3 Ways to Build a Speaking Platform

As a speaking/acting coach, writers often ask me, “How do I build a speaking platform?”

There’s no magic answer to this question, but here are some things to consider. 

Some people speak so they can write books. Others write books so they can speak. Which one are you? Either way, writers must make the most of every speaking opportunity. Why? Because building a speaking platform depends upon how well you speak.

Fear of public speaking ranks number one in the minds of most Americans. Many of us would rather have a root canal than give a 10 minute speech. Writers, in particular, are usually more comfortable behind a computer screen than on a TV screen or stage.

If you’re publisher is pushing you to get out there, or you want to expand your sphere of influence, then these speaking tips are for you.

  1. GET HELP. Learn to speak and speak well. Speaking platforms are built by word of mouth. Do a good job speaking at a small event like a church group or book club and      you’ll make connections that will get you invited to other events. Do a poor job of speaking and end your speaking career. Take speech classes, hire a speech coach, or ask your local high school speech teacher to tutor you. If you don’t have access to professional help, video yourself. Watch for irritating mannerisms like saying “uh, uh, uh” or putting your hair behind your ear.
  2. TALK ABOUT WHAT YOU KNOW. If you’re passionate about something, it’s easier to communicate authentically to your audience.
  3. PRACTICE. If you’re really new to the speaking podium, write your speech out word for word. Eliminate repetitive phrases. Make sure you have a point. Find a good      joke, illustration, or story to support your point. Then print out your speech. Cut it up and paste the pieces onto numbered 3×5 notecards. Read your script over and over to yourself and out loud (I’m not saying memorize but rather familiarize). Practice in front of the mirror. You’ll be amazed at how much more comfortable you’ll feel in front of an audience if you’ve prepared. My college speech professor said, “If you’ve prepared, then you’ve earned the right to speak.”

Building a speaking platform is like learning to dance…you must learn the steps before you can waltz around the room.

SixMinutes is a great public speaking blog I suggest you follow. Here’s a sample of the high quality information they offer.

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About lynnegentry

Wife. Mother. Writer. Acting Coach. Director of Dallas International Performing Arts Academy.
This entry was posted in Body Language, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to 3 Ways to Build a Speaking Platform

  1. garmonjulie says:

    Brilliant post! Thank you. This was for me. Listening to the speaker….and learning!

  2. garmonjulie says:

    And, look at the center picture of you on your banner, and of course the other one of you! You’re such a natural! 🙂

  3. Lynne Gentry says:

    Julie, I’ll admit public speaking is easier for some. But I think everyone can learn a few “tricks” to help them communicate better. Thanks for stopping by, girl.

  4. I had to give a speech at the historical society last week. I should have brought Lynne up to Omaha to give it for me! (I would have asked for prayer, but I’d been talking to God moving up the Second Coming…)

  5. Lenore Buth says:

    Thanks, Lynn. Your tips will come in handy as I prepare for a speaking engagement in a few weeks. Thanks also for the link to Six Apart. I plan to pass that on to some people I know who are job-hunting. That YouTube presents good material, well-researched but not scholarly.

  6. Lynne Gentry says:

    Please do pass the info along, Lenore. Knock ’em dead on your speaking gig.

  7. Thanks for the video on body language during interviewing. I’ll pass it on to a certain med student for her residency interviews!

  8. hollywsmith says:

    Thanks Lynne this is so handy since I am speaking Wednesday in a workshop at Orchid. 🙂

  9. Lynne Gentry says:

    I’m excited to get this info out to so many potential public speakers. Good luck, Holly.

  10. http://toastmasters.org offers a great and economical way to polish speaking and leadership skills. I belong to a club in Davison, MI. http://greaterdavison.toastmastersclubs.org and we welcome visitors Monday evenings. See website or email me for details if you live in that area.

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