All Articles Tagged "public speaking"
If you are an expert in your field, have a passion about a certain issue, or have lived experiences you think you should share, maybe you should consider a gig in public speaking.
On average professional speakers, can earn anywhere from 5,000 to $10,000, depending on the speciality and credentials of the speaker, estimates Learn That. According to the National Speakers Association, speaker fees vary widely depending on the speaker’s popularity, their availability and the event requirements. In general, fees for keynote speeches start around $3,000, with the average national keynote fee typically being $7,500. Celebrity speakers and top business experts can get anywhere from $20,000 to $40,000 and up. “For well-known personalities fees are usually over $50,000. And people such as Bill Cosby, motivational speaker Tony Robbins, Neil Armstrong and Bill Clinton are over $100,000,” notes speakers booking agency Speakers Platform.
While there are some prominent African-American women on the speaking circuit, Venise Berry, associate professor of African American Studies, Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Iowa, says there is plenty of room for more. “Unfortunately African-American women are often linked to black topics which limits their ability to reach a broader base. Speaking topics should cover a broad range,” she told us in an email.
To get started, however, you may need to do a few speaking engagements for free until you create a demand for your appearance. There are other steps to take to become a professional speaker:
- Use your life experiences. “The first place to look for what to speak about is your own life. Make a list of the goals you have achieved,” according to FabJob.com, as reported by AfricanSisters.com. “Of course, it’s even better if you have achieved something extraordinary, such as winning an Olympic medal, publishing a bestselling book, or giving birth to septuplets. But even accomplishments that seem ‘ordinary’ can provide material for speeches.”
- Find your niche. “Identify one or more topics that you can speak on — areas where your expertise makes a difference,” advises Berry, who speaks on a range of topics from weight and wellness to racism in the media to novel writing.
- Understand your target audience. “Depending on your niche, you could define your audience by characteristics such as: age, gender, geographic location, industry, interests, or any other traits that distinguish one group from another. Once you have identified your audience, you can target your efforts directly to that group,” explains FabJob.com.
- Speech writing 101. Check out a speech writing website for guidance. And if you can’t write your own speech, you can hire a speech writer and/or a speech coach.
- Book ‘em. “Write and publish articles or books in order to establish yourself as an authority in your subject,” states Wiki How To Become a Motivational Speaker. Berry, for example, has written several books, including award-winning novels and nonfiction books.
- Publicity is a must. You will have to publicize yourself and your brand. “As a professional woman you need to develop your brand and build your name in order to establish yourself in whatever industry you are in,” Berry writes. According to FabJob.com, your promotional materials should include a demo tape and an information package, including “a color photograph, a page summarizing your experience and the benefits of your speech, and testimonial (reference) letters from people who have heard you speak.” Contact large, not-for-profit corporations and professional groups says Wiki. And contact speakers’ bureaus, such as BlackExperts.com, which reps Berry. Some, but not all, bureaus charge to list your services. And like agents, they will take a percentage of you speaking fee.
You’re getting ready to head into a big meeting or a huge company presentation. Your legs are shaky, your palms are sweating and you can’t think straight. It’s normal to feel nervous and stressed before a major event, but there are ways to calm your nerves.
At Your Desk
Take a few moments before you head off to your event. “Bounce a ball or use a squeeze ball if in a confined space. The repetition is mesmerizing and gets you in the zone,” says life management expert Kimberly Friedmutter.
Have a cup of tea or sparkling water. “Lay off coffee after breakfast because it agitates you. . . you need a calming,” she tells us.
Get Clued In
Make sure you know what the task calls for and that you are up to the challenge. “Get clear on what your role and responsibilities are,” says Laurie Erdman, founder of Chronic Wellness Coaching. “When we are unclear of what is expected, we tend to take on more than required. There is a time and place to be an overachiever but if it is causing unnecessary stress, it’s time to cut back. Focus on impressing the boss by doing a great job in your role and not someone else’s.”
Don’t ingore the stress, try to figure out what is making you stressed. “Often, we’re stressed but we don’t take the time to sit down and deal with it. Instead, we continue rushing around, absentmindedly stressing about how stressed we are,” says registered yoga instructor Sara DiVello.
Focus on Positive Thoughts
Don’t dwell on things that can go wrong, it will only make you feel more stressed out. “Recall one pleasurable sensory experience you’ve had in the last 24 hours. It might be something delicious you ate, something beautiful you saw,” Dr. Marlene Caroselli, corporate trainer and author of Principled Persuasion.
Relieve stress through a few exercises. “Stand in a doorway and press your palms against the door frame on both sides. Hold your breath and keep increasing the pressure. You’ll feel warmth rushing to your face, head, and neck. Hold as long as you can. Release. Inhale deeply. Repeat three times,” suggests Caroselli.
Also use your own hands to soothe your nerves. “Self-massage. Imagine your hands are a magic healing and tension-relieving tool. Breathe slowly and deeply as you massage yourself. As you inhale, feel your breath flowing directly to the tense places in your body. Try to “see” your fatigue, soreness, discomfort, tension, and worry escaping through every pore,” Caroselli tells Madame Noire.
Heath and wellness consultant Akwesi Munir Asante offers another exercise. “Sit upright without forcing or creating more tension. Remove your shoes and simply close eyes. Rub the palms of hand together and cupping them over the eyes. Stay like this for a minute or two.”
What if you are in the middle of the meeting and feel a panic attack? “If you’re in a meeting and can’t do something obvious, try utilizing the ‘fire point’: Press the tip of your tongue to the little mound right behind your top two front teeth. You’ll feel your jaw relax and your whole face melt and your shoulders drop,” says DiVello.
“Breathe. Yes, it sounds simple, but it really works. The act of taking a long, slow, deep breath brings you out of that fight-or-flight response and calms your brain,” advises DiVello. “You can also try one of these yoga breath work practices for anxiety: Breathe in for a count of 4 and extend the exhale for a count of five, six, or seven… even eight.”
It’s Not Brain Surgery
Don’t let your thoughts overwhelm. If you make a mistake during your meeting, speech or presentation, move on. “Keep it in perspective,” says DiVello. “If you are working on the cure for cancer, world poverty, and childhood hunger, fine. If not (or even if you are), rein yourself in. Of course, we all get caught up in the importance of what we’re doing and everything feels so very vital, but putting it in perspective–and being able to laugh at yourself as you do so–will help you in managing it.”
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The results are in. President Obama was bested by Mitt Romney in the first Presidential debate. The critics claimed Obama seemed lackluster, tired, unenthusiastic. Whereas Romney looked refreshed, talked with emotion, and seemed confident.
So, what if you have to speak publicly or do a presentation to a new client or your colleagues at your company? We asked professional consultant/life coach Anita Davis-DeFoe for some tips. She has served countless times at a keynote speaker, workshop and learning circle facilitator for organizations and events around the globe. Her biggest piece of advice is to always strive to practice the 7 Cs of effective communication when making presentations or at meetings. They are:
- Clear – Plainly share the intent of your message.
- Concise – Stick to the point and remain focused.
- Concrete – Provide clear examples absent of generalizations.
- Correct – Research and make certain you are sharing correct information.
- Coherent – Present the information in a logical order that is easy for the listener to understand.
- Complete – In a complete presentation, the audience has everything they need to be informed and when applicable, take action. Strive to always offer a solution to any issue you address in a presentation.
- Courteous – Ensure that your content is not biased or politically incorrect and that different opinions do not derail your composure.
In addition, Davis-DeFoe suggests knowing your audience and your material. Always make sure that the content of the presentation is relevant to the people you’re addressing and always in terms that they understand.
Talk to the audience, not at them. People do not remain focus or engaged when they are talked at, so work to interact with your audience by creating a conversation. Scan the audience by varying eye contact across the room. Ask questions and let the audience ask you questions throughout the presentation. Or open with a relevant story, parable or humorous example as a way to ignite interest and as a way to brand your presentations or style of work.
Do you hate presenting in front of groups of people? Do you get nervous and start sweating before a big work proposal? Well, don’t sweat it (literally!) Check out these 7 ways to combat your fear of public speaking and change your perspective about your next speech.
1. Breathe Properly
Breathing in without breathing out causes hyperventilation and worsens anxiety. Just before your speech take five minutes and breathe in to the count of seven and out to the count of eleven (quick count-not seconds!). When you exhale, hold it a second before breathing in again. This will produce quick and lasting calm. Remember extending the out breath calms you down.
Are you an expert on a subject that you’re also passionate about? You can impact people’s lives and turn that expertise into cash with Great Pro Speakers, a new online training program that will teach you everything you need to know about becoming a paid public speaker — and it’s Black-owned too!! The program is a little pricey at $97/month, but much less than college tuition and well worth it if you can book even one speaking engagement, which can land you anywhere from several hundred to several thousand dollars for a few hours of your time. Also they’ll be offering a discount of at least 66% off through Ujamaa Deals at the beginning of January, so sign up here to be notified when it starts.
The new year is here. If you’ve been thinking about being a speaker or trying to figure out how to get a side hustle going, it’s a good time to make that resolution and get started. You can make a little extra income (or a lot if you’re good), but there’s another benefit that’s not immediately apparent and you’ll really appreciate it in about 2 to 3 months as that April 15th tax filing deadline starts to creep up on you. Yep…tax write off.
See, before you get started as a paid professional speaker, you just file an Articles of Organization/Incorporation with your secretary of state to set up a legitimate business for your public speaking efforts. Usually you can do this online. Talk to your accountant/tax person to make sure they can handle the extra work with your tax return and keep you in compliance with any local tax regulations (companies like ThePinkBoss.com or LegalZoom can help get your legal paperwork in order too). Then after all that’s done you can start writing off everything on your taxes such as miles on your car, flights, meals, supplies, and even get a deduction for having a home office. If this is your first time starting a business I would definitely seek professional help instead of trying to do everything yourself, but you can figure most of it out with a few Google searches.
(WSJ) — Feeling clammy and short of breath? Heart racing? Is the world spinning? If it happens only while talking to a group of people, it may just be a bad case of glossophobia—the fear of public speaking. Hoping to find a better way to overcome stage fright than our usual take-a-gulp-of-wine method, we decided to test different approaches to overcoming our fear: consulting with experts via phone and Skype, as well as in person. We also went to a group meeting of Toastmasters International, a nonprofit aimed at improving members’ public speaking and leadership skills.
(Black Enterprise) — Boasting an 11-year public speaking career, complete with accolades such as Disney/Eastman Kodak’s “Mentor of the Year” award, Jonathan Sprinkles has more experience than his youthfulness lets on. The self-proclaimed “Connection Coach” knew from a fairly young age that he wanted to be a speaker. As a student at the University of Texas, Sprinkles became a recruiter and discovered a command for attention. But after graduation, with no idea of how to parlay that talent into an actual career, Sprinkles took a job with Dell, selling computers to small businesses. He quickly made the correlation between public speaking and salesmanship, and soon began honing his skills via Toastmasters International public speaking classes, becoming even more drawn to his ability to inspire.