Public Speaking

Do You Need to Join the National Speakers Association to Be a Succesful Paid Speaker?

I get asked this a lot by aspiring speakers, especially those in Toastmasters that are looking for a shortcut on the path to becoming a professional speaker. The short answer is no, you can become a successful paid speaker without joining the National Speakers Association (NSA). The follow up question is then “will it help me if I join?” My reply: it depends.

Crying During a Speech

Giving a speech can be a time of high emotions. Yes, public speaking is the number one social fear so a lot of folks probably want to cry when they give a speech. And even the most experienced speakers feel a bit nervous and give speeches that don’t go as well as they had planned. So I guess everyone has the potential to want to cry during a speech. But on a more serious note, there are other times when giving a talk might get the most of our emotions. The question: is it appropriate, or professional, to cry when giving a speech?

How to Get Others Excited About Your Ideas

Whether you’re trying to get a venture capitalist to invest in your business idea, an employer to hire you for a position, your neighbors to sponsor your for a charity event or your spouse to let you buy a new “toy,” you need to sell your idea to them. I’’s much easier to sell someone on something when their excited about it, so here are two easy ways to do just that.

Get really excited about it:

Steve Jobs’ Effect on Public Speaking

Out of all the famous entrepreneurs of the last fifty years, Steve Jobs is perhaps the most iconic. The legendary founder of Apple and Pixar who brought us Toy Story, the Macintosh and the iPhone had a cult-like following that even his more financially successful counterparts were envious of. It seemed like no matter what Steve did, he did it with his own unique style – including giving speeches.

The Real Reason People Hate Public Speaking

It’s no secret that most people associate some sort of discomfort with public speaking. In fact, many people flat out hate it. I believe part of the reason for this is that there’s a lot of advice on how to be a better speaker (and even how to get rich from public speaking) that is either only semi-accurate or in some cases, completely inaccurate. So when people follow it and it doesn’t work they get frustrated and think that there’s something wrong with them.

The Problem with Toastmasters

While I recommend Toastmasters to my classes and clients, it’s not always the perfect solution for becoming a good speaker. It’s hard for me to not seem wishy washy on the subject because my four plus years in Toastmasters were mainly positive. Yes, there were those not so good moments, but in general I enjoyed being part of an amazing club and making some excellent friends.

How to Choose the Right Toastmasters Club

Toastmasters is a great organization for people who want to become better speakers. It provides a safe, low-pressure environment where you can achieve your speaking goals at your own pace. With thousands of Toastmasters clubs throughout the world, chances are there is at least one club in your area.

Regardless of your reason for wanting to join a Toastmasters club, there are three things that you want to look for in selecting the club that’s right for you: convenience, membership and experience.

Convenience:

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