Friday, April 17, 2015
The Advantage of Speaking On Stage
One of the reasons why experts love speaking on stage is that even if they are beyond establishing authority as an expert, they are often rewarded immediately afterwards by chatting with audience participants that have an interest in the topic that they are speaking on.
It may be a large or small venue that you speak at, but many professional organizations in the technology field actually listen and then respond with opportunity once a talk is over and has been well received.
Determining your public speaking strategies in advance:
Because of the tendency to create goodwill for the business that you run, your venue choices should factor into the public speaking strategies that you adopt for your firm. Are you speaking in order to build consulting chops around a concept or are you speaking about technologies or processes that make your company or your product a better choice than your competitor? If you decide that you want to speak at a trade show for your product, the talk normally features a demonstration of the product or technology that you represent, somewhat muting the need for you to focus on your own capabilities. In fact, most presenters that are on stage for new product demonstrations will tend to be low key and emphasize only how well their product fits potential clients needs as well as their mastery of the features and technology that underpin that product.
On the other hand, if you are building your firm's reputation for consulting or establishing authority as an expert, playing up your own speaking capabilities and personality are very much a part of any public speaking strategy. The more dynamic your are, the better your reception if your material is solid.
Why content is king regardless:
Delivery is important in many ways, but the common denominator in any type of public speaking engagement is the content that you are providing the audience with. If you are giving a sales presentation, you should be adept at focusing on your strengths to overcome any potential deficiencies. Otherwise, preparing your material so that it resonates with the audience can easily be the most important task that you face ahead of time. Content is so important, that executives often informally use others as sounding boards for key messages that they want to deliver well in advance of any public speaking engagement. The biggest advantage that preparing your content brings, of course, is to provide your audience with new concepts that they can factor into the goings on of their own organizations. If you are in a smaller venue, allowing this percolation to become evident by making room for questions during the presentation can be a good strategy.
Practice before you go on stage:
As with any new idea or concept, there are always going to be ways for people to create uncomfortable questions around its introduction. Preparing in advance for awkward questions and mastering the material so that you have solid responses to questions that are actually anticipated can make a lot of difference in how much advantage you gain by going on stage in the first place. It doesn't have to be as rigorous as if you were preparing for a presidential debate, but among Fortune 500 companies, many are very careful about scheduling presentations from experts that have not presented the same speech at least a couple of times. So take your cues from that type of experience and arrange, if possible to preview material within your company or with a group of people that can provide solid feedback so that you can polish a 'hit' presentation instead of showing up with something unproven. The audience will reward your efforts.
In most cases, the reasons why experts love speaking on stage boils down to the notion that the benefits that they receive from giving a good presentation will accrue to their company's standing or their own personal power. By exercising the proper preparation and speaking strategies, you can maximize the return.