With all the articles about public speaking, few ever talk about knowing your competition. If you are a novice and planning a career at the lectern, part of your homework is to listen to as many speakers as you can and get to meet them in the process if at all possible. Words cannot say how valuable this can be for your future and is one of the great public speaking tips that you would be wise to heed.
There are 3 reasons why you should take this advice.
1. You need to know who is out there in the public speaking circuit and what they are talking about. When I speak, I am constantly asked about the voices of actors and singers when my topic is voice improvement. Admittedly, you can’t know them all; but, being aware of the best in the business is to your advantage when someone asks you what you think about Mark Victor Hansen or Zig Ziglar, for instance.
2. You will gain knowledge by listening to and watching other speakers. I would never recommend copying them but instead learn from them. What do they do that makes them stand out from the crowd? By the same token, what sets you apart from the others? Is it you, your product, your CD, or your book? Do you know how many motivational speakers there are? Or how many real estate gurus, financial wizards, or website designers are speaking at conferences and conventions? Your competition is great. Listen to them; watch them; and, learn from them.
3. Always introduce yourself to the speaker. Thank them for their presentation; tell them what you are doing; and, ask them their advice. You would be surprised how many speakers are more than willing to talk to you. Remember, public speakers like to talk. And, if they see something interesting about your topic, your personality, your spirit or your drive, it is quite possible that they will give you invaluable information or even introduce you to someone else you can help further your career.
Knowing your competition is as important in public speaking as it is in any other profession. And, you will learn not only what to do but what not do in the process. It takes confidence in yourself to stand on a stage and address 50, 500 or 5,000 people. More importantly, it takes a belief that what you have to offer will improve others’ lives. That same confidence is why you should listen to and meet as many in the business as possible.
The Voice Lady Nancy Daniels offers private, corporate and group workshops in voice and presentation skills as well as Voicing It!, the only video training program on voice improvement. To get started improving your presentation skills, click Voice Training and Presentation Skills for Nancy's free ebook.