Speak Up! 10 Ways to Propel Your Career from the Podium

As Seinfeld put it, public speaking scares more people than death itself. Is it worth the sweaty palms and nervousness? Yes, says our career expert JoAnn Hines. In fact, it may be the secret to landing the ideal job.

By JoAnn R. Hines, PharmaManufacturing’s Career Expert

Professional speaking is one of the easiest ways to enhance your career. Opportunities abound, no matter how experienced or inexperienced you are.

The more you speak, the better off you will be. You will establish a reputation as someone knowledgeable in your field, and people will remember you and contact you for other opportunities of all kinds.

Everyone has to start somewhere. Here are 10 ways that being a speaker can enhance your career:
  1. When you speak, you automatically assume the role of an expert. People are coming to hear what you say, right? The more you add to your "expert" status, the more valuable you become.

  2. Speakers get high-profile visibility. Look to get your name included in programs, brochures, email announcements, agendas and other handouts, press announcements and online postings of conference materials. This is especially important when you are starting out and are not being paid well. Before you sign up to speak, find out what type of PR will be done for the event.

  3. As a speaker, you get to network. It's a place where you can meet and chat up your colleagues and competition without any repercussions. Look to see who else is on the agenda and make sure to meet as many speakers as you can. Ask them to keep you in mind at other events where they might be speaking.

  4. You can use the event to market yourself. It's easy to pick up the phone and ask someone to come to hear you. Even if that person can't attend, you will win points as someone on the move. Later, that event becomes a conversation piece and a nice item on your resume.

  5. The media will notice you. It looks for speakers at conferences and events as potential interviews. Make a point of introducing yourself to the media. It gives you an excellent way to follow up for future conversations. Add the media to your master press list and send them announcements any time you are speaking.

  6. Speaking makes you a company resource. You can go back to work and report on your talk, and on other events and activities. Make sure you listen to the other speakers to learn something new. Report to your boss and send a note to associates on anything you found of interest.

  7. You get free stuff. Sure, you might get a nice pen or fruit basket. But often you can attend other sessions free of charge. Take advantage of this opportunity. Attendees pay good money to attend some events.

  8. As a speaker you get face time with executives that you may not any other way. The more important the conference or event, the higher the level of attendee. You may use this as a vehicle to meet someone you have been trying to track down.

  9. Recruiters will notice you. They are always on the lookout for high profile candidates. If you are in the market for a job, this is an excellent way to have the best jobs (through a recruiter) seek you out. It showcases your expertise in the best possible way. Don't be surprised when employers call you because they have seen your name showcased in print.

  10. You can get more free exposure. If there is no money form the engagement, look for ways to make up for it: a free booth, a place to sell your stuff, additional days at the hotel at the staff rate, discounts for attendees.
Remember, no matter what the opportunity, look for a way to showcase yourself in the best light possible.



About the Author

JoAnn Hines "packages" people. She makes it easy for others to transform their careers in much the same way she did. Her "how to" workbooks, informative articles, and tutorials demonstrate the steps to take career and professional development to the next level. Hines believes in the power of her experience and advice. As a result, much of her advice is free or is offered for a nominal charge. To learn the ropes and "Package Yourself" for success, email her at pkgcoach@aol.com.

The “Packaging Yourself Workbook" will show you specific ways to accomplish your personal branding goals and launch your career. For information, visit http://packaginguniversity.com/pkgustorefront.htm.

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