Saturday, November 3, 2012

8 Additional Skills for Professional Speakers

Here's what's involved in each competency:
The Professional Awareness competency is developed through active participation in professional organizations like NSA and CAPS. Speakers who are professionally aware know about the history and early development of the industry, keep up with new trends and developments in the market place, and operate their businesses by the highest principles of ethical practice. For instance, you will never find an ethical, professionally aware speaker copying the presentation material delivered by another presenter.
The Professional Relationships competency addresses the importance of working effectively with clients and meeting planners, cooperating with colleagues and business partners, and collaborating with agents and bureaus. Professional speakers who experience long term success manage their relationships well and are held in high esteem by others both inside and outside the industry.
The Topic Development competency focuses on how to choose, research, organize, develop, and expand the content of keynotes and training sessions. It involves skill in the use of research and journaling tools as well as knowing how to create learning activities and develop high impact stories.
The Platform Mechanics competency focuses on the staging of the presentation and includes elements such as room layout, lighting design, selecting and operating audiovisual equipment and sound systems, positioning props, screens and seating, and managing the facility and audience traffic flow.
The Presenting and Performing competency is related to the delivery of the speaker's message. This involves clarity of speech, control of vocal tone and volume, variation in speed and pacing for emphasis and impact, creating and selecting communication aids (like presentations and handouts), eye contact and other forms of non-verbal communication.
The Skills in Authorship and Product Development competency allow speakers to extend the impact of their presentations long beyond their time with the audience. Being able to produce and market products like books, videos, and audio messages (delivered in hard format or electronically) also expands the sources of business revenue.
The Sales and Marketing Skills competency is essential for connecting your messages and services with the appropriate clients. This competency includes conducting market research, selecting target markets, managing the sales process, and developing and maintaining client relationships. It may also involve skills in advertising and public relations.
The Managing the Business competency includes elements of planning, finance and administration. There are the obvious basic skills such as bookkeeping, record keeping, and office management. Business management also involves more complex activities like designing fee structures, predicting cash flow, analyzing profits, and strategic planning.There is a lot to know about each of these eight competencies. Since Chapter programs and convention sessions are organized directly around these key competencies for speaking success, getting involved in CAPS is a very effective way to hone your skills and keep up with developments in the speaking industry and marketplace.



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