Have you ever delivered a speech or considered public speaking as a way to network or build your business?

Speaker, author and professor Dr. Emad Rahim joined us for a #bufferchat to share advice and resources on how public speaking can grow your personal or business platform.

Read on for the highlights, or check out the full Storify recap here.

1.21.15

What’s the best way to get started in speaking?

From Emad:

  • Start small speaking at clubs, events, parties and classrooms. Speak where you are familiar/comfortable.
  • Volunteer at first. Talk on topic and issues that you are passionate it. Make sure it supports your brand, message, image
  • Perfect your speech/ Captivate presenter/Charismatic/Deliver results/Storyteller/Passionate. People to come to you

More great advice:

  • “View every speaking engagement as a learning opportunity as well – always learning keeps you growing & interesting.” @kymberlaine
  • “To speak and be heard, you need to have something to talk about. Cultivate your passions. Devour info. Become an expert student.” @MadisonJonesHR
  • “Join a Meetup in your area that covers a topic you enjoy. Reach out to the organizer with your ideas.” @dswebsme

What advice do you have for delivering an effective speech or podcast?

From Emad:

  • Prepare/practice/communicate. Research the topic, audience, environment & have examples. Best speakers are storytellers
  • Know how you will open and close, podcast or in-person.
  • Balance between being a presenter (teacher) and entertainer (Method Man).

More great advice:

  • “No matter how well you think you know your material, do a dry run with someone to find lulls in presentation or length issues” @mwilton13
  • “Be clear. Practice before you go live. Feel confident, or at least try to look like you do” @vegecomgirl
  • “Don’t sell yourself. Serve your audience with knowledge they can take away.” @seftonmedia
  • “Always be helpful and natural. Staged, scripted and sales focused will be spotted a mile away.” @lisamasiello
  • “Join a Toastmasters group. Learn to tell stories. Avoid bullet points.” @kilfrew

What role does blogging and social media play in your speaking career?

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From Emad:

  • Blogging and social media support my speaking career. People have hired me based on what they read, or posted, tweeted
  • Allows me to reach out to people, companies & communities in many ways. Furthering my brand awareness & speaking opps
  • I can blog about A Tribe Called Quest and get hired to discuss how their brand is strong as Nike, Apple or Google

More great advice:

  • “Blogs boost credibility, social media boosts connection with audience. Also a great source of material!” @webber_karen
  • “It’s like baseball. Blogging is singles and doubles. Speaking is triples and HRs. Power is great but getting on base is key.” @domgarrett
  • “Your blog and social media presence is another extension of your brand. They all should reinforce each other.” @ThinkSEM

How can public speaking skills strengthen other skills for marketers or entrepreneurs?

From Emad:

  • Public speaking strengthen comm, customer service, articulation, people & leadership skills.
  • Soft skills are vital to the success of entrepreneurs & marketers. Public speaking strengthen confidence & self-esteem
  • Entrepreneurs become better business pitchers and marketers become better sales presenters. Win Win

More great advice:

  • “Public speaking is fantastic for strengthening others skills like networking, interviewing, social branding (<-yes, even).” @christinkardos
  • “From a blogging perspective, it strengthens your ability to put your ideas into words.” @eceePraha
  • “Public speaking helps grow your inner confidence, and teaches you to engage with your audience! :)” @chrisgliddon
  • “Don’t forget, you can rehash the same content a million ways. That’s what pros do.” @joshmccormack

What online resources do you use to keep learning?

From Emad:

More great advice:

Best books on speaking or building your platform:

From Emad:

More great book recommendations:

Thank you so much for everyone who joined in on this great chat! Catch #bufferchat each Wednesday at 9 am Pacific/noon Eastern and join our Google+ community for the latest news.

Do you have any comments or answers to these questions? Leave your thoughts in the comments! We’d love to hear from you!

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Written by Nicole Miller

Community Champion at Buffer 🙂 When I’m not connecting with amazing community members, you can find me writing, reading or blogging about my urban homesteading adventures with 15 chickens, four ducks, two dogs and a horse.