Jumpstart your practice marketing by ramping up your public speaking schedule. As a professional, your expertise is in high demand and organizations are eager to hear what you have to say. Many practitioners avoid these engagements like the plague, but get over it! Professional speaking is a lucrative boost to your practice.
Conquer Stage Fright
The reason you probably shy away from public speaking is that you start feeling anxious the moment you accept an engagement. This intensifies when it’s “Show Time,” causing many people to feel near-panic, to lose their train of thought, and to rush through their remarks because they can’t wait to get off the stage. These behaviors cause you to present yourself in a less than favorable light, and you may not be offered a return booking because of this. Learn how to command the stage when you speak in public. Join an organization like Toastmasters to polish your skills and to get plenty of practice managing your stage fright.
Stick To Your Area of Expertise
People will ask you to speak on all kinds of topics, but stick with what you know. You’re not an expert on everything in your field, so decline to present on subjects you really don’t know much about. Sure, you’re smart and can learn anything on the fly, but your lack of complete confidence in the subject matter will show when you speak, so don’t fall into this trap. Be generous and refer the opportunity to a colleague who will do a better job. Spend your time perfecting your niche so you can speak with authority. This will enable you to punctuate your remarks with emotion and energy because you know what you’re talking about.
Practice Your Presentation
You may think that the best professional speakers are unrehearsed and simply talk off the top of their head, but this is not true. The greatest speakers prepare their presentations and rehearse them until they’re perfect in their view. They critique videos of past talks to see what they need to improve, and work hard to correct mistakes and imperfections. You need to do this too. Learn how to hone your performance, your “look,” and your remarks so that they’re meeting the needs of your audience, while maintaining your brand and promoting your practice. And thank those who help you along the way, because they’re likely to be key ambassadors for you.
You’ll get many requests throughout your career to share what you know with the public. Every request won’t be right for you, but many will be great opportunities, so prepare yourself well in advance to enjoy your time in the spotlight!
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About the Author:
Dr. E. Carol Webster is a clinical psychologist consultant specializing in Success Psychology.
She is author of the book for those dealing with the stress of success ―
Success Management: How to Get to the Top and Keep Your Sanity Once You Get There,
The Fear of Success: Stop It From Stopping You! ―
the book to help you overcome fears that may be holding you back in your life and career
The Private Practice of Clinical Psychology in: Voices of Historical & Contemporary Black American Pioneers