All writers have run into writer’s block at one time or another. According to Wikipedia, writer’s block is “a condition, primarily associated with writing, in which an author loses the ability to produce new work, or experiences a creative slowdown. The condition ranges in difficulty from coming up with original ideas to being unable to produce a work for years.”

The same thing can happen to speakers. You go through a dry spell and don’t have work booked for a long time, you are still doing the same canned speech you have been giving for years, or you simply are not expanding your knowledge or challenging yourself as a speaker.

If you get to that point where you feel you have speaker’s block, here are some tips to get out of it:

  • Speak! Yes just get out and speak. It sounds simple and it is. If you aren’t booked to speak anywhere, call your local library, church, or Chamber of Commerce and ask if you could come in and give a speech. Even if you’re used to being a paid, working speaker, if you aren’t working, make it happen. The best speakers I know will simply speak anywhere, anytime. Speaking, like acting, isn’t a skill you can just read about in a book and get better at. You have to actually do it.
  • Try something new – I remember when I was in Toastmasters we would have to write and deliver a new speech every month or two. I loved the idea of picking a random topic and doing a speech on it, just to see if I could. This is a good thing to do when you’re speaking at your local library or church. When you’re speaking for free you can experiment. Pick a topic that interests you and not just one that you need to make money with. But play to the top of your game and give it your all, even if you’re speaking for free.
  • Do something else creative – Sometimes if you step away from speaking and try something else creative, you stretch your creative muscles and will come back to speaking even stronger. Try writing a short story or poetry, take an improv class, go dancing, sing at a Karaoke, take up photography, make a scrapbook, etc.
  • Get an outside point of view – If you’re stuck, sometimes having an outsider look at things will give you a fresh way to look at your career. Have someone look through your website, speaker videos, etc. There is probably something you’re missing, and you can’t see it because you’re too close to it. Get a fresh point of view and get re-energized.
  • Remind yourself why you’re a speaker – If you find that things are getting boring and you’re just going through the motions, remind yourself why you became a speaker in the first place. Think about your audience and why you want to get your message across to them. This will help put the passion back in your speaking and get you excited about getting back on stage.

The next time you find yourself with speaker’s block, try one or all of the above!

 

 

 

Speak for free, by all means, if you’re a beginner. That’s probably the only way you’ll get work in the beginning. Think of it like an apprenticeship. You get to test out new material and figure out what you’re doing. Students pay huge tuition fees to go to college. Think of this as your college…

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