Public Speaking - Sharing Your Expertise

Even if you're not comfortable with public speaking, you can start small to become more confident.  And when you're ready, you can find resources to help you strengthen your presentation skills.

Local organizations and businesses may be looking for speakers on various topics. Contact these groups to determine if you can get on their speakers calendar. This may include groups like Lion’s Club, Kiwanis, Chamber of Commerce, health clubs, senior citizen groups, churches and schools. Your local Red Cross may also need speakers; they provide the content that you present.

When approaching a group about making a presentation, you’ll want to provide information about your topic and find out from them the length of time for the presentation and general information about the audience.

Many businesses and groups have gatekeepers screening calls and requests. To get through to a decision maker, it is helpful to have a connection through your networking efforts. Therefore, it is more effective if you can say that an employee or colleague of the decision maker gave you the person's name.

When choosing a topic, you can leverage your expertise in a way that supports your brand. You’ll also want to be sure your message is appropriate for the audience. Put together a list that will be appealing to the various groups you’ll be approaching. You may want to discuss topics such as ergonomics, back pain, warm-up exercises and stretching, senior health issues, seasonal tips (raking, gardening, shoveling snow) and wellness.

As you prepare for your presentation, create an outline with notes and practice often. You may want to ask someone to critique you while you’re practicing. If you’d like some professional assistance with presentations, consider joining a local Toastmasters International group.

Determine if you will need any handouts, will use any technology or if you’ll want to involve the audience. Whether you ask for a show of hands or get everyone up to do a brief exercise, think through each part of your presentation.

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