As you might imagine, I felt as though I was walking ten feet above the ground the rest of evening and for at least another week. It’s very empowering to know that I made that much of an impact on someone who was part of a group with whom I had spent only an hour.
You can begin your journey to effective public speaking right now. Check your local newspapers and phone book for a Toastmasters group. As soon as you find out when local meetings are, add them to your schedule. Don’t worry if you don’t know a topic or even have a title; they have topics and methods to help you speak with enthusiasm by practicing at the meeting. That’s just a small part of what you can learn there.
Also look for other speaking organizations like the National Speakers Association. Mingle with as many people as you can find that make speaking a regular proponent of their business development plan. Check out one of the many great books on speaking from the library. You might want to look for Lilly Walter’s Speak and Grow Rich, Bill Gove’s speaker’s series or any of the many library materials from speaker’s organizations like the National Speaker’s Association.
The process of public speaking is the fastest method of gaining effective professional acceptance that I am aware. For example, based on the national sales averages, you’ll convert one of 20 potential prospects into a client. If you speak in front of a group of 40 prospects, the odds are that you’d net two to four new clients.
The process of speaking to these 40 people might take you two to three hours, including setting up the talk, speaking, getting there and back again. How long would it take you to dial 40 new prospects, play phone tag a few times, and then actually talk with them?
The fact is, people who hear you speak publicly are much more likely to be impressed and inclined to hear your message than any forty people you call individually!
Over the years, I have spoken to well over a hundred thousand individuals. At this point, I can go nearly anywhere in the Bay Area and meet someone there who has already heard me speak. It’s great to experience that level of recognition.
While I was at the San Francisco Visitors and Convention Bureau’s mixer awhile back, a lady approached me. She told me that she had heard me speak three years prior at a professional organization for job seekers called Experience Unlimited. She quoted me as saying, “The bad news is you have no job, but the good news is, you can do anything you want with the rest of your life. What are you going to do to make it count?”
She went on to say that with that thought in mind, she went back to school and ended up getting a job in sales where she was now making more than three times what she had been earning previously.