The public speaking industry is more crowded than ever these days, so if you want to be memorable and to build a reputation, you need to find ways to differentiate yourself. But how do you go about doing that?
Luckily, we’ve gone ahead and done the hard work for you, pulling together some of our top tips for differentiating yourself. The goal is to give people a positive reason to remember you.
Here are a few of our top tips to help you to do that.
Perfect your elevator pitch
Your elevator pitch is a short message that you can use to explain what you’re all about. The concept comes from the idea of being in an elevator with someone and having the duration of the ride to tell them what you do. Practicing and perfecting your elevator pitch will help you to make a good first impression and ensure that you can quickly and easily show people the value that you can bring to them.
Have a message and a mission
Your message is, essentially, what you want people to take away with them after they come to see you speak. Your mission is a little different, but the two of them go hand in hand. It’s the change that you want to see in the world. For example, if you’re in the healthcare industry, your mission might be to usher in more personalized healthcare. Having a mission will make you stand out from the crowd of people who don’t have a mission and who are maybe just trying to make a little money.
Don’t be afraid to be controversial
The first thing to note is that we’re not saying you should be controversial for the sake of being controversial. With that said, feel free to say things that may go against the prevailing wisdom in your industry. Just be sure that you have, and give, a good argument to back your ideas up.
Analyze the competition
You should aim to know your industry better than anyone else. You can start your analysis by looking at what everyone else is doing and then figuring out how you can do it differently. Of course, there are some things that everyone does, and for good reason, and you shouldn’t head off on a tangent just for the sake of being different if it’s not going to actually help anyone. But let’s say that you’re a marketing consultant and everyone is focusing on digital marketing. You could buck the trend by focusing on how old school approaches are still relevant to modern marketers.
Another great way to differentiate yourself is to find a niche that you can specialize in. This builds upon what we talked about in the last point, but there are more ways to niche than to just do the opposite to what everyone else is doing. Consider specializing in certain industries or areas, or establishing a reputation for being, for example, inspirational, entertaining, or comprehensive.
Master the unexpected
The best public speakers are the ones who can make audience members sit up and pay attention. This can be difficult when everyone’s exhausted from listening to speakers all day at a conference, but there are ways to do it. Throw an unexpected joke into your presentation or jump down from the stage and walk into the audience. One great tip in more informal circumstances is to master some sleight of hand so you can make a business card “magically” appear in your hand when you’re networking. It’s all about giving people a reason to remember you.
This is good news if you’ve been trying to find new ways to market yourself, because content creation can be a great way to differentiate yourself while also serving as a way to bring people to your website through search engines and social networking sites. Every piece of content that you create will help to differentiate yourself from the competition because every piece of content is unique to you. If you’re able to go the extra mile by creating content types that few others are doing (e.g. TikTok videos or podcasts), even better.
Work with charities
Working with charities is great because it allows you to give something to the causes that mean a lot to you, but you’ll also benefit from the boost to your reputation. The downside is that it comes with an opportunity cost, because you’ll end up donating a lot of your time. It’s up to you and your circumstances, but it is certainly something to consider.
Give people your time
Building on the last point, if you’re willing to give people your time then they’re much more likely to remember you than if you shut yourself off unless they are paying you. When you’re speaking in public, hang around afterwards to chat to people and to answer their questions. Reply to emails and be willing to hop on Zoom with people, even if there’s not likely to be any immediate direct benefit for you, for example, students who want to ask a few questions for their dissertation. It’s still building your reputation and making a good impression. You never know who those students will speak to, or what they will become.
One of the good things about being human is that we’re all different. In today’s society, we’re able to celebrate the things that make us different from each other because we’re all becoming more and more accepting of the differences that make us unique. This carries over into the business community, and so one easy way to differentiate yourself as a public speaker is to simply be yourself. Be ready and willing to let your personality shine through.
We hope to have inspired you to put in the time and effort to find ways to differentiate yourself as a public speaker so that you stand out from the competition. Feel free to adopt any of the tricks and tips that we’ve talked about or to change them around to make them your own.
And of course, we’d love to hear from you, so be sure to leave us a comment to let us know what you’ve done to differentiate yourself as a public speaker. You can also follow us on your favorite social networking sites for more. We’ll see you soon!