What’s On Your Mind?
Choose Your Speaking Topic Wisely by Aurora Gregory
If you’re a professional, an entrepreneur, someone with a vision and a message that you know the world needs to hear, public speaking immediately establishes you as an expert and thought-leader in your space. Grow your reputation as a compelling speaker and you’ll see your career, your business or your message grow as well.
But in order to realize the benefits of public speaking, you’ve got to narrow down the topic or topics you can offer to a conference or other audience. It should be something you’re enthusiastic about and it definitely should be something you can’t wait to tell others.
Of course, not every topic you are excited about makes sense as a speaking topic. Framing your presentation focus solely on what excites you is where many speakers make a mistake that costs them the growth in their career or business they are seeking.
Does It Pass the Litmus Test?
One of the best litmus tests to apply to your topic ideas is to ask this question: Does the subject align with the objectives you have for your career, business or message?
Because here’s the thing – if it doesn’t, you have to ask yourself why you want to talk about it in front of an audience of potential employers, clients, customers, peers or influencers. Your presentation is a chance to showcase what you do, offer or know. You want to shape your topic so it allows you to talk about the success your product, solution, idea or process has achieved.
Your business priorities should be the first place you look when trying to decide on a topic. The topic still has to make sense for the conference or audience you’re pitching and be something you can propose in a way that differentiates it and you from the other proposals and presenters being considered. Starting with the business topics, ideas, products or solutions you are passionate about will help you land on something that will move you forward on the road to success.
Grab ‘Em by the Eyeballs
Once your topic is settled, you’ve got to title your presentation. Some see a presentation title as utilitarian, simply a prelude to the much more important content to follow. Nothing could be further from the truth. A killer title demands attention, sets the stage, whets the reader’s appetite and, when possible, creates intrigue. You want to get this right so your presentation draws the audience it deserves.
Developing a cracker-jack title requires a bit of skill and creativity. A clever turn of phrase, double entendre, catchy play on words, or pop-culture reference can amp up interest in your presentation. A good title describes what the audience can expect, while a great title will tell them what they’ll learn in an intriguing way.
A great title should build drama, yet still communicate what the presentation will cover. This can be a tall order, but if you nail it, you will have a considerable leg up on others competing for speaking spots in your space. Remember, being clever just for clever’s sake won’t help you get selected if your title doesn’t actually describe what the session will be about. It’s important that a title be impactful, compelling and concise.Before you take the stage to speak, you’ve got to get the topic and title right. Strike the right note with both and you’ll find yourself getting picked or invited to speak to audiences that are hungry for your message.
Aurora Gregory is a marketing communications consultant and the co-author of the upcoming book, “Get Picked: Tips, Tricks and Tools for Creating an Irresistible Speaker Proposal.” She and her co-author David Pitlik, have developed speaker proposals for some of the biggest brands in business for more than 15 years. Sign up for free speaker proposal tips and updates from Aurora and David at www.GetPickedToSpeak.com.