No one is born to be a great speaker. Public speaking is an acquired skill, and it takes a lot of practice and time to perfect it. As an aspiring and result-oriented individual, you should draw on multiple resources and methods to keep honing your skills to a degree at which they become near natural.
Social media is one such resource. With over 3.6 billion people (and a projected 4.41 billion by 2025) using social media globally, you can tap into an enormous audience with lots of opportunities and benefits. A large market also means fierce competition for resources and opportunities, so be prepared to make a well-planned and successful start aimed at incremental progress and continuous improvement. If you do so, social media can offer a lot to raise your profile as a speaker.
Finding your niche
As noted, billions of people use social media, but they use it for different purposes. This diversity means that you don’t have to spread yourself too thin by covering too broad a range of topics. Depending on your educational goals, career aspirations, and interests, use social media to carve out a niche for yourself.
Benefiting from public speakers’ groups
Use major platforms such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, SpeakerHub, and YouTube to find and join public speakers’ groups. If you are a novice in the trade, you will benefit immensely from the experience of fellow speakers who have already come a long way in this business. Their tips will help you make time-saving shortcuts and avoid common pitfalls in a highly competitive environment.
Some groups boast impressive numbers of members in excess of 20,000. This is too large a resource basis to ignore.
Making videos & presentations
The great thing about social media is that you can shoot and post a video or a presentation for free. In many cases, you are likely to receive feedback and useful reviews for free as well. Take time to come up with really good videos. Don’t forget that people’s attention spans are limited (now down from 12 to 8 seconds, research has shown), so your opening slides and remarks and the first few minutes will be crucial.
It is of critical importance to plan ahead with the release of your video or presentation. The selected topic will determine your choice of audience. Ask participants to post questions, and be ready to receive criticism from them. If you’re a more experienced speaker, you can try and respond to them live if it’s a live stream. If not, make sure you keep a record and get back to people with answers and clarifications.
If you need help, don’t hesitate to look for credible online resources and services. In this sense, you are very much like college students who use trustworthy online services like Grab My Essay for completing their research assignments in a timely fashion and at reasonable cost.
Asking for feedback
Feedback on your performance as a speaker is a key learning method. If you are just getting started, remember that your learning curve will be steep. While you can work on improving your self-confidence, body language, appearance, and computer skills, mastering oratory takes more than that. Clear, compelling, and attention-grabbing public speaking skills can only be developed over time and with a lot of effort.
Seek feedback from all attendees without being biased for or against any of them. Probe, if you can, to get further details. Analyze each comment and come up with a plan to address them sooner rather than later, preferably the next time you speak.
Learning from individual mentors
Some experienced speakers are willing to provide pro bono mentoring services to new speakers. Take time to do a proper search and get to know leading speakers through your networks. Individual mentorship requires commitment from both sides, and the results can be really eye-opening.
Posting your picture & bio
To raise your profile as a speaker, you need to post powerful pictures and a solid bio. If you know a professional photographer, don’t hesitate to ask for help. He or she will help you take photos that show your stage presence, underscore your strengths, and exemplify your confidence.
Your bio should be brief, but include 2 or 4 major selling points. It is worth spending quite a bit of time and effort on putting it together because every word or combination of words will matter. More often than not, it is these words that either put people off or capture their attention.
As you move ahead, keep optimizing your profile for SEO. Your engagement with social media users is a two-way street. In addition to the above efforts, you also need to make it easier for your target audience to find you. Think of the keywords you want to include in your bio, and add links to your posts that will direct users to the content you want them to read or watch.
Public speaking is an important skill that requires time and effort to develop. If you are serious about becoming a great public speaker, be mentally ready for the long-haul. It will take a lot of discipline, interaction, pro-active engagement, and work to master your public speaking skills.
Social media is a great resource for boosting your efforts. By making the most of the opportunities and lessons learned available online, you can set yourself up for developing a long-term and rewarding career. Remember that practice makes perfect, so keep continuously honing your skills, ask for feedback, learn from your mistakes, and become a powerful public speaker who knows how to get their message across in a succinct, lucid, and persuasive manner.
About the author:
Jessica Fender made a name for herself as an educational writer and speaker. She boasts an impressive track record in advising both new and experienced speakers to improve their communication, presentation, and social media skills. Jessica’s articles and blogs are particularly popular among students and young entrepreneurs.