9 tips for breaking onto the speaker circuit

06. Give 'something extra'

Hvass & Hannibal addressing the crowd at OFFF 2014 in Barcelona

Hvass & Hannibal addressing the crowd at OFFF 2014 in Barcelona

"I have a theory, which sounds like a joke – but actually I think it's true. I believe there are a lot of people in the audience who are waiting with baited breath as the speaker waves their arms around, hoping that some of the speaker's talent is going to waft over them."

"I know it sounds silly, but who of us has never wanted to be as good a footballer as Pele, or as good a singer as Elton John? Maybe it's a juvenile idea, but I think the child in us would always hope that something good rubs off."

"I also think that the 'something extra' is a speaker who talks about their failures as well as their successes. How did they overcome hurdles? Who do they admire? Where do they draw inspiration from? All of these are of interest."

06. Delivery is key

"I've seen hundreds of talks, many fantastic and some quite poor. What makes the difference? Delivery. I've seen the most incredible work by artists and designers but their delivery was terrible, and equally, I've seen brilliant stage craft, but dull work. So, obviously, the work is important, but equally important is the way you deliver on stage."

07. Engage with your audience

Jon Burgerman is an experienced speaker. Here he talks to 3,000 people at OFFSET in Dublin

Jon Burgerman is an experienced speaker. Here he talks to 3,000 people at OFFSET in Dublin

"Does the speaker engage? Do they feel relaxed? Do they know what they're talking about and appear passionate about it? These are all things that are whizzing around my head whilst watching presentations."

08. Don't panic if it goes wrong

"Thankfully, I've not seen many real problems. Things like microphones failing, or 'clicks' that the speaker seems to be the only person unaware of, I've seen a few times."

"How to overcome that? The event should have someone dedicated to AV; someone who's prepared to run on stage and swap mics. How does a speaker deal with it? The best speakers are the ones that deal with it naturally, relaxed and without panic."

09. Never cut it short

"The worst thing I've seen is someone 'short' their presentation by a lot. I've seen a 60-minute presentation shortened to 20 minutes. That's a nightmare."

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