April 20, 2016

Public Speaking: Make Like a Boy Scout

Last week's article we talked about how you could "Jump Start Your Personal Business Brand" through public speaking. This is an absolute road to self branding success or it could be a one and done flop. You can control the outcome but you have to have the wherewithal to see it through the right way, or better stated, the prepared way. 

 Make Like a Boy Scout

Is there a particular program you have that will help others? Do you have a fundraiser that needs special attention? Maybe it is rallying members of the association for whatever  the cause may be? What is your message? The items you need to address before you utter one word are short but so important;

1. Do you have the desire to speak publicly? Some people are "naturals" and others have to work hard to accomplish the talk. But make no mistake, if you don't have the desire to publicly speak the rest of these points are relatively useless.

2.  Courage. Even the 'naturals" have butterflies before they speak but self confidence overcomes the butterflies and the courage, that is already inside of you, will flourish. How do you build self confidence? Preparation. Lawyers prepare for court by research, playing the case out in their minds, preparing for worst case scenarios and seeing the finished product in their mind. Same holds true for surgeons or professional athletes. They just don't step up and cut away or hit away. They study, they prepare and their desired outcome is usually achieved.

3. To prepare you need to visualize your end goal which is always needed to prepare for a talk. Think about it; you want to travel to Europe but how do you start? The desire is the motivator but the self confidence comes from planning the journey itself. It requires details; method of transportation, places to stay and the actual dates that are the necessary items which are needed to be known before you take your trip. You just don't wake up and take off and hope all goes well. Without planning you can end up elsewhere or nowhere. The same goes for giving a talk. What is your desired outcome? Once you understand a reasonable destination how do you prepare?

a) Research your material. The internet may be riddled with useless information but it is a vast wonderland of infinite golden resources for any subject matter. Always gather more information than you intend to utilize.

b) Cull the information you believe can help make your case or deliver the "aha" moment.

c) Talks can't be given off the cuff or with 30 minute preparation time. You need to give it thought, bounce ideas off a colleague or spouse and ask others that may have insight to your subject matter for their thoughts. Remember, self-branding holds the same laws of networking as it applies to first impressions. If your first talk is ill prepared or bombs completely you will have a self brand that you didn't want. There is an old carpenters saying goes like this, "measure twice, cut once."

d) Build a plan of attack, not "ready, fire, aim." There is a sequence that is need to be followed in order for your talk to bring out the desired outcome. When writing a movie script the the screenwritier keeps it simple; develop the story by assigning the main characters and supporting cast. Then you write the beginning, a middle and an end that helps to deliver the perfect arch needed in any movie. The audience starts here, was brought there and left with this outcome at the screenwriter's desired destination. Now, this is where it's not so simple; bringing the audience into your world and keeping them engaged through the arch. That's why you don't talk for the sake of talking. You effectively deliver the message which is the overall desired outcome.

Next week will will discuss "walking the field before the game."

submitted by Michael Kurpiel, CGA, CGP 


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