Who should be speaking at conferences and what does it take?

In many office buildings, there are discussions about whether or not people from the business should be speaking at conferences.

They debate whether it is financially worth it. They debate about the marketing value of it. And they debate about whether or not it will bring sales.

Public speaking is on the agenda in every marketing department or agency.

We can end all those debates right here: Yes, public speaking is absolutely worth it.

HOWEVER…

Public speaking at conferences is only worth it when done right.

That, of course, is the case with most things. Why do something if you’re not doing it right? It seems obvious that when you are going to speak at a conference, you make an effort. Whether it’s the initiative of a business or an individual, the intention is the same: to do a great job.

If this is the case, how come when you go to the events in the digital marketing industry, it seems like only a fraction of the speakers actually does a great job?

It’s not because of a lack of effort.
It’s partly the lack of skill.
But mostly, it’s the lack of preparation.

Public speaking requires preparation. I have been coaching speakers for a while now and I believe almost anyone can be a reasonably good speaker. But only those that have the right preparation, can be a great speaker.

Who should be speaking?

Can anyone be a good public speaker? Yes, I do believe anyone can be a good public speaker. If you stick to some basic principles, you will be able to tell a good story on stage. To be a great speaker, that requires some more effort.

What does it take to do it?

How do you become a great public speaker? Or better said: how do you become the best in public speaking?

It does take some effort.

That is the first step: you need to understand you need to make an effort.

To become a great public speaker, you will need to practice. You will need to read. You will need to watch other presenters. And you will need to get training or coaching.

There is nobody out there that can’t use training in public speaking. And there is no great, famous speaker out there, that hasn’t been trained. Do you think Obama ‘just did it’? Do you think Seth Godin was always able to present the way he can now? Do you think the world champion of public speaking got there out of the blue?

No, they didn’t. They all trained. Just like Messi and Ronaldo train their skills, like Andy Murray and Roger Federer do. Like any top athlete, a top speaker needs to practice. Needs to train.

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