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Becoming a Speaker: Your Journey to Public Speaking, Career Growth, and Opportunities

Becoming a Speaker: Your Journey to Public Speaking, Career Growth, and Opportunities By Anne Pirkkanen

I help you deliver your presentation smoothly and feel awesome about it afterwards.

Anne Pirkkanen
In this article, Public Speaking and Communication Trainer Anne Pirkkanen discusses the benefits of becoming a speaker and how she trains people to get on stage for the first time. Anne is a multilingual and multicultural mum of two international girls and is passionate about mindful communication in work and personal space. She is the Speaker Trainer at several Tech conferences and trains professionals in Public Speaking.

You can listen to this blog in the audio file here.

Have you ever considered becoming a speaker?

One way to boost your profile is to get on the stage at a conference and share your ideas. So become a Public Speaking expert. Today, I’ll review the steps to prepare for a conference presentation. It’s important to note that these steps can be applied to any presentation, not just conferences. At the end of the day, you’re still sharing your message, even if the location and audience may vary. So, let’s dive into how you can become a Speaker and see your career progress through Public Speaking.

Did you know?

60% of the Leads in the technical space I surveyed said they worry about being unable to convince their audience when presenting an idea, findings or proposal.

This is a significant number.

You miss many opportunities when you cannot give well-prepared and memorable presentations.

Here are a few examples of the consequences of not being able to convey your message, whether in a team meeting or a conference presentation: rejection of idea/project, loss of credibility, team demotivation, financial loss, missed growth, and missed career opportunities.

That is a lot of people missing out on a lot of opportunities. Are you one of them?

Let’s dig into all the benefits of becoming a speaker.

7 benefits of becoming a memorable speaker

By embracing speaking opportunities and continuously honing your presentation skills, you can reap these benefits while making a meaningful impact in your field.

Here are some of the top benefits:

  • Expertise recognition by showcasing your projects, research, findings, or sometimes even failures.
  • Networking opportunities at conferences are accessible. Imagine a room full of fellow speakers, event organizers, companies, colleagues, and many other exciting people.
  • Connecting with people at a much deeper level
  • Building your brand by talking to people and giving your speech builds credibility and showcases your skills.
  • You have the power to motivate, influence, create positive change, challenge perspectives, and make a lasting impact on your audience and on topics that matter to you.
  • Personal Fulfillment: Stepping out of your comfort zone, overcoming stage fright, and contributing to something meaningful all lead to personal growth and fulfilment as a speaker.
  • It’s just awesome attending conferences, listening to great speakers and topics, learning new things, and meeting great people. Let’s not forget about the excellent food they usually have.
The excitement and personal fulfilment of sharing your message with the audience

My role as a Speaker Coach

As a speaker coach at several conferences in Zurich, I work with novice speakers to help them feel more comfortable getting on stage for the first time. I run the training in two ways: in a group format called The Presentation Skills Bootcamp and sometimes in one-to-one sessions.

Attending conferences and giving presentations can be draining. It’s a day of uncertainty and stress, from breaking the ice to managing conversations. Public speaking triggers various emotions, often leading to physical discomfort like knots in the stomach and elevated heartbeats.

We build momentum once we start working on the presentation, which could be a few months before the event. The bulk of my work is done before the event. 

  • 75% of the time is spent preparing for the presentation 
  • 20% during the conference and just before your turn
  • 5% is done afterwards when the conference is over

So, in a nutshell, I will help you deliver your presentation smoothly and make you feel awesome about it afterwards.

Read more on the topic: How a Public Speaking Trainer can help you build confidence

How I train you in improving your Public Speaking Skills

The process consists of 3 pillars:

  • Presentation skills: Refining your presentation technique
  • Mindset: Working on the emotions that come with speaking in front of an audience
  • Language: Fine-tuning your language for you and your audience
Focus on the 3 main areas to improve your presentations and become a memorable speaker

Mastering Public Speaking is no walk in the park. It requires time and dedication. It requires you to set aside time to be highly focused.

Let me give you an example of what you could do regarding timing. Allocate 15-30 minutes of preparation time for every minute on stage.

Imagine your first speaking experience in a short slot of 20 minutes. This means you will need to set aside 300-600 minutes. As mentioned, this equates to 5-6 hours from beginning to end, 75% of the total time.

Time management summarised:

5-10 hours of individual preparationResearch, writing, editing, designing slides, recording, practising
3 to 4 Coaching sessions60 min sessions with your coach to work on your 3 pillars
20-minute presentationInclude the time to attend the conference, do the audio and tech check and mingle with the crowd
60 min Feedback and review coaching session
A TOTAL of 9-15 Hours is needed to prepare and deliver a 20-minute Presentation at the conference.

FAQs from clients

Q. When to start the preparation process?

A. Two months before is a safe bet. Several elements may change the timelines. Typically, a conference has a theme; thus, it selects speakers with topics that align with it. Sometimes, you don’t need a final title until a little later. So, the applications for international events and conferences are usually several months ahead. 

For example, at the Front Conference in Zurich, where I’m the Speaker Coach, I started running the Boot Camp 2.5 months before the event. However, we start the selection process for the speaker lineup 11 months before the event, and Bootcamp applications close 5 months before the conference.

Q. What topics are covered in the Presentation Training Bootcamp?

A. These are the steps we covered during the training. Many of the tasks are done between sessions and on your own time.

  • Brainstorm headings and topics
  • Write an abstract & prepare your BIO
  • Define your key giveaway for the audience
  • Structure the information into a presentation
  • Make a catchy opening and closing using the 3 techniques of Story-Teching
  • Prepare your slide and materials
  • Practice, practice, practice using different tech tools
  • Check your body language in the recordings
  • Review and get feedback
  • Dress Rehearsal with the group
  • Day of the conference and presentation
  • Next-day feedback & wrap up
  • Congrats, you are now a speaker! 😁

Participant comments and takeaways

“Working with Anne was a great experience. In a couple of sessions, we could improve the message, focus on flow, and improve the presentation in terms of timing, structure, and storytelling. What I most enjoyed were the clear concepts in the sessions.”

“This boot camp has been useful both technically and emotionally; I felt supported by Anne and the other boot campers.”

“I learned how to structure a speech, and using Yoodli was really useful, knowing that Anne would review it later.”

“Teamwork! Being around others in the same situation helped me, along with Anne’s support, of course!”

Looking ahead: What’s next?

If you have read this far and are excited about becoming a speaker, I have three actionable items that will take you one step closer to making this happen.

  1. You can download your Master Checklist, which guides you from A to Z to ensure you don’t miss any crucial steps in your presentation preparation, here.
  2. Purchase my online course on Public Speaking, “A Presentation Skills 101 course | Master Public Speaking and Overcome Stage Fright Like a Pro
  3. Book your 30-minute introductory call with me here for free. Let’s discuss your vision and how you can achieve it.

Related articles: The Emotional Journey of Fear, where does it come from? and 7 easy steps to improve Public Speaking

Until next time!


Anne Pirkkanen

Public Speaking & Communication Trainer

Bio: About Me

WEB: Version 2 of ME Communication

LinkedIn: Anne Pirkkanen

Bookings: Calendly

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