public speaking

How to Get Picked to Speak at Conferences

Are you looking to speak at conferences to share your knowledge of writing, blogging, or brand building?

This month I’ve had not one, not two, but three speaking engagements — including the opportunity to teach a workshop on blogging at the Southern Christian Writers Conference. And in August I’ll be speaking at WordCamp Birmingham.

Today I want to share how I’ve managed to get picked to speak at writing conferences and what I’ve learned along with way.


How to Get Picked to Give a TEDx Talk

When I gave a talk on the TEDxBirmingham stage on March 24, 2018, I accomplished a goal I’d had for years. (You can watch my talk here.) If giving a TED Talk is on your bucket list, too, now is your chance to make this dream come true. The organizers of TEDxBirmingham are currently accepting applications for the 2019 event, set for May 3-4, 2019. If you’re ready to shoot your shot here are some tips to help your application stand out from the rest for this or any other TEDx event.


How to Write a TED Talk

On March 24, 2018, I crossed off dream that had been on my bucket list for years. On March 24, 2018, I gave a TED Talk at TEDxBirmingham on writing, feminism, and how sharing your story can change the world. You can watch it here.

I think all writers should add “Deliver a TED Talk” to their list of goals and not just because it’s something I’ve done. The work that goes into composing a TED Talk can sharpen your writing skills and the preparation that goes into successfully delivering a TED Talk will improve your public speaking skills, which will come in handy when you’re asked to speak at a writing or blogging conference or when you’re doing a reading to promote your latest book.

Before you can deliver a good TED Talk you have to write one. I’m going to help you do just that with this post. And while the tips I’m going to offer you helped me write a strong talk, these are also steps that could be used to write a strong op-ed or personal essay.


Melva Tate’s Top 10 Tips for Building Your Speaker Platform

Put in the work. That’s the rule that award-winning coach, speaker, and human resources consultant Melva Tate lives by. And that’s the rule that motivated me to attend one of her talks Tuesday evening, despite the fact that I was exhausted and wanted to sit on the sofa and watch Netflix. And I am SO glad I did!

Melva spoke at an event hosted by the I Am Woman Network and in her presentation offered advice on how to build your platform as a speaker. If you want to be a speaker, Melva is definitely someone you should listen to. She does several speaking engagements a week, most of which she gets paid thousands of dollars to do!

Here are Melva’s top 10 tips for building your speaker platform.


How to Overcome Your Fear of Public Speaking

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When I was a young girl I was terribly shy. Though I could be relatively outgoing when around close family members and friends, just the thought of speaking in front of people I didn’t know intimidated me.

Fast forward to adulthood: Today I am a teacher and a freelance journalist and someone who’s often paid to speak to large audiences on topics ranging from blogging and business to writing and women’s empowerment.

So how do you overcome a fear of speaking in public? By speaking in public!

You can’t talk yourself out of a fear. You have to feel the fear and do it anyway, again and again, and eventually the fear will melt away.