Establish Yourself as an Expert Speaker in 10 Easy Steps (Part 2)

Expert SpeakerIn our last blog, we touched on the first five steps you can take to establish yourself as an expert speaker and increase your demand as a presenter.

To continue to build on that momentum, follow the next steps below.

6. Start a blog and begin blogging about topics centered around and relevant to your area of expertise. You can create your own website for this, but you don’t have to.  Learn the basics of WordPress here http://learn.wordpress.com/ and how to promote your blog here http://www.hatchbuck.com/blog/6-simple-ways-get-mileage-blog-post/.

7. Open a Twitter account at Twitter.com and begin tweeting short statements (140 characters is the limit) relevant to your area of expertise, and retweet relevant topics from others.  Gain followers and follow others who are experts in your field. When possible, include a link to your next class or event on Lrngo.com or Meetup.com with each tweet leading up to the date of your next engagement.

8. Join LinkedIn and create a profile that emphasizes your current area of focus and expertise, then fill out your past history and work experience leading up to your current focus. Keep it real, but make sure what you say is what you would want the newpaper to print if they were doing an article on you. Post all of your blogs and speaking engagements as updates on your Linkedin profile.

9. Start an account on YouTube. Create short instructional videos around your topic of expertise and post them.  Link the videos back to your live classes on Lrngo.com.  If you have an instructional video that is long and helpful enough, create an ongoing online class on Lrngo.com and link to your instructional video.  Also have someone film your live speaking engagements and free class presentations and post them on your YouTube channel (in part or in whole). If you feel that posting an entire presentation will make your in-person presentations and classes less valuable, then post a partial presentation that includes some helpful information and makes reference to the additional valuable information that people will learn by seeing the rest of your presentation in person.

10. Write a book, and sell it on Amazon.  That’s right, I said it and I know what you’re thinking: how the #&@$ am I going to find time to write a book?  Well, according to Alicia Dunams, if you plan correctly you can do it in one weekend.  Of course extra research, editing and final publishing will take longer, but the idea is that the core of the book can be completed by isolating yourself and focusing on just writing it for two to three days.  Kami Watson Huyse, social media expert at Zoetica Media is using this technique to write her new book on a tight schedule, and speaks positively about the experience. Promoting your book will now go hand in hand with promoting your speaking engagements.

In the beginning as you create demand, try to present at least once or twice a month.  Remember, never turn down an opportunity to speak in front of a lot of people if you can help it, and always cross-promote with your writing.

Read part 1 Establish Yourself as an Expert Speaker in 10 Easy Steps (Part 1).

Establish Yourself as an Expert Speaker in 10 Easy Steps (Part 1)

Are you an expert in something?  Do you have helpful information you would like to share, but lack an audience?  

Perhaps you would like to inform people about a topic you care about, or widen your experience and reputation as an instructor by speaking on a topic of expertise?  Here are a few steps you can take to get started, and a path you can follow to build up momentum and increase your demand and opportunities as a speaker.

1. If you have anxiety about speaking in public or don’t have much experience, join www.Toastmasters.org or other groups where they allow you to practice. Then join a professional group or go to Meetup.com and find a local group (or groups) that are relevant to your topic (or topics) of expertise.  There are a lot of hobby, professional and knowledge-based interest groups in most cities.  Start going to their group events, and get to know their members. (If there are no groups relevant to your expertise in your city, start one.)

Become an Expert Speaker

2. Ask one of the Meetup.com groups if you can give a presentation at one of their events. You should have an idea of what you are going to talk about before you ask, and why the theme is relevant. You can start practicing with shorter presentations and hold a discussion, then get feedback from the members before you move up to longer times.

3. Learn to use Powerpoint, and put together a slide deck around your topic. Look at examples and get help if you’re not good at creating slides. Be sure to save some time for questions and answers (Q&A) at the end of the presentation. (A good rule of thumb is to allocate 2/3 of the total time for the actual presentation of the slides and 1/3 for the Q&A.)  It’s important to practice Q&A as well, so you can give helpful answers to questions from the audience and gain experience leading a discussion.

4. When you’re ready to give a 45 minute to one hour presentation (including Q&A), post your presentation as a free class on www.Lrngo.com. Once you have a date posted on the calendar of one of the Meetup groups to present, create a profile on www.Lrngo.com and then post a class with the same title and theme as your presentation.  Put a link from your Lrngo class to the Meetup group event listing, and let people know they have to sign up through the Meetup group to go. (If you are not using Meetup.com, you can have them sign up directly through Lrngo.)  Listing your presentation as a free class lets people know they should go because there is something they can learn from you.

5. Then post on Craigslist, LinkedIn, Google+, Twitter and everywhere else you can find with a link back to your class on Lrngo.  Then create a Facebok page for the event with a link back to your Lrngo class or Lrngo profile. This kind of link building around an event is favored by Google, and will increase traffic to your event and help you build up an online history as a presenter.

After a few of these public speaking events, guess what?  You are a presenter with a track record both online and off, and with the links and traffic to prove it.  Our next blog will talk about the final five steps to solidify your position as an expert and increase your presence as a public speaker.

Read part 2 Establish Yourself as an Expert Speaker in 10 Easy Steps (Part 2).

Why Thinking Globally Is Required Thinking

Global Knowledge Economy

In 1964, a group of top Hollywood film executives piled into a room to screen their latest investment.  It was a departure from the normal films of that day, because even though it was filmed in English, the story didn’t take place in the U.S. and the accents sounded unintelligible.  The executives were very concerned about making it a commercial Hollywood release, because it seemed so, well…“foreign.”

At the end of the screening, there was total silence. No applause, nothing.  No one knew what to make of it. Finally one executive broke the silence and said he didn’t understand a word of it. “I don’t know what any of that movie was about,” he said.  Then he added, “but…I think we’re going to make a lot of money.”

The movie was called “A Hard Day’s Night,” and it was about a new musical group called The Beatles.  As we all know today, the executive was right, they were about to make a lot of money.  What he didn’t realize at the time, was the extent to which that movie would be a catalyst for everything that was about to change.

The technology of radio, television and film was about to come together at a particular point in history, and enable a phenomenon that arguably would change the world by connecting everyone simultaneously in a shared cultural experience that made the world seem a little bit smaller.

I doubt that Hollywood and the entertainment industry were the only entities in the U.S. at that time to see a new emerging world of possibilities out there for advertising and revenue, and realize that the benefits don’t always require this country to appear at the center.

Fast-forward to the Facebook/social media phenomenon, and the mobile chat phenomenon taking place today.  One could argue that people in communities were basically already connected, but now local communities are also connected with the outside world in a way that was previously impossible.  Does that change anything?  I would argue that it changes everything.

Professors with MOOCs & highly paid tutors are finding fame and fortune that was previously impossible locally, now that technology can be leveraged to connect them with millions of people.  Millionaire tutors in Asia with over 50,000 fans (ie: students) online are living like rock stars and advertising on the sides of billboards and buses.

There are eSports heroes (yes professional video gaming is now a sport) more famous in some countries than athletes in traditional sports could ever dream of, and influencers of millions whose opinions are sought after and even paid for, simply because they “own” an audience.

These “personal brands” are the results of a new knowledge economy, an economy where the entire world is connected and people promote themselves and participate together in a project-based workforce; based on skill sets and performance, reputation, and proven history rather than credentials.

Are you connected yet?  Is your company?  How about your competitors?

Did you know that according to data collected by the US Department of Labor in 2005, one third of our economy here in the U.S is made up of freelancers?  (Freelancers are defined as self-employed people, or people who work for themselves on the side in addition to their regular job.)

That figure was published BEFORE the recession.  Anyone want to take a guess as to what that number is now?  I don’t claim to have the answer, but I would be willing to bet it’s significantly higher.

Is there a downside to the acceleration of technology and connecting the entire world?  Sure, in fact I’ll be talking about that topic specifically and how it relates to learning and education this week at SXSWedu in a presentation called Survival in the New Knowledge Economy.

As my co-presenter of that event Federico Pistono eloquently explains in his book “Robots Will Steal Your Job”, there are many challenges alongside the possibilities, and we are already seeing casualties.

At the end of the day though, let’s face it: we still don’t know what connecting everyone is going to look like, and the truth is we’re still getting used to the idea.  I think many of us as individuals are internally conflicted, much like the entities that are threatened and want to hold on to power, yet are torn because they see the benefits.

Perhaps we are all a bit like China, throwing down the gauntlet that no Facebook is allowed and sticking to the old rules, while at the same time being curious enough to break down borders sending our students in droves to study in the U.S.  (It’s bound to have an effect you know; as they say, information wants to be free.)  In any case, it’s a challenging yet exciting time for education, learning, and entrepreneurship.

As I’m writing this, I’m in the middle of managing 45 people from around the world on a company project.  I’m able to see their faces, track and vet their work, communicate with them as needed, and offer them incentives based on performance.  Sounds like an expensive platform I’m using, doesn’t it?  It isn’t, it’s free. Sounds like I’m working for a good size company, right?  It’s a pre-revenue startup with a two person management team, and I funded it myself.

Tell me that’s not a game changer.  It changes everything.