The Value of Public Speaking

I have just
recently taken on the role of President of the Professional Speaking
Association London Chapter, and it has been a great time to reflect on the
value of speaking in public.

Speaking is
a natural way to assert your position as an authority on your topic. It never
ceases to amaze me how some business leaders are excited about it and want to
speak to as many audiences as possible, the larger the better, while others are
dragged on to the platform kicking and screaming by their shareholders,
communication department or PR agency. I have many friends in the professional
speaking world who do it because they love it. If you watch someone who loves
to perform you tend to think of them as a ‘good speaker’.  However, there are some other underlying
qualities which are equally important.

The most
important ingredients for success as a speaker are a clear message and an
absolute passion and conviction for getting that message across to audiences
that need to hear it.

When you
develop your message, how clearly are you communicating it to your audiences?
How about your passion and conviction? How high are they, on a scale of one to
ten? Go on, give yourself a mental score before we move on.

less-than-enthusiastic would-be speakers I meet generally have a lower passion
or conviction around their subject. I will never forget an executive I used to
work with who kept coming up with multiple excuses and reasons for not doing
speaking engagements. I was one of the corporate communications ‘nags’ at the
time, so my main objective was to get him in front of customers and sharing the
company’s leading-edge thinking and philosophy. It turned out that he was not
one hundred percent convinced about the company’s position as a leader in the industry;
therefore his own role was not attached to a solid enough foundation.

The best
speakers I see, be they corporate executives or entrepreneurs, have a rock
solid belief in themselves, their organisations and their key messages.  If you want to do more speaking and be
successful, check your foundations first: the message and your belief and
passion around that message.  Then make a
plan to speak more so that you get more visibility and improve your
performance.  You would also be more than
welcome to visit me and the London Chapter of the Professional Speaking
Association!  See