Barack_Obama_Speaking_at_College_GreenPublic speaking is a great way to build awareness for your brand, generate leads and increase your expert profile.

Public speaking is not a natural thing to do. Standing in front of groups of strangers is enough for some people to lose their cookies. I suggest this channel a lot when I am in conversation with business people. I get a lot of cringes and excuses. But the truth in the matter is public speaking can be easy to do. My experience is typical – I too was nervous the first time I spoke. I had a script, I lost my place a few times and that just completely un-nerved me. Of course we think the audience sees our embarrassment. The truth is they don’t mind a hiccup or two.

My solution was advice from a friend. He said, “Ed, you know the topic very well don’t you?” Yes of course” I said. “Well just use your slides as topic guides. Glance at the screen, see the topic and speak to it. When you’re done, move on.”  You know it worked like a charm. This was about 9 years ago and I’ve been doing it that way ever since. What’s great, I never have to prep, no scripts to write, and no jitters before I go on. I just show up and do my thing. It’s even fun, because I try to engage the audience in the discussion as well.

What ever it takes for you deliver your message, I absolutely believe you will find opportunities with the effort. For venues to speak, you will be surprised to learn that organizations are constantly looking for speakers to educate their members. From time to time I even get paying gigs. Yes, people will pay to hear your opinion. The best one for me was in Prague, Czech Republic. I regularly speak and it always brings in leads.

If you’re looking for a way to help your business giving public speaking a try – I believe you’ll really enjoy  it.