Once you’ve done a few speaking gigs, and shown that you can be halfway competent on stage with a microphone, you will become known as someone who can speak to a crowd. Any crowd. About anything. Since you are now one of the few who demonstrably do not have a mortal fear of public speaking, you will be the fall girl or guy when someone is called on to speak. The dreaded chant of “Speech, Speech!” will fill you with dread, and rightly so.
Conference planning should be done a year in advance. That’s your life as a speaker. You’re going to be traveling so you need to know when and where, and how it’s going to impact your personal life. You will get the occasional late-breaking invitation, or have to step in to fill a gap, but then leaving spare capacity for those occurrences is also good planning.
Have you been heckled? What should you do when you are heckled? Your audience will react to your talk in unpredictable ways—here are some of the ways I’ve found to cope with undesirable audience members.
Here’s a problem you’re going to face soon enough: you submitted a fantastic CFP; you got accepted; the conference is paying for everything; you’ve put it out all over social media … and you get sick two days before the conference.
What do you do?
This week my topic is “building your personal brand”. A nice easy topic, I thought. But when I sat down to write the newsletter it became very clear to me that I did not have the first clue about personal branding. My own “personal brand”, such as it is, has not been crafted with any sort of structure or intent. I have all sorts of things out there on the net, but there’s no cohesion to them.
Finding your personal style is an important step in your development as a public speaker. It’s not something that you can force or something that you can choose. Fighting your personal style is not a good idea. Blindly adopting random pieces of public speaking advice is not the way to go.
This is the 16th edition of this newsletter. Thank you so much for reading and making it a success! I've really enjoyed founding and writing this newsletter in 2017, and I'm really looking forward to 2018.
This edition is a traditional "best of 2017". I've picked the content from 2017 that has resonated the most with readers. If you've only subscribed recently, I hope you'll enjoy some of the material you may have missed from earlier editions.
How do you ensure consistent and high-quality delivery of your talk each time your get up on stage and face an audience? It is not simply a matter of skill or practice. There are many small things to remember, and unless you use a checklist, you will forget some of them.
As you may have noticed, last weeks edition of this newsletter contained a rather embarrassing flaw—the conference descriptions did not match the conference detail bullet lists. I forgot to update the conference descriptions. I use mental checklists a lot and find them to be very effective. I use one before publishing this newsletter. I run through the checklist in my head while reviewing the final draft.