One of the most common questions that participants in our 2-day presentation class ask us after completing the class is, "Now that I feel more confident, where do I go to practice to continue to get better as a speaker?" In this session, Doug shares a few ways to find speaking venues who are always looking for good speakers, and how to build a solid reputation as a good speaker so your reputation grows.
How to Find Great Venues to Practice Your Presentations
If you are looking for someplace to practice your public speaking skills, Doug has a few suggestions that can both help you improve your skill and become more esteemed by your peers. He starts the podcast by explaining that once you gain new confidence as a speaker, you will actually notice a lot of opportunities to speak that you may have overlooked in the past. He said its like the Yellow Volkswagen theory. You never see these cars on the road until you buy one, but once you do, you see them everywhere. Speaking opportunities are the same way. Once you start looking for them, you will find them EVERYWHERE!
- Toastmasters: When people here Doug speak about Toastmasters, they often think that he is, somewhat anti-Toastmasters, but that is not actually the case. Doug recommends Toastmasters with caution. Each Toastmaster group is has its own strengths and weaknesses, so Doug suggests that you visit a few chapters before choosing a home.
- Social Clubs: Every city in the US has dozens of different social clubs like Rotary, Kiwanis, Lions, etc. Each of the clubs will often have a weekly speaker. If you do the math, hundreds of different speakers are needed every week, and there are 52 weeks in the year.
- Chamber of Commerce: Chambers are more difficult to get to speak to, but if you sponser a meeting, they will often let you say a few words during the meeting.
- Association Meetings: Join a trade association or become active in your current association, and you will come across an enourmous amount of opportunities to speak in front of audiences. You can run for an office or chair a committee. Just like at Chamber meetings, you can also sponsor meetings.
- Trade Shows: Trade shows and conventions often have breakout sessions where they need a lot of speakers. If you have trouble getting invited to speak at one, you can always purchase side-by-side trade show booth areas and use the second area as seating for an impromptu audience.
In the next podcast, Doug talks about additional venues where you can actually get paid to practice speaking!
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