Why You Should Speak Out

Written by Debra Scala Giokas  |  30. March 2001

Do you know what the number one fear is? It's the fear of public speaking. Can you imagine. Many people deem speech making a fate worse than death. Here is another secret. The best way to stand out from the crowd is to stand in front of the crowd. One of the best marketing strategies to employ in your campaign is to position yourself as a speaker, as an expert in your field. In The Elements of Speechwriting, Jeff Scott Cook lists the five kinds of speeches to reach five communication goals: 1) to stimulate; 2) inform; 3) persuade; 4) activate; and 5) entertain. Obviously, you must first decide what your communication goal is before you select the type of speech to deliver. Decide what your message is; remember who your audience is; and ask yourself the question, "If I were sitting in their seats, would I want to listen to me? Why should I care?" The best talkers are the best listeners. Know what your audience needs. Figure out a way to answer their needs. Keep your speech clear and to the point. People do not have long attention spans, and they have places to go and people to see. Be organized in your thoughts; make your point and drill it home a few times. Your audience will appreciate your time, and they will be thankful that you didn't waste theirs. Always remember to distribute an evaluation form so that you may receive feedback and an updated mailing list. Always follow-up with your attendees. If you are going to dedicate your time to making presentations, then go the extra mile and follow-up. You will be remembered. Interested in learning how to increase your own visibility in your profession? Consider taking my 2-hour class on August 13th at Hofstra University. Call for a brochure (516-463-5998) or visit the website at www.hofstra.edu/continuinglearner.

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