You don’t need to be an expert to speak on stage

One of the founding principles of the way I do PR with my clients is to position them as an expert on their own experience. But I don’t just talk the talk, I walk the walk.

Recently, I pitched myself for a speaking engagement at Wayfair’s headquarters in Boston. They were looking for a speaker on gender equity. Now, I’m no expert on gender equity, although I find it an intriguing subject and read much on the matter. What I am is an expert on is my own experience being a woman in two male-dominated industries, law and sports.

So, that’s what I pitched! And guess what? Out of the hundreds of applications, I was chosen to be the speaker.

When it comes to pitching yourself for speaking, remember that no one wants you to come recite studies or read from a textbook. What people want is to learn something that is valuable to them in a way they can understand and connect with. That’s where you come in, as a person…not just as a speaker. By sharing your own experience, the audience will learn something new and have the confidence to believe they can put it into action because you’re sharing how you’ve done it. This applies whether you are teaching email marketing the entrepreneurs, motivating teenagers to not drink and drive or showing women over 50 how to live their best life.

There’s a reason we feel passionate enough about certain topics to want to go out and speak on them. So, instead of worrying about whether you are a big enough expert to be qualified to get up on that stage, think about how positioning yourself as an expert on your own experience can be valuable to someone in that audience who needs to hear your story.

I’d love to know, how could you position yourself as an expert on your own experience in order to get that next speaking gig?

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