public speaking

Standing in front of a group of people and giving a speech can be an exhilarating feeling, however, no matter how great a person is at public speaking, actually getting the chance to stand in front of an audience is not an easy task.

In fact, speaking engagements are an excellent way to grow a platform or an audience, since it’s a very powerful medium for sharing concepts and ideas, as well as building relationships. Some people have even managed to turn public speaking into their full-time job, and then, all they have to do is travel from one location to the next, telling people about their thoughts and ideas.

In order to get to that point, there are several questions a potential speaker needs to ask themselves, before they regularly start getting speaking engagements into their schedule, to the point where they might have to turn some of them down.

Narrow the Focus

There are plenty of people out there who simply know that they want to get a speaking engagement, without knowing who they want to talk to, or where they want to do it, or even what they want to talk about. It’s important to have an answer to all of those questions, to know whether they want to talk to CEOs or SAHMs or even teenagers.

Whether they want to talk in front of a small audience that could fit in a classroom or a big one in a stadium. Finally, whether they want to talk about something that they are passionate about or something that they’re potentially an expert in – note that the latter one is always better.

Do Some Research

After narrowing the focus, the next step that a potential speaker needs to do in order to get a speaking engagement is to do some research on events and locations. Before thinking about sitting down with a late-night show host, start small and look up locations or events in the area that you can speak at.

At this stage, all that’s needed is a collection of places or events that are allowing speakers to talk about subjects, whether that’s conferences, summits or any other types of events. Make a list of those events, with the dates and the contact information for them, before proceeding to the next step.

Contact Organizers

After setting up the list of events, speakers usually have to keep up with them to see when the organizers are taking speaker applications – that’s the time to reach out to the coordinators or organizers, talk about the event as well as the potential contribution that you can make as a speaker.

Keep up Connections and Get Referrals

Once all of those emails are sent out to the organizers, expect an answer from them – and then deliver. Impressing the audience as well as the organizers is the goal with every speaking engagement. After the event is over, stay in touch with the organizers for any other potential speaking engagements in the future – whether it’s for the same event or with a referral to a different speaking engagement.

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Ronn Torossian is the Founder, President and CEO of New York-based 5W Public Relations. He has overseen the company's rapid growth and expansion to the Inc. 500 list, as well as provided counsel to hundreds of companies, including members of the Fortune 500, Inc. 500 and Forbes 400. His work spans global interests, corporate entities, high-profile individuals, regional business entities, government agencies and academic institutions - both on routine public relations matters and extremely sensitive issues. One of the foremost public relations experts in the U.S., Torossian is known for his aggressive, results-focused orientation, as well as his close working relationships with members of the media, influencers, decision makers, politicians and celebrities. At 5W Public Relations, Torossian's client experience has included programs for Coca-Cola, Microsoft, Anheuser-Busch, Barnes & Noble, Cantor Fitzgerald, IHOP, McDonald's, Evian, EDS, VeriSign, XM Radio, Seagram's, The Loews Regency, Bad Boy Worldwide Entertainment, Marriott Hotels, Vail Resorts, Pamela Anderson, Snoop Dogg, the Government of Israel, and others. Referred to by The New York Post as a "publicity guru," by Fox News as a "high-powered PR CEO," by Tyra Banks as a "crisis management guru," and by CNN as "a leading PR expert," Torossian is regularly featured in and quoted by the media, including by CNN, Fox News Channel, MSNBC, NBC, The New York Times, and others. CBS National News said "Ronn Torossian knows spin," and a New York Times feature story on Torossian referred to him as "The consummate hard-driving, scrappy NY publicist." Earlier in his career, Torossian was a Vice President/Group Director for one of The InterPublic Group's (IPG) largest PR agencies, where he was responsible for significant client growth and successful client programs, including work for Clinique, Fox News Channel, DHL, Hard Rock Café and others. A resident of Manhattan’s Upper West Side, Torossian was named to the Advertising Age "40 Under 40" list, PR Week's "40 Under 40" List, is a regular lecturer at universities and conferences, a member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO) and a board member of numerous non-profit organizations.