4 Ways to Gain more Speaking Experience - Must Have Strategies for Speakers & Leaders
3.5 Minute Read. To watch the video version on Facebook click here.
Are you new to public speaking?
Would you like to learn where you can start to practice your public speaking skills?
Do you want to get your foot in the door with free events that could eventually lead to paid events?
If you answered YES to any of these, this blog is for you.
I've been public speaking for over 10 years now and have gained a diverse range of experience in front of all sorts of audiences.
When first starting out, there were a few key places that led to more opportunities, including paid public speaking opportunities.
I decided to write this article for you to introduce you to 3 key places where you can practice public speaking, plus enjoy my Golden Strategy at the end of this article below.
PRO TIP #1
Clubs: Rotary & Toastmasters
The first type of place you can apply to do speeches at are clubs, such as at Rotary Clubs. You can reach out and offer your services for free. You can run a workshop or give a presentation just for the people in the rotary, or maybe they can help you organise an event where you add value to the local community.
You will be amazed at how welcoming clubs can be with free speakers, it is a win-win situation! So, reach out to your local club, such as a Rotary Club and see if you can add value. Just make sure the topic is related to something that will help them or help the local community.
Another club that you can apply to gain experience at is at a Toastmaster Club. Now, if you're not part of Toastmasters or you don't want to be, that's okay. You could still apply, possibly, to do a Test Speech. A Test Speech is when you do a speech where the people who are practicing their evaluation skills can listen to your speech and give an evaluation.
So, not only will you practice your public speaking skills on the stage with other people, you can also gain feedback instantly. Which is a pretty awesome circumstance. So, have a look at which local clubs you can speak at.
PRO TIP #2
A great place to gain opportunities to practice your public speaking skills are at your local schools. Whether it's primary or high school, you can get your foot in the door by reaching out to the school that you studied at or a school that you connect to the values of. You can offer a workshop or a class for the teachers or you can do a workshop for the students.
Look into what that school is needing. Look into the national curriculum in your country, in your region, and see where you can fit in something that you are an expert in or that you have experience in to make a difference to them. Especially if you're doing it for free, schools will be more open to having you add value in some way. Just check what type of documentation you may need if you want to run a workshop with children, such as Working with Children Check.
Overall, start a conversation with schools and see if you can get your foot in the door. Coming from a teaching background, working in over 57 schools across four different countries, I know I appreciated when people would come in and offer perspective to our students. So, have a look at how you can add value in schools.
PRO TIP #3
Another strategy to gaining speaking experience is going to networking events, attending other events, and talking with people in the audience or directly with the event organisers. Seek out what a gap might be and offer your services for free.
I've gained a lot of speaking gigs that led to paid speaking opportunities just because I went to an event, saw that there was room for improvement in a certain area or was curious to find out if they had certain topics that people might need, and offered my skills to the event organisers or event manager.
The very first time I did this I was so nervous and was completely surprised when the event manager excitedly and instantly shared "Yes, we would love to have you! We'd love to organise to have you speak. Are you available in the next few weeks?"
You'd be surprised with how easily networking events can lead to opportunities where you can gain free and even paid opportunities to speak.
You can use Eventbrite, or you can use Meetup to have a look at different places that might be available for you to network at or visit, whether online or offline. So, have a look at events that might be happening in your region or country and be brave with offering your voice and value.
Golden Bonus Tip
Run your Own Event
Well done for making it to the end for my bonus strategy; my bonus golden strategy is for you to consider running your own events! Yes, you can do it!
You can use Eventbrite, Meetup or any other event marketing platform and run your own events. If it is online, you can use Zoom, and if it is offline, you could host an event in your home, at a local library or look for room availability in your local area.
Inspire local people, friends and colleagues, to join your event for free. Not only will you make a difference and gain experience with speaking, but you can also learn the process of marketing and the process of starting conversations even before you get on stage.
If you don’t want to run an event publicly, maybe you're in an organisation who would be open to having you run workshops or do more presentations. Ask your boss and team if you can run your own event inside of the organisation that matches their values and what they are needing.
You'd be surprised that when you put yourself out there, how much success and vibrancy comes back. So, give it a go. Put yourself out there and run your own events, workshops and presentations. You got this!
Woohoo! I trust that this blog article on where to gain more speaking experience added value to you. I invite you to like and comment below if you resonate or have any questions, and share this article with anyone you feel is going to benefit from this.
As always, if there are any topics or any other challenges I can support you with, simply message me at www.jodydontje.com/connect. I'd be happy to support you.
I'm here to serve.
Remember, every day you have a choice:
You can choose to be ordinary, or as Denise Burchard explains “YOU CAN CHOOSE TO BE EXTRAORDINARY”.
So, go out there and choose to be EXTRAORDINARY.
Be Brave. Be Vulnerable. Be Kind.
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