Trying to Break into the Field of Speaking. Any Tips?

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  1. Scotty Knows profile image59
    Scotty Knowsposted 15 years ago

    Good day everyone.

    To give you a little bit of background, I had been a sales manager in the automotive industry for years and left to start a software company.  Our company is in the middle of an acquisition.  So, in the meantime I have started to build a wealth management practice.  All the while I have always enjoyed running sales meetings and coaching members of our team.  Having attended many speaking events with speakers ranging from Tony Robins, Dr. John C Maxwell, Terry Bradshaw and Tim Sanders and many more I've had my eye on sharing the stage with the likes of them one day.

    Obviously you have to get your start somewhere.  So I've been writing articles, I have my own blog, and I've checked out some toastmasters events.   I don't seem to be getting anywhere yet.

    I am looking for any insight or tips on other things I can try in order to get myself a couple steps closer to getting up on stage and sharing my story to help inspire others to get more out of their lives.

    Thank you in advance for taking the time to leave any feed back.

    To your success,

    Scott Wain

    1. Mark Knowles profile image59
      Mark Knowlesposted 15 years agoin reply to this

      That's a good place to start. What's your story? And in my experience - confidence is the biggest asset. Even if it's just on the outside. smile

      1. WeddingConsultant profile image65
        WeddingConsultantposted 15 years agoin reply to this

        I think that's a great piece of advice.  If you've ever been to a conference where there's been a timid or soft spoken speaker, you'll probably agree that a degree of confidence in yourself and the topic you're speaking on helps tremendously.  In the public speaking arrangements I've had, I have found that preparation before hand is key.  Oh, and not getting nervous in front of hundreds/thousands of people is always a good thing too!

    2. SkipAnderson profile image60
      SkipAndersonposted 15 years agoin reply to this

      Scott, I'd recommend that you go out and speak for free. Set a goal for yourself for the next six months. If you start looking, you'll find speaking opportunities. This will do two things: (1) Give you experience and let you have some fun since you enjoy speaking; and (2) Get your name out there. You might even consider speaking on topics that aren't directly related to what you want to be doing ultimately just for the stage time.


  2. WeddingConsultant profile image65
    WeddingConsultantposted 15 years ago


    1. Scotty Knows profile image59
      Scotty Knowsposted 15 years agoin reply to this


      1. WeddingConsultant profile image65
        WeddingConsultantposted 15 years agoin reply to this

        haha scotty.  If I had good advice I'd offer it, but I'm not in the public speaking sphere of influence.

        1. funride profile image70
          funrideposted 15 years agoin reply to this

          Yet! lol

          Hi Scotty Knows, my opinion is: go by Mark`s opinion big_smile!
          He is the most self-confident person I know tongue and it works very good for him. I am still practicing wink.

  3. Mark Knowles profile image59
    Mark Knowlesposted 15 years ago

    Thanks funride. You do just fine though. smile And it's a fine line between confident and arrogant big_smile
    I've been known to step over that line LOL

  4. BrainFire profile image68
    BrainFireposted 15 years ago

    When I'm speaking to a group I usually put my "News Casters" hat on, and speak very clearly. Pronunciation in speaking is a main asset to the results you will get. Never having to repeat what you say will be a good result of "Pronunciation". Speak clearly, Louder, and slower than you usually would. Taking the time to say the words, will affect how much your group will  absorb.

    People generally absorb about a 1/3 (30% roughly) of what is heard. The rest falls by the way side. Keeping this in mind will help guide you to choose more impacting words for the results you wish to have.

    Proper emphasis should also utilized for the affect you wish to have upon people. "Power Phrasing" should be applied when speaking to groups, using only "Positive" words. Eliminating all the negative words, for instance: don't, won't, can't, shouldn't, couldn't, wouldn't, etc.
    Replacing the negative words with a reformed sentence that's all positive will have that much more impact, and gain better results. The impression, or imprint "left" will be more memorable to the group because it was a "positive" experience.

    You also want to "Smile" when you speak to people, the affect will be a positive one, and you will be remembered in a more flattering way. Speak Loud enough so everyone can hear every word you say.

    Starting your discussion with: Thank You...I'm very glad, and honored to be here...usually is a good way to warm people up. Keeping their minds locked with what you're about to discuss is the key to relaying your words with impacting memory. Getting excited, and using your words, and body language is an important affect you would also want to have. Throw in some occasional humor, to lighten the air. Make a joke about yourself...and then go back to the exciting information you are relaying.

    Keeping people interested, and hooked on what you're talking about, will be the result when you isolate the important facts, eliminate all the filler and negative words, and clearly identify the nucleus of the subject. Searching out the details, and those facts that make you go: "Oh", or "Wow I didn't know that", and so on. To motivate the group to want more facts.

    On a personal note: I feel confident you will be a gripping speaker, with zest, and appeal!
    Don't forget to be "Yourself" too!


  5. Scotty Knows profile image59
    Scotty Knowsposted 15 years ago

    Mark, Funride and Wedding Consultant -

    Thank you for the advice and confidence boost!

    It's true, how can you have confidence in a speaker if he or she lacks their own confidence?  It'd be pretty difficult I bet.  I appreciate your feedback! 

    Dawn -

    It looks as though you have some great experience in speaking.  Thank you for taking the time to offer your insight.  All of your points make good sense.  I will concentrate on becoming more aware of the different elements required to become a great speaker.  It's seems it's all a matter of practice which was talked about earlier with a confidence in your delivery.  It's clear that all the great speakers make good use of all the practices you've mentioned.  Thanks again. 

    To all your success,


    1. BrainFire profile image68
      BrainFireposted 15 years agoin reply to this

      Thanks Scotty:
      I hope I effectively pointed out some things to be aware of, that will help you. I take it seriously, because when you speak to people you are inevitably influencing them, so we better make it good, right?
      My life is devoted to helping people...If I can help you, please don't hesitate to ask.
      What I've studied is on my profile, and my goals are to share what I've learned. A great Book you may want to read, which will help you in your quest is: Psycho-Cybernetics. It's a life changing book...that I will never stop recommending...I think you may enjoy it.
      Take care, and enjoy!

  6. jimmyrich profile image59
    jimmyrichposted 15 years ago

    Hey Scotty'

    Good choice to get into speaking.

    In September last year I went to a two day weekend seminar with my
    brother. The fee was $900.00 per person. And 120 people in attendance.
    Do the math ( not bad pickings, wouldn't you say?).

    The speaker gave a great seminar. Everyone raved about it and couldn't
    get enough . They all said they got value for money. How do I know this?
    I WAS THERE! That's how I know.

    Sounds like you've done a bit of work already:

    TONY ROBBINS. One of the best communicators on the planet to learn from.

    TOASTMASTERS. Nuts and bolts training on speaking.

    You've got a lot of the pieces together.

    Good Luck!

  7. Vnavigator profile image60
    Vnavigatorposted 15 years ago

    I have a couple of ideas for you if you like.

    I first write a script, then it becomes more of a reality for me and forces me to make it happen.  Then I practice my script with note cards.  I myself like to pace around the house or go on a walk while I practice my points and my delivery.

    I would join facebook and some local groups, then put out a feeler announcement about a speaking engagement.  You will get a ton of feedback and responses.

    Where are you located?


  8. profile image0
    jooles01posted 15 years ago

    I spent 12 years as a college and university lecturer.  I reckon that about 90% of good speaking is in due to good planning.  Make sure you prepare well, use appropriate audiovisual aids (PowerPoint is great) and be prepared to adapt the information you have - without moving away from your main goals of the session.

    Have you thought about what you could offer to a local college or university.  You don't have to become a full time lecturer - or part time.  What about going in to do an occasional talk/seminar about a topic that falls within your expertise - to smaller groups and then larger groups.  Young people like to see new faces and hear new stories, life experiences etc.  From the questions asked you may be inspired to think about new areas.

    You could also choose a topic that lots of people would be interested in finding out about in your local area and then hire a small venue, sell a limited number of tickeds (place ads in local newspapers, contact radio stations etc.) - i think you would be surprised by the number of people who would turn up for a topic such as 'Marketing Your Business on the Internet'.   

    Generally, the more you speak in public, the easier it gets.  Get to know people at the local Chamber of Commerce if you have one, or Business Development/Enterprise centres.  You may have to give a few talks for free but as you get your name known, demand will increase.

    I hope you enjoy your new venture.

  9. Scotty Knows profile image59
    Scotty Knowsposted 15 years ago


    You're right, once you do the math in ticket sales, it can get pretty crazy!  The money is nice, but I really enjoy helping others.  If I can share some life experiences of mine to help others be inspired the reward is invaluable! 

    Vnavigator or shall I say, Ken,

    I like the script idea.  I've noticed that for anything, action is key.  It looks like by getting that script down, it jumps starts the process for you.  I'll be sure to use your advise. 

    Oh, and I'm located in London Ontario.


    I have thought about getting involved in the local college and university.  Unfortunately I haven't got any headway.

    Having been in the field, would you have any advise on breaking through?  Or who I should be getting in touch with?  It just seems that I've had trouble actually getting in touch with the appropriate representative at the local schools. 

    Thank you to all of you for your kind support and advise.  It is greatly appreciated. 


  10. reversefunnelsyst profile image60
    reversefunnelsystposted 15 years ago

    First I would say choose a topic you are passionate about.
    Second, start approaching colleges and universities
    As one speaker said that you are in not speaking business but in marketing business selling speaking services
    Tell people you story. It is about Story Marketing.

    Hope it helps


  11. reversefunnelsyst profile image60
    reversefunnelsystposted 15 years ago


    It is really cool. I was in the book store today and I was reading this magazine . Millionaire Blueprint and it talked about James Malinchak, how he became speaker. and now he teaches how to be one

    Here is the magazine I was telling earlier  where you can read entire article

    I hope it can help you or anyone looking for the information

    Tatyana Gann

  12. SpeakerTeacher profile image61
    SpeakerTeacherposted 15 years ago

    A good speech begins FIRST in the mind.  So fill your mind with useful information.  Read about speaking and speechwriting.  Continue to go and see GREAT speakers.  Listen to audio blogs and read every speaking blog you can find.  There are some great online and offline courses you can take to master the basic principles of speaking and presenting.

    Be yourself.  Do not copy the presentation style of another.  Be known for who you are, not who you copy.

    Continue to ask yourself, "So what?!" because your audience is asking that question even if they are not saying it out loud.  Your speech must be relevant and perceived as being valuable to the listener. 

    Audiences are very forgiving to the speaker who touches their hearts and stirred their emotions.  Don't be afraid to make it personal, to tell stories that make a point and involve your audience.

    As a former speaker's booking agent and professional speaker myself, I can honestly say that in the beginning you need to speak at EVERY opportunity and never be afraid to speak for free.  Now to me, free means no fee but it doesn't mean no exchange of value.

    Negotiate to get a list of complete contact information of every audience member so you can follow up with them personally by mail, phone or email.  Be sure to get something to them within 24 hours and let them know you are available for other speaking engagements.  Negotiate with them to give you an ad in their membership publication or monthly mailer in exchange for your presentation. You may not get paid, but you should NEVER speak without exchanging something you deem valuable for the blood, sweat and tears you put into every presentation.

  13. MrMarmalade profile image69
    MrMarmaladeposted 15 years ago

    I was a great salesman. ( Have performed well in the field)
    I could not speak to more than one person at a time.
    I wrote down what i wanted to say and learnt thoroughly, so I became word pefect. I use to talk to my self in the bathroom in front of the bathroom mirror.
    Frank always had one friend in the audience in that room. (he would not make any comment, but he sure gave me a feeling of confidence.)
    You could call it parrot talk or canned sales talk.
    I did place 100 widgets per week for 104 weeks.

    A small point for your children, as you do not wish them to grow up up too scared to talk in front of others.

    We had five sons and on Sunday night, after dinner, they were asked to talk on some subject I would suggest. The older boys for 3 minutes each and the twins started off with 30 seconds. It worked wonders as they can all talk the lid off a iron kettle. None them ended up like their Father.

  14. rodwin profile image59
    rodwinposted 15 years ago


    i can recommend one great ebook that made miracles for me, especially that English is not my mother tongue, and i'm sure it can help you too.
    Is Joe Vitale"s "Advance Hypnotic Writing".Is great also for improving your speach.
    I have it and i would send it to you somehow if i'm sure i don't break any law and if i knew how to send 1.5 M. through email. But if you can buy it, i promise you won't be sorry.

    Good luck,

  15. Bard of Ely profile image81
    Bard of Elyposted 15 years ago

    My advice, speaking from experience, is write a book and get it published and then you can get bookings to be a speaker at tailored events. Its also a great way to sell your book and anything else that's related to the subject. I had experience doing this with a book I wrote - Herbs of the Northern Shaman - and I was a speaker at several big pagan events in London and also Glastonbury Festival. But without a book it would be a matter of looking for openings at events like conferences and conventions that have speakers and on subjects you specialise in. Authors get to be public speakers and get practice at the art as they go along but have a ready made audience.


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