Standing up in front of an audience can be daunting enough in itself, which is why we have training organisations like Toastmasters. Learning to hold an audience’s attention for the length of your presentation is a prerequisite to success in this field. Of course, many after dinner speakers come to the field on the back of their celebrity. So, in some sense they have a head start on the rest already. The average Joe and Joanne are curious to see and hear what these celebrities have to say in the flesh. Although, a badly spoken celebrity will eventually run out of time with his or her audience anyway.
Speaker Merchandising: Money to Be Made
Speakers at these functions can be renumerated quite well, especially if they are famous enough. For the middle of the road type speaker, it pays to have something to merchandise to the audience. This can top up their fee for speaking and make the whole package much more tasty. Ideally, a book or DVD or CD, can allow members of the audience to take home some of their experience on the night; and shell out for the privilege of doing so.
If the presenter does not have a book or audio/visual to merchandise, then things like printed promotional gifts may serve equally well. The T-shirt with message or logo printed on it can be popular with attendees. Coffee mugs with printed message are also great gifts for the punters to purchase for themselves or a friend. Printed mousepads and pens are other items that may be considered. Inspirational messages can be printed on just about anything really. Only your imagination limits you and creative approaches can often work best.
Encapsulating the essential message within your presentation is a powerful process to undergo. It is like finding the alchemical gold at the heart of your speech. What are the words or the sentence, which truly capture your message? Language is a particularly human thing. Some say, it is the one quality that differentiates us from all other life forms. Spend some time with your language skills. How are your words uniquely yours and nobody else’s? Don’t waste words, be concise where possible. Reflect on what you have to say and how you say it. Workshop your presentation with a trusted friend or mentor and get their impression of your words. When you find the gold, the Midas words, you can merchandise them and reap the rewards.