By Phil Stella
Where to Speak?
There are lots of different audiences for your presentations. Just be creative and strategic.
Start with your own employer by doing seminars or workshops on topics that will help other people in your organization solve problems, reduce costs or increase revenue/profits … and enhance the value of your function or department.
Then, try your own professional associations, like COSE or your local chamber for a presentation at a monthly meeting or professional development workshop. They will be a comfortable and supportive audience for you.
Also consider other professional groups you belong to or that relate to your areas of expertise or the industry of your employer.
What to Speak On?
Talk about what you know or have learned and aim it at people who might be interested in learning more about that topic. You can also speak on the same topics you write about, as discussed before.
Start small and simple, especially if you’re not comfortable doing presentations or don’t think you’d be good at it. When you know about your topic and care about it, everything else is just details.
Talk about content areas you’ve learned as a result of your job experiences or training. So, what do you know enough about to do a 30-minute presentation for people who don’t know as much as you do about the topic?
Attend other speakers’ presentations for the groups you might consider to observe the organization, structure, materials, and style they use successfully. Mirror what works.
How to Get Started
The best way to get started is to do it … now. It may take some time to build relationships that produce opportunities. Many professional groups plan an entire programming year at one time. So, determine what audiences you would like to get in front of to enhance your self-marketing image or that of your employer.
Get contact information for the program directors and indicate that you have some information their members would find interesting and enjoyable. Be persistent but not obnoxious. Offer to write an article for their organization’s newsletter or web site on the topic of your presentation.
So that’s the Power of the Platform — simple, quick, and no-cost strategies to promote your image or the image of your employer in the marketplace and help you sell YOU! Hey … works for me!
Phil Stella runs Effective Training & Communication, where he empowers business leaders to communicate confidently. A popular trainer and executive coach on workplace communications and sales presentations, he is also on the Cleveland faculty at the University of Phoenix and the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Initiative. He can be reached at (440) 449-0356.