10 Tips for Better Public Speaking

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Motivational Speaker Kelly Swanson is an award-winning storyteller, author, and comedian who teaches you how to harness the power of your story to connect, engage, and get results. In this blog, Kelly focuses on the business of professional speaking. Kelly’s post day is Friday. If you aren't sure how to comment on this story, click here.

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10 Tips for Better Public Speaking: Motivational Speaker Kelly Swanson quote

I offer a lot of tips for you dreamers out there who dream of being a top motivational keynote speaker. But today I want to offer tips on what NOT to do as a public speaker, specifically in the area of how you deal with other speakers.

I want to share those little pet peeves we as speakers have when it comes to our peers.

These are not hard and fast rules, just some things we talk about around the virtual water cooler. And, yes, they are all lessons I learned the hard way.

No, they are not in any order of importance.

10 Tips for Better Public Speaking: Motivational Speaker Kelly Swanson and her public speaking freinds

10 Things You Should Never Do:

1. Don’t sign another speaker up for your newsletter if they didn’t ask for it.

2. Don’t send another speaker your book as a gift and then keep calling them to ask if they’ve had a chance to read it.

3. Don’t ask another speaker you barely know to find you a gig in their area.

4. Don’t show up at another speaker’s gig with the hopes of meeting the client and getting a chance to pitch yourself.

5. Don’t use a story that you heard another speaker tell – or anything that speaker said or put on a PowerPoint.

6. Don’t spend all your time asking for help without giving help.

7. Don’t come to a speaker’s convention or networking event and try to sell something to your fellow speakers.

8. Don’t use another speaker’s name as a referral without their permission.

9. Don’t ask for a testimonial from a fellow speaker if they aren’t familiar with your work.

10. Don’t talk bad about another speaker to your client.

There are more pet peeves we have as speakers about our peers–like not agreeing with how public speakers market themselves, or how they sell, or what they’re wearing, or whether they are doing this business the right way–but often those are things that don’t really involve us or affect us, and therefore are a waste of time and energy to bring up.

So I don’t.

10 Tips for Better Public Speaking: Motivational Public Speaker Kelly Swanson and her peers

Just to leave on a positive note, here are 10 tips for better public speaking and what you SHOULD do:

1. Follow up with a speaker if they refer you for a job with a thank you or a gesture of kindness.

2. Return the favor if you see the opportunity.

3. Let other speakers know when you are impressed by their work.

4. Buy your friend’s book.

5. Blog about your speaker friends with your community.

6. Make the effort to go hear your speaker friends speak if you can.

7. Listen more than you talk.

8. Encourage instead of compare.

9. Be happy for speakers who are better than you, rather than jealous and bitter.

10. Instead of always worrying about why that speaker to your right won’t give you the time of day, consider that the speaker to your left is looking at you wondering the same thing.

You may not care about how you get along with other speakers. But I have found that we are stronger together, that the pie is big enough for all of us, and this business is much easier when you have people in your corner instead of pitted against you.

I’m just saying…

Kelly Swanson
You. Your Story. Make An Impact!

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