In a world bustling with information and connectivity, the art of communication has taken center stage. Whether you're speaking to an audience of one or thousands, the ability to create genuine connections through storytelling is an invaluable skill. When I discussed this topic with a recent guest on my podcast, we ended up talking about the concept of generous communication and explored various platforms we can use to share our stories. Naturally, each of these platforms has pros and cons, so I thought this was a good opportunity to share with you the pros and cons of different speaking opportunities.
When it comes to sharing your story, there are numerous platforms available. Each platform has its own unique characteristics, advantages, and limitations. Let's take a closer look at a few of them:
1. TEDx Talks: TEDx events provide a platform for sharing powerful ideas and insights. While TEDx talks are highly esteemed and reach a global audience, they tend to prioritize evidence-based ideas over personal narratives. Be aware that TEDx talks require adherence to strict guidelines and may limit your ability to reuse the content elsewhere. You also have to get through the approval process. I did a TEDx talk in 2017. It was a memorable moment for me and I learned a lot about myself as a speaker as well as a lot about the process. I'll go into more details another time, but suffice it to say, I think the experience was well worth it. If you believe you have an idea worth sharing and you'd like to have a video that has a high production quality, a TEDx Talk is a great choice.
2. Conferences and Presentations: Conferences and industry-specific events offer opportunities to connect with like-minded individuals. These platforms allow for more diverse content, from personal stories to research-based presentations. The networking potential can be substantial, and you may have more freedom to repurpose your content. A couple of years ago, I was asked to be the guest speaker in celebration of Women's History Month. The audience was made up of women who worked for the FBI. What an incredible opportunity to connect with a group of impressive women. This was during COVID so I didn't have to deal with travel or any attendance fees, which is always something to consider as a presenter. I also wasn't too sure how many would be in the audience and delivering the speech over Zoom was a little awkward. Overall, I absolutely would do it again because, c'mon!, what a fantastic opportunity. I won't lie though, delivering in person would have been much better.
3. Podcasting and YouTube: Creating your own podcast or YouTube channel enables you to share your stories and ideas in a format that you control. This approach offers greater flexibility and ownership of your content. This is great for us who are control freaks! However, building an audience and establishing credibility takes a lot of time and effort. I know this firsthand! My podcast is 2 years old and it has been a labor of love. While it does take a lot of time and effort to produce (and sometimes I think I should quit), hearing from listeners who want to share with me how something from the show impacted them in a positive way, makes it all worth it. I'll admit this is still a work in progress. I'm absolutely terrible about updating my YouTube channel. My goal for this next season is to be more consistent in creating content and marketing that content. That's what it will take to keep building my audience.
4. Local Events and Workshops: Participating in local events, workshops, and seminars provides a chance to engage with a smaller, more intimate audience. These platforms offer a conducive environment for sharing personal narratives and fostering meaningful connections within your community. When I'm hired to come into an organization and work with the employees on different communication-related topics, I have so much fun! Even when we're dealing with some of the more difficult topics like conflict. Something special always happens with the group due to it being so interactive. As a presenter, there is no better feeling than when you see your participants are just as into it as you are. Keeping it local doesn't have the reach that a global platform will, but as far as making an impact, this is a fantastic way to do it.
If you want to know more about what my guest, Sharyl West Loeung, and I discussed regarding the power of generous communication, take a listen to the episode here. It's all about fostering connections and understanding among individuals. Whether you choose to share your story on a TEDx stage, at a local event, through a podcast, or elsewhere, the key is to align the platform with your message and goals. Understanding the pros and cons of each platform will help you make informed decisions about where and how to share your unique story. Remember, your voice has the potential to inspire and resonate with others, making a lasting impact in the world of communication.
If you have a dream to be on the stage and don't know where to start, or if you've already been invited to speak and need help with your presentation, contact me today! I want to see you shine.