So many people say to me they want to be a better communicator, a better writer or a public speaker. My question back to those people is what are you waiting for?
Here are 5 ways that you can work on your public speaking/communication skills:
- Identify the 3 areas that you are most passionate about & the audiences you want to reach. Identifying those topics you want to speak on, learn about and become knowledgeable in will hopefully help you identify which types of audiences need to hear your words or your message. This will help you focus on what you want to write about and how you want to be of service or of use to the world. use these 3 topic areas to guide the books you buy, the videos you watch, the social media content you create.
- Start expanding the length of your social media posts. If you normally post one or 2 sentences, or only emojis, or just a meme to Facebook/Instagram, I want you to re-evaluate. Think about why you are posting that image/status and expand upon it. Share thoughts that are occurring to you, feelings you are having and dreams of how the things you are saying could be used in the world. Oh yeah, don’t forget to make it a public status so it can actually be shared beyond just your friends list/usual network. While you expand the length of your posts – make sure you are not adding too many unnecessary words. Your message should be clear and specific, not repetitive and general.
- Start a blog/website. There is something magical about sharing a post on social media, checking the website it comes from and seeing your name or blog being the source. It tells people they can trust that the content they are about to click on is consistent with your usual messages, and hopefully your usual usefulness.
- Volunteer to speak publicly in your community as often as possible. I remember I was speaking voluntarily in the community for about 7 years before I realized that this could be a career. Now, over 14 years later, I am a professional public speaker who is self employed, travels across Canada speaking on topics that I love and enjoy, can pay my bills and have a management team that helps manage my public speaking life (Shout out to POP Entertainment & Management). It all started because I would show up to every community forum, rally, gathering and ask questions publicly and try to amplify perspectives that I noted were missing and needed.
- Be useful, not braggy. You should be posting more about the content of your work than your actual speaking engagements themselves. Share your community and volunteer work so that others can learn from your example. Share the things that are funny and useful to you in your day to day life, and try to be as useful as possible!
And there you have it, five simple ways you can improve your public speaking today!