Public speaking: Have you tapped into this personal branding tool?

Public speaking is a deliberate art of sharing our narratives and knowledge.

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What do Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey, PLO Lumumba, Nick Vujicic and Vusi Thembekwayo have in common? They are excellent, renowned global speakers.

In a world dominated by vanishing attention spans and endless, chaotic digital noise, the art of public speaking stands as an indispensable skill to build a powerful personal brand in the competitive, ruthless and tumultuous corporate or business world. The mastery of public speaking offers individuals a unique opportunity to craft and amplify their personal brand as well as build a loyal community.

Public speaking is at the heart of human communication and resonates deeply to the heartbeat of people. Like a currency, when one’s public speaking skills are top-notch, their brand value becomes stronger.

Take the example of Ted Talks, people pay to listen to the talks even if they are totally unrelated to their areas of interest. Closer home, Engage Talk, a popular storytelling platform is endeared in Kenya because of the stories that are shared vividly and boldly.

How can one become a great public speaker?

Start by intentionally sharing your stories. A story is a universal language understood by every soul. It weaves a tune that can be hummed even by the deaf. A unique personal story is a signature of authority that cannot be forged by anyone else. For a start, consider talking about your life’s challenges and how you overcame them. Nick Vujicic, for instance, travels the world sharing his life journey and how he overcame life’s adversities as a man born without limbs to become a global speaker. Always conclude with a call to action to the audience to encourage and challenge their thought systems. Vulnerability sells.

Secondly, use social media and technology to your advantage. Share short, informative videos about a matter close to your heart. This tactic will definitely endear you more to your target audience as opposed to longer ones because of the shrinking human attention spans.

For instance, an athlete can post a short video on the importance of running to our cardiovascular health. While not everyone is an athlete, health is a common denominator for everyone. A lawyer can also consider demystifying prenups and guide people on how to do it successfully before marriage.

Thirdly, consider going against the tide to invoke fresh discussions. Speak on a controversial matter in a tone that will keep tails wagging long after you speak. In the health space, a nutritionist looking to grow their brand can consider advocating for the benefits of red meat while backing up the information with factual tips. Polemic talks are a guaranteed way to slowly build a strong voice that can soup up one’s personal brand organically.

Bear in mind, that public speaking is a deliberate art of sharing our narratives and knowledge. A strong personal brand elevates your commercial value and unlocks a myriad of opportunities. It equally sets one apart as a strategic thinker and offers a guaranteed route to becoming a captain of industry. A strong personal brand combined with sharpened technical skills is a sure way to ensure you cash on your craft.

The writer is a translator and teacher of French.

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