Any speaker, author, blogger or content creator has been there before. Staring at a blank screen without a clue in the world about what to write or where to start. When you’re getting started, you may not know what you want to speak about. That’s okay!
But figuring out what you want to speak about doesn’t have to be complicated. Let’s start with a simple question…
Assuming you were put in front of your ideal audience to talk about any subject, what would you speak on?
Take out all pre-concieved ideas of what you should or could talk about. What are you dying to talk about? What is the perfect topic for you to share about?
5 Ways To Discover What You Want To Speak About…
What experiences do you have in life? These can be both personal or professional. Maybe you’ve worked in a certain industry or business that has given you specific experiences. Maybe you’ve had some type of personal, life experience you want to speak about. Generally we think of these to be overcoming negative challenges such as divorce, death, abuse, or bankruptcy.
But maybe your experiences have been positive. You built and sold a business. You’ve had a successful marriage thanks to the sex enhancement pills. You traveled the world. These could all be experiences you could share with others that they could learn from.
What topics do you just know a lot about? What do you feel extremely knowledgable on? What do people commonly ask you questions about?
For example, people regularly ask me about how to get started as a speaker. So naturally, I know there’s an opportunity to teach that expertise and knowledge to others. Your knowledge may be in in something like time management, dealing with people, leading a team, overcoming adversity, starting a business, writing a blog, or homeschooling your kids. The options are literally endless.
Perhaps, you’ve won some type of award or recognition that gives you credibility in a certain space. My friend Omar Zenhom hosts the hugely successful podcast, The $100 MBA Show. Last year, the show won a Best of iTunes award which is only awarded to a handful of the thousands and thousands of shows that exist.
So guess what? Omar is seen as a go-to person on the subject of podcasting because of that award.
Within our Booked & Paid To Speak private community, one of our members, Lisa Simpson, was a contestant on the TV show, The Biggest Loser, and even lost 108 pounds as a result! That experience and recognition gives Lisa the opportunity to get booked to speak on that topic.
A key component of a good speaker is someone who is passionate about and loves the topic. If you’re just going through the motions or you don’t care about the subject, that shows through. Passionate speakers are much more engaging and enjoyable to listen to.
So what are you passionate about? What do you love to read and talk about the most? If you were to ask 5 people who really know you well, what would they say you’re passionate about? (hint: maybe you should actually do that 🙂
On behalf of audiences everywhere, please, please, please only speak on topics you actually like talking about! When you talk about subjects you enjoy, you’ll have more fun, and the audience will have more fun as well.
Also, keep in mind though that just because you’re knowledgable on a topic doesn’t mean it necessarily has to be something you speak about. There are plenty of topics that I’m knowledgable on that either A) I’m not interested in speaking about or B) there’s just not a market for.
While it’s important to do some internal work to figure out what you might want to speak about, the reality is that the more often you speak, the sooner you’ll discover…
- What topics resonate with your audience – This is similar to any type of communication medium. Whether you’re blogging, podcasting, or producing some type of content, some material will resonate with the audience more than others. You got to get out there to discover what resonates and what doesn’t.
- What topics are easier to get booked for – I have a list of 4 different workshop topics we offer for clients. Only 2 of them ever really get booked. You don’t know that unless you’re out there actually speaking.
- What topics you most enjoy speaking about – Sometimes you don’t know until you try. You may find you really enjoy speaking on one subject more than another. Again, you have to give it a shot to know for sure either way.
If you’re going to be a speaker, you have to start speaking. Whatever topics or subjects you choose to talk about are not permanent. Most speakers are always reinventing themselves and moving to different topics as the market shifts as well as when they shift in life.
But at some point, you have to stop researching and doing homework and start actually promoting yourself as a speaker.
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Honored to be mentioned here Grant. Your value is exceptional.
Hey Grant… nice article and some sound ideas about speaking. Thanks for sharing. I am a speaker and author who deals with a lot tough kids, in tough neighborhoods, caught up in bad behaviours that generally destroy them their families and often times there future. I have put together a training program helps them reconnect with the reality of the actions and decisions and allows them to rebalance their values of self esteem. From there we get them moving on a personal self assessment, goal setting and financial empowerment training that concludes with a commitment to social contributions and then we honor their efforts with a gala dinner supported by media, sports and business celebrates. In essence three weeks of intense coaching that will change their lives and help move them along the path of leadership.
As a freelance graphic designer I’m currently in the process of developing my knowledge/skills of public speaking by joining Toastmasters. I hope to help small businesses with their marketing while getting paid to present. I appreciate the tips on your blog.
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