Speak for Yourself

Claire Duffy's blog about public speaking and communication (in real life). Speak well, do well!

How to communicate in tweets, texts and YouTube videos

Tips on how to use social media to boost your speaking career,  from Washington Business Journal writer Jeff Porro:

Public speaking may be the oldest form of mass communication, dating back at least to the Greeks.

Centuries later, public speaking is still about one person trying to engage a group of listeners, but technology has dramatically changed the content, form and — especially — the impact of the words leaders say.

In the 21st century, the rise of social media has given executives and entrepreneurs a new tool that if used creatively can boost the reach and improve the effectiveness of speeches and presentations.

Getting the podium.

Social media can be a terrific way to find speaking venues for yourself or your C-suite executives. Through Twitter and Facebook, for example, you can let the key audiences you’re trying to reach know that you are an expert with something important/unconventional/timely to say.

Shireen Mitchell, a social media strategist, trainer and speaker, says she has gotten at least half of her speaking engagements through social media. “It’s been everything from panel presentations to hourlong keynotes,” she says. She recommends Twitter over Facebook as a way to get your name out, because Twitter is “such an open platform. You don’t have to have an account to search for speakers.”

Priming the pump.

Once you’ve been asked to speak, you can use social media to build your audience. Amy Vanderbilt, founder and chief strategist of Trend POV, a social omnimedia website on business strategy for executives, recommends, “Before your speech, use status posts, event posts and tweets to boost interest and buzz.”

Knowing your audience.

I tell clients the best speeches are closely attuned to the thoughts, fears and concerns of their audience. Facebook, Twitter and blogs are great ways to ask people who will be in the audience what’s on their minds. If there is time, start a dialogue with some of them well before you step up to the microphone. This will produce information you can use to target your speech even more directly to your listeners.

Spread the words during the speech.

Don’t panic when people look at their phones during your speech. That can be a good thing! Tweeting by audience members can increase interest in your current speech and build an audience for the next one.

“But be sure to give them something to tweet about,” advises Vanderbilt. “Controversial statements, eye-opening facts and other short but interesting insights are just the thing to be quoted in 140 characters.”

Spread the words afterward.

Be sure to arrange a video or audio recording of your presentation. Then slice and dice the recording to use as material for various platforms and audiences. The easiest thing to do is post the whole speech on your website or YouTube.

However — as wonderful as your 20- or 30-minute presentation might be — most social media users won’t hang around for the whole thing online. “Put together a clip that’s long enough for people to know you can speak well,” Mitchell says.

Or find a short clip that will make people want to see the whole speech or even contact you directly.


Speechwriter Jeff Porro helps executives prepare effective speeches and presentations. He can be reached at jeff@porrollc.com.

I copied and pasted this Premium content from Washington Business Journal by Jeff Porro   Date: Friday, August 24, 2012, 6:00am EDT

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