The answer really depends on your topic. There is one situation in which the answer would be, ‘no.’ Let’s say, for example, that you have survived a death-defying event and are being interviewed on TV to talk about your experience. Labeling yourself as an expert is a non-issue. However, if your goal in public speaking is to talk about motivation, social media, marketing, sales, etc., then the answer would most definitely be, ‘yes.’ Otherwise, why would an audience be drawn to listen to you if you were not an expert?

Some people tell me that they want to be a professional speaker but don’t know what to talk about. I find this to be an interesting quandary because my 1st goal was to be a voice coach in which public speaking just naturally followed.

While many people enter public speaking as I did, in which their career choice brought the opportunities to speak, for those of you who are not sure of your topic, you must give this great thought. Your friends and family may have some ideas for you as they know your beliefs, your strengths and your weaknesses. What subjects did you enjoy in school, in college or university? Was there one particular area in which you excelled? If so, can you select an avenue within that topic which would be of interest to an audience?

Another method in finding a topic is to be on top of current events: there may be an issue with which you strongly agree or disagree. Here is an example. Much of playground equipment is being banned from parks because of the danger to children. Perhaps you do not agree with this idea. On the other hand, maybe you do not believe that government has gone far enough in restricting what equipment is suitable for children. Whichever side you are on, you have a topic.

Research playground equipment and study what is happening. Go to parks and talk to parents. Talk to school officials. Ask questions. Google the news about your topic. Get facts and figures and find anecdotes to back up your ideas. Write articles. Write a book. Listen to other speakers in your field so that you can see what they are talking about and how they deliver their material. By no means should you copy them however.

Your goal as a ‘professional speaker’ is to have a better answer than your competition and to be able to solve your audience’s problem. Remember, as the expert, it is your job to know more than those to whom you are addressing.

Author's Bio: 

The Voice Lady Nancy Daniels offers private, corporate and group workshops in voice and presentation skillsas well as Voicing It!, the only video training program on voice improvement. To see how voice training can improve your life, both professionally and personally, visit Voice Dynamic or watch a brief video as The Voice Lady describes Dynamic Public Speaking.