When you speak authentically to an audience that's interested in your expertise, you have the opportunity to wow them with your knowledge, which can lead to promotion, referrals and sales. Find groups to serve with your best knowledge -- and you'll wind up increasing your customer base.
I am looking to give lectures on health and wellness. Do you follow a format? What do you talk about?
What do you consider for different audiences? What groups do you contact? (IE Weight Watchers, Schools, Athletic teams, etc)
I do this from time to time, usually on specific subjects when approached by different groups.
Before I ever give any presentation, I try to find out as much as I can about the people I am presenting to. Whatever you want to say, it has to be relevant to them, or else they will tone you out almost immediately.
And that is usually how I start a presentation after having introduced myself. Sometimes, particularly is the group is not large, I may ask the participants to tell me what they are expecting (a word of caution here: you better be ready to address it later). I then link what I have to say to how it will concern them. I also establish from the start that I will be happy to answer questions as I talk but reserve the right to defer the question to an after-presentation one-on-one if I feel that the specific may lead me off track.
Then I say what I want to say. I try to make it as interactive as possible. Questions like "who of you has ever ......?" break the monotony of a presentation and engage the audience.
In finishing, I link back to the start and repeat how I have demonstrated to them why my information is relevant. Then another survey about questions before I thank them for taking the time to listen.
One more word of caution: never answer a question unless you are 100 % sure. Much rather tell them you do not know for certain and get back to them. You never know who is in the audience. If one person trips you up, the value of your entire presentation will be questioned.
I always have business cards and other informational material ready.
I wish you good luck.
I hope that this helps.
At the close of my talks, I always ask for questions, have business cards ready and ask the person who contacted me to speak for feedback. I also make myself available afterward to individuals who may not feel comfortable asking questions in front of a group.
If you're looking to get into speaking, start first with making a list of groups who would be interested in your area of expertise and the niche you're trying to capture. Your local better business bureau may e able to help you locate groups that would be interested in your expertise.
I like the comments that have already been made here. When it comes to public speaking engagements, I don't follow a set format. Topics I've covered include everything from functional exercises to aquatic fitness to triathlon training, tapering, and fueling (food). As LaRue said, speaking from the heart is a good idea no matter the subject.
As for groups to advertise yourself to, I suggest letting them come to you. If you make it known to all your current clients, family and friends that public speaking is an area of your expertise, they're bound to refer others to you when the topic comes up in conversation. If they hear it from someone else it authenticates you as an expert in your field. You can also make sure that your Facebook, Twitter, and/or LinkedIn accounts list public speaking as a skill.
This method has allowed me to speak in many arenas I didn't initially expect, from gastric bypass support groups in a hospital setting to being a guest speaker in accredited college classes. Make sure whatever materials you present are authentic and cite your sources. Plan for as much as you can in advance, but be ready for the unexpected to happen (it's inevitable that it eventually will!).
Best of luck to you in your new endeavor! Feel free to contact me for any specifics.
Your audience is able to discern when you are excited about what you are teaching them.
Once you find that topic, if you are an effective public speaker, you will do fine.
Mac Dodds M.A., Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist