How Using Social Media Can Make You A Better Public Speaker

by drjim on February 4, 2014

Social media can be a powerful tool for public speakers

Social media can be a powerful tool for public speakers
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If you ask a professional speaker who knows about the importance of public speaking what the best way to become a better public speaker is, I’d be willing to bet you that they’ll tell you “practice, practice, practice”. Now, that’s all good and such, but we’re living in the 21st Century, if we don’t have a live audience that we can test our ideas out on, shouldn’t there be another way? It turns out that there is – social media.

You Are Not Alone – Using Social Media To Decide What To Say

When you’ve been invited to give a speech, you are now faced with the challenge of creating a speech that will make an impact on your audience. This can become an even bigger challenge if you don’t know your audience very well. What’s a speaker to do?

This is exactly the type of situation that social media was created to help you solve. One of the benefits of public speaking is that each social media tool (and there are a lot of them!) can allow you to reach a different network of contacts. By carefully choosing the right social media tool you can get in contact with people who either will be in your audience or who are very similar to the type of people who will be there.

As a public speaker, your job is to use these fantastic new social media tools to reach out to your social network and ask them the questions that you’re going to need to have answered in order to get the information that you’ll need in order to build a great speech. These questions can include what topics the audience is currently interested in, what are the challenges that the audience is currently facing, what have they tried to do in the past and failed at, what are their goals for this year?

Social Media Can Help You To Carefully Choose Your Words

The value of social media does not stop at just helping you to select the right topic for you next speech. It can actually help you construct the speech itself. Your audience is in the best position to tell you what they want to hear.

What this means for you is that your social media network can actually help you to determine what words you should use in your speech. Actually, what we’re talking about here is more than just words – it may be complete phrases and ideas that should be included in your next speech.

The name that is used for this activity is “crowdsourcing”. It happens when you reach out to your network and actively ask them for their help in building your next speech. You can submit your ideas for how you’ll discuss a particular topic and you can propose the sequence that you’ll cover information in. The power of social media is that you’ll get immediate feedback and suggestions from people who are very similar to your audience.

What All Of This Means For You

The last thing that any of us wants to do is to get up on stage and deliver our next speech without having had a chance to try our ideas out first. In a perfect world, we would have been able to practice giving our speech to an audience before we had to do it for real. Since that is generally not possible, we can use today’s social media tools to do something similar.

Social media tools give us access to a large audience. This audience, our social network, has the ability to help us make decisions about our next speech. These decisions can include what topics to include as well as what selections of words will have the greatest impact on our audience.

As speakers, it is our responsibility to make the best use of all of the tools that are at our disposal in order to improve the quality of the next speech that we’ll be giving. Social media tools are an important and powerful new tool that is available to all speakers. Taking the time to use social media tools holds the promise of making all of us better speakers one word at a time!

- Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World Public Speaking Skills™

Question For You: There are a lot of social media tools out there, which ones do you think are the most valuable for speakers?

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Note: What we talked about are advanced speaking skills. If you are just starting out I highly recommend joining Toastmasters in order to get the benefits of public speaking. Look for a Toastmasters club to join in your home town by visiting the web site www.Toastmasters.org. Toastmasters is dedicated to helping their members to understand the importance of public speaking by developing listening skills and getting presentation tips. Toastmasters is how I got started speaking and it can help you also!

What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

All too often we like to make fun of lawyers – from telling lawyer jokes to laughing at those very bad late night TV commercials that they run. However, if we step back for a minute, we need to realize that a key part of the job of being a lawyer is to give speeches that carry very serious consequences. Lawyers truly understand the importance of public speaking. Perhaps there are things that lawyers can teach the rest of us about giving speeches…

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