Friday, October 22, 2010

Speaking from the Catbird Seat

Speaking in front of the right group of people can do wonders for your future speaking engagements and for your career in general period.

It seems not to matter much which civic or fraternal organization you choose to speak to. These groups are starved for interesting speakers who enjoy sharing with them at such events. Too many speakers find it to be a task to be in front of a group instead of treating it as a pleasure. Which camp do you fall into?

Speaking for myself, I would almost pay for the privilege to deliver a few words to a captive audience. Unless I am just outrageously adamant about a topic the group finds deplorable to discuss in the first place, I am welcomed with open arms and grateful enthusiasm.

It doesn't take an audience long to discover the energy level of a speaker. Usually in the opening sentence many hints are dropped has to how these next 15 minutes are going to unwind. I love to joke about whatever particular group happens to be in any given audience. In fact, the less I know about a group's livelihood or type of expertise they possess the more time I put into researching who they are.

Discovering facts that I wouldn't have learned in just casual association, I am able to have a group laughing at itself as early as possible in the opening minutes of my speech. There is no better way to grab the attention of your audience then to immediately have them become aware of the fact that you have done your homework about who they are. I'm telling you the physical temperature will rise in the room when they recognize you are just one of them. They literally warm up to you, ready and willing to hear what you have to say.

At this point I am able to zip right into the subject of the reason I have been asked to speak at this gathering in the first place.  Now that may be a bit of a misnomer. Actually I may have solicited this organization because I want them to hear what I have to say. It may be days, months or even years before I hear any  feedback from the day's events. Though it is not always measurable, it happens in the background anyway.

Those minutes in time when you stand in front of any group, you are the expert on whatever topic you are speaking about. If you are the author of a book, you would do well to have it available at the beginning and end of your talk. Your audience wants to be part of your interesting slant on whatever it is you are speaking about. They will pass on your book to any number of future clients for you. Is there a better way to be the expert on any subject than to hand whoever you are speaking to, a copy of your book?

I think not. If there was any doubt as to your expert knowledge on your subject, those doubts have disappeared completely.

Want to be considered one of the top experts in your field of Grant Writing? You can be a local hero or possibly even a National one if you have the desire to see it through completion. We'll talk about this in the near future. Can you imagine how many doors this would open for you?

Have a great weekend.

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