How do I approach a college for public speaking?

10 replies
I want to get started in public speaking and would like to start at a local college. I would like to contact the business professor there, but I believe he may just pounce on me about my business background (I have no experience). I am just starting my consulting business and do not want to mess this up.

How should I approach the business department?

Is it anything I should have (credibility, articles, book etc.) before doing so?

or Should I just simply call up and offer myself as a guest speaker?

What would you do?

Best regards
#approach #college #public #speaking
  • Profile picture of the author jimbo13
    Okay let me savage you for a bit. (In the nicest possible way of course.)

    You have no business experience but wish to approach the Business Professor at a college with a view to possibly speaking to the students about what exactly?

    It can't be business as you say you know nothing about business and as you are starting up you can't talk about your own.

    So the students will gain what? from listening to what?

    And what is it that you would gain? The students are not going to be your customers for anyting are they? Maybe once they have graduated but whilst at college?

    Furthermore many lecturers are a bit left wing to be honest. They may teach business but really they look down on business as a grubby thing (which earns all the money to pay the wages that pays people like them but they don't see it that way)

    So my questions are as follows.

    Why do you want to talk to this group?

    About what?

    What do you hope to get out of it if you did?

    Dan
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[4845329].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author mike3188
      Originally Posted by jimbo13 View Post

      Okay let me savage you for a bit. (In the nicest possible way of course.)

      You have no business experience but wish to approach the Business Professor at a college with a view to possibly speaking to the students about what exactly?

      It can't be business as you say you know nothing about business and as you are starting up you can't talk about your own.

      So the students will gain what? from listening to what?

      And what is it that you would gain? The students are not going to be your customers for anyting are they? Maybe once they have graduated but whilst at college?

      Furthermore many lecturers are a bit left wing to be honest. They may teach business but really they look down on business as a grubby thing (which earns all the money to pay the wages that pays people like them but they don't see it that way)

      So my questions are as follows.

      Why do you want to talk to this group?

      About what?

      What do you hope to get out of it if you did?

      Dan

      I want to speak at a college to build my credibility and experience, then move into public speaking for business organizations. I plan to speak about marketing, not my business, but my expertise.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[4845437].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author jimbo13
        Right.

        I personally think this is a better option for you.

        Go to those Speaking Clubs.

        Couple of reasons for this.

        One. You get to practice whatever it is you want to say in a 'safe' environment with nothing to lose and therefore no pressure.

        Two. Public Speaking is one of the scariest things to do (you may have heard this) Whilst half the participants are there to get through a best man speech this weekend without the use of alcohol, the other half are newly promoted people in businesses who find that they need to speak infront of people now and are having panic attacks about it.

        So in a way you are impregnating your message at people in businesses who have the 'ear' of decision makers.

        In addition, once a meeting is over people hit the bar (to relieve the stress) and so you get a double whammy to get your message face to face over a laid back drink and make a few contacts.

        Then move onto organised business groups.

        Dan
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[4845553].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author mike3188
          Originally Posted by jimbo13 View Post

          Right.

          I personally think this is a better option for you.

          Go to those Speaking Clubs.

          Couple of reasons for this.

          One. You get to practice whatever it is you want to say in a 'safe' environment with nothing to lose and therefore no pressure.

          Two. Public Speaking is one of the scariest things to do (you may have heard this) Whilst half the participants are there to get through a best man speech this weekend without the use of alcohol, the other half are newly promoted people in businesses who find that they need to speak infront of people now and are having panic attacks about it.

          So in a way you are impregnating your message at people in businesses who have the 'ear' of decision makers.

          In addition, once a meeting is over people hit the bar (to relieve the stress) and so you get a double whammy to get your message face to face over a laid back drink and make a few contacts.

          Then move onto organised business groups.

          Dan


          I'm going to my first toastmasters meeting tonight
          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[4845669].message }}
          • Profile picture of the author jimbo13
            Well there you go.

            I understand that Toastmasters have a full programme that you can follow for very little money.

            Also, some of them in the UK - and maybe all of them in the US, I wouldn't know - have a programme unit whereby they call on businesses and offer 'Public Speaking' to directors and managers in their place of work.

            Here is what I mean in Newbury which is about 20 miles away but Reading which is 5 miles away don't so maybe Newbury invented it I don't know.

            Newbury Speakers

            It is a way to get right into those businesses off the back of a name they all recognise.

            A good reason to go through the whole TM programme because if they don't do this where you live you can set it up.

            Get paid for helping directors with Public Speaking which in itself is quite lucrative and they will be grateful to you.

            Anyway, good luck to you Mike.

            Regards
            Dan
            {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[4845785].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author shunks
    In my opinion you should start with schools, unless you are already good at public speaking.
    Signature
    Check out my Website and see how im profiting from the Bitcoin Bubble.
    Daily updates about me trading Bitcoins and making cash $$$!
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[4845412].message }}
  • {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[4845958].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author mike3188
      Originally Posted by Seantrepreneur View Post

      I'm sorry I might have missed this, but do you have any exprience in marketing?

      I have studied marketing for over a year now and I am just starting my business.Public speaking is part of my marketing plan.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[4846004].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Seantrepreneur
    What did you want to present on? Local marketing strategies or nationwide strategies? Online or offline? Small business or large corporation?

    There is BIG different in each of these. I'm curious as to which way you are headed with this.

    You'll want to be careful too because really a year isn't that long. I mean you don't see students graduating from college that studied marketing for 4 years public speaking. One thing to watch out for is make sure you're presenting on stuff that you are 1000% (Yes, 1,000) sure on. The worst thing that can happen is you get one person in that room you are speaking too that calls you out on something you said that is incorrect. That's going to immediately discredit you which is hard to come back from.

    I think your marketing plan should include building a nice client bases, see what works and what doesn't and then looking for small speaking gigs to start with.

    I hate to be negative Ned, but I'm just trying to point you in the right direction.

    Sean
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[4846088].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Jan Hurst
    I taught at a top-50 U.S. university business school for 10+ years and for a number of reasons think there are better places for you to target. Here are a few:

    Service clubs like Rotary, Lions and Kiwanis need speakers every week for their meetings. These are business men and women who may be good candidates for your consulting business. But you need a good topic that is informative and entertaining.

    Call the local SCORE office (through the U.S. Small Business Administration). They are retired executives, and they may have some good suggestions for you. You may also find a good mentor there.

    You could do a workshop for the local Chamber of Commerce or business development organization. You might also be able to partner with a local bank to do a workshop for their customers, but you need to have a strong, informative program.

    You didn't specify what your consulting business does, nor how much experience you have in the topic. I am assuming that you have enough experience to be credible to business owners.

    I recommend that you start with small groups to build up your confidence and experience, then gradually get larger. When you start with smaller groups, if you stumble, it is a small blip. If you stumble with a larger group, it can be harder to recover.

    Let me know if I can help you.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[5017124].message }}

Trending Topics