and presented to a few book clubs about my novel.

Through it all, I’ve had a steady stream of requests to speak about or provide training on my profession: public relations. Those are the most fun, as I get to spread the PR gospel as I think it should be heard. I enjoy the questions, sharp challenges to my assertions and even the inevitable cups of hotel coffee.

The last two or three years, however I haven’t actively pursued public speaking engagements. Just had too much going on, so I went into a bit of hibernation. But…sometimes the world has other plans. Case in point this October. In the pumpkin month I’ve almost managed a hat trick: I’ve been asked to speak at two events with another the first week of November. One national conference panel, one regional conference seminar and one local half-day workshop. I’m thinking if these go well I may just set a goal for at least one speech or workshop a month.

I recommend you do it, too. I guarantee it will keep you sharp and make you pay attention to what’s going on in your field of expertise. It may also open up a whole new client base.

Not a good speaker? Well, not everyone is–but the only way you’ll get any better is practice. So start small–see if you can speak at the office brown bag in-service or on a professional association panel. You may learn you’re pretty good at it–or you may decide right away that it’s not your thing; but you should give it a shot at least once or twice.

So…here are my top three tips for a good speaking engagement:

  • Be prepared. Don’t wing it. People are paying good money or at least giving up their time to hear you speak. Give ‘em their money’s worth.
  • If you’re going to use Powerpoint or Keynote, use it well. See this post for more on that. (And for Pete’s sake, don’t have slide after slide of text that you read to your audience. Ugh.)
  • Have fun–even at your own expense. If you’re bored with your own topic, nervous or off-kilter, your audience won’t hear a word you say–they’ll just notice you were bored, nervous or off-kilter. Have fun–inject some humor where you can. Poking fun at yourself almost never fails.

Do you enjoy public speaking? Any tips? The comments section is open…speak!

13 Things I Need to Do

Lists can be helpful in getting organized and staying on task. They can also inspire others to do the same. (I hope). Tedious as it may be, I’ve made one and wish to share it with you. Those keeping score may feel free to hold me accountable.

So, in the interests of preserving my sanity, gaining more clients and doing a better job, I need to (in no particular order):

  1. Unsubscribe from just about any email newsletter, blog post notification, advertisement, solicitation for Viagra, etc. I don’t read within two days of receiving it. Too much clutter, not enough benefit.
  2. Clean up and organize my office. No, really. I need to. It helps me focus. (The cleaning, that is. Once it’s cleaned and organized it’s only a matter of time before it’s back to its normal state of “creative disarray.)
  3. Get all my receipts, mileage and tax stuff ready. Hard to believe AlexanderG’s first year as a going concern is almost upon me–and that taxes are going to be due. Must scan those receipts and create a spreadsheet of deductions. Ugh. Wish I had one of those cool receipt scanners–though I’m not convinced they are any better than a regular flat bed scanner. Anyone have any wisdom on that? I’d be happy to try one and report back.
  4. I need to get another 10,000 words of the sequel to my novel written by the first week of 2011. If not the book runs the risk of becoming stale. Don’t want that, and I know at least ten readers are waiting!
  5. Also need to do the same for the book I’m collaborating on with my pal David. That one is more fun to write right now, but the self-applied pressure of writing something that suits even a kind, like-minded and cool collaborator–as well as myself–can be daunting.
  6. Follow up on six RFPs floating around out there. I want the clients, and need to make sure they know I do.
  7. Step up my in-person networking a little more.
  8. Complete my business plan for Q3 and Q4 2011.
  9. Thank my current clients for trusting me with their PR, marketing and management consulting needs.
  10. Speak to groups, seminars or classes at least five times next year. I enjoy it and have a kick-ass presentation thanks to the aid of  my friend Al Bonner.
  11. Work with my strategic partners to create lucrative business opportunities for us all.
  12. Decide whether I want to get my accreditation or not. (APR or ABC? Neither?)
  13. Establish working relationships with my new partners at the PR Consultants Group.

So, there’s my list. All doable.

Have you made one?

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