Creating a Brief Description of Your Talk
The following is an excerpt from the book: Get Speaking Gigs Now by Leisa Reid.
Why do you need a brief description of your talk?
A description of your talk is needed for three important reasons:
#1: You will be asked for it by meeting planners so they can get an idea of what your talk is about and if it’s a fit for their audience.
#2: You will want to have the description visible on your speaker sheet (see PART 6 in my book on Speaker Sheet Development to learn more). Again, this if for the eyes of meeting planners to get an idea if your talk is a fit for their audience.
#3: When you do get booked, the meeting planner will often highlight you in their invitations (e.g., e-newsletter, social media, website, agenda, etc.).
Why do you need an attractive title? Your title is often the last item you define when getting your talk ready to rock. It starts to emerge as the learning points are created and the description is written. It must encompass the theme of what you’re sharing as well as be catchy and/or compelling to both the meeting planner and the audience. Many times I’ve been told that people came to the event just to hear me speak based on the title and description of my talk.
How much do you need to practice your talk? It depends … on how quickly you get comfortable and flow with the message you want to share. I don’t mean the comfort level of the topic, I mean the comfort level of the words and the actual pacing of what you are sharing.
For example, I saw one speaker give her talk with her notes in her hand the entire time, AND she had a PowerPoint presentation. What did that tell me? That she did not take the time to practice incorporating both into her presentation. Why? Because she was too scared to let go of her notes. It massively affected her credibility.
This is definitely one area you have in your hands to control. You can practice for free! You can practice multiple times. The only thing in your way to accomplish this task is you and your setting time aside to get this part done.
Anytime you give a new talk or have been given a new timeframe for a talk, you’ll want to practice. You can time yourself until you get a feel for what you can share within that allotted time frame. Your confidence will be 10 times stronger when you know that you can share your message clearly and that you have plenty of time to share your call to action as well.
How do you go about expanding (or shrinking) your talk and why would you want to do this? Once you have created your learning points and practiced the flow of your presentation, you will want to time yourself.
Initially, I recommend 30 minutes from beginning to end because that is a typical amount of time given for the speaker. From there, you can expand on any of the learning points with a case study, stories, examples, statistics, or exercise to increase the length of the talk. You may also decide to add 1-2 more learning points.
If you need to shrink it down to 15-20 minutes, I recommend keeping the learning points very succinct and increase your level of practice as you will have less wiggle room to get off track. I have found that the less time I have, the more I need to practice so that I stay on point and develop a rhythm for hat time frame.
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