Not everyone is cut out to be a public speaker, but if you’re a nonprofit, why not get out and start spreading the word as a cause speaker? If you’re not a professional speaker there are some ways you can get up to speed quickly to improve your speaking skills and eliminate your fear.

Do your homework

I’m sure you know your cause and your nonprofit like the back of your hand. But how much do you know about your audience? Every audience is different and expects something different from you. The best way to find out is to ask the meeting planner. Really dig deep to find out as much as you can about the people you’ll be speaking to. What do they want and need to learn from your presentation? What do they already know? No matter how much they know, you can win a lot of brownie points by finding some really interesting information nobody has heard of.

Use humor

By their very nature, most causes are serious business. Cancer, domestic violence, homelessness. None of those topics are funny. But you can and should find a way to add some humor to your speech. Laughter is the brain’s reset button. We especially need humor when talking about a serious subject. There’s a saying “Humor is just tragedy, separated by time and space.” This could get a little tricky, so it’s best to use your gut instinct. Run it by the meeting planner first just to make sure you’re not crossing a line. And use your own experience. It’s almost always okay to laugh at yourself.

Be prepared

It’s more than just a scout’s motto. One of the tricks to being a great speaker is simply to know your speech like the back of your hand. Not memorized word for word, but knowing your topic so well that you talk about it all day long. I know it sounds boring, but practice your speech over and over and over again until it bores you. Then you can start playing around with it and improvise. I practice in front of my dogs. If I can keep them awake, I know I’m on the right track. Once you have it down, practice in front of a group that is similar to the one you’ll be delivering the speech to. Get feedback and practice some more.

Creating a cause

Creating a cause as a speaker involves identifying an issue or mission that you are deeply passionate about and leveraging your platform as a speaker to advocate for it. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you create a cause as a speaker:

Self-Reflection and Passion Identification

Take some time for self-reflection and identify the social or humanitarian issues that resonate with you on a personal level. Consider the causes that evoke strong emotions and a desire to make a difference.

Research and Understanding

Once you’ve identified a potential cause, conduct in-depth research to gain a comprehensive understanding of the issue. Learn about its root causes, the impact it has on individuals and communities, and existing efforts to address it.

Define Your Mission and Vision

Clearly articulate your mission and vision for the cause you want to create as a speaker. Define the specific goals you aim to achieve and the impact you want to make through your advocacy.

Craft Your Message

Develop a compelling message that communicates the urgency and importance of your cause. Your message should be clear, concise, and emotionally impactful, inspiring others to support your cause.

Leverage Your Speaking Platform

Use your speaking engagements to advocate for your cause. Incorporate your cause-related message into your presentations, keynote speeches, and public appearances.

Create Engaging Content

Develop content that educates, engages, and inspires your audience. Use storytelling, statistics, and real-life examples to effectively communicate the significance of the cause.

Build Partnerships and Collaborate

Connect with organizations, NGOs, or other individuals who are working on similar causes. Collaborating with like-minded entities can amplify your message and create a more significant impact.

Utilize Online and Social Media

Leverage social media platforms, blogs, podcasts, and other online channels to spread awareness about your cause and reach a broader audience.

Measure and Communicate Impact

Track the impact of your advocacy efforts and communicate the progress you’re making toward your cause’s goals. Share success stories, testimonials, and outcomes with your audience.

Stay Committed and Persistent

Creating a cause and effecting positive change is a long-term commitment. Stay persistent and focused on your mission, even in the face of challenges and setbacks.

Encourage Action and Engagement

Inspire your audience to take action and get involved in supporting your cause. Provide tangible ways for them to contribute, whether through volunteering, donations, or spreading awareness.

Continuous Learning and Improvement

Stay informed about the latest developments and research related to your cause. Continuously improve your speaking skills and advocacy strategies to maximize your impact.

Have fun  

Just remember that the audience wants you to succeed. They are rooting for you. If you’re having fun, they’ll have fun. Believe me, they don’t want to sit through a boring speech, so just go out there and have fun with it. As long as you’re prepared, you have passion for your topic, and you’re excited about what you’re talking about, you’ll be fine.

Remember that creating a cause as a speaker is a journey that requires dedication, empathy, and a genuine desire to make a difference. It’s essential to remain authentic and true to your mission throughout the process. As you build momentum and gather support, your cause can grow and create a positive impact on the world around you.

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