This is the last in a series I have been writing on desired skills for the professional speaker as brainstormed by a group of National Speaker Association members.
This skill was not last on the list, it is just the last one I am writing up.
These days, event organizers and attendees are not content to just have a motivational speaker.
Attendees, clients, companies, event organizers want experts who can also speak. Or speakers who have a solid expertise in a related field. Someone who can deliver an actionable item for the attendees to take home and implement.
Not only must a speaker have great delivery, there must also be great substance = expertise to impart.
Example – I talk Social Media Marketing. And I adapt this topic to my audience – web developers, home-based travel agents, start ups – all the while honing my delivery skills.
How does a speaker hone their expertise?
The simple answer is to speak on something you are already good at.
What do you know better than most? Speak on that.
It is easier to teach an expert how to be a better speaker than to teach a good speaker how to be an expert at something. Also, listeners will often forgive poor delivery if they can still learn something useful. But they will NOT forgive a good story teller who gives them nothing useful to act on.
There are two ways to be a speaker with an expertise.
Be a good speaker and develop an expertise. Or, have an expertise and become a better speaker.
There are no short cuts here.