Become an Expert in Your Topic
Dianna Booher

I never consider speaking on a topic unless I have learned enough to write a book on the subject.  

Yes, it may be a quirk in my make-up, but I don't have the courage to stand up before a group of expectant faces and hearts without adequate preparation. That, unfortunately, means work.

There are far too many people traveling around the country speaking to audiences with incomplete, outdated, wrong or misleading information. Reading a couple of books, skimming a dozen journal articles and researching on the Internet to find five quotations by famous people is seldom enough to qualify someone to address an audience.

In our fast-paced corporate lifestyles, the time and cost of assembling an audience grows daily. Audiences who feel they haven't gained value from a speech will resent our wasting their time.

So I think that the best preparation for a speech is to write a book. That said, of course, you have to make a living in the meantime.

So until you become the expert in your subject, work on becoming one.

Experience what you're talking about
Interview the best in the field
Observe how things work
Read broadly on the subject
Then, most important, create

You've heard it said many times that there are no new ideas under the sun. But our mission as speakers and authors is to take those ideas, add to them, reshape them and create content that is uniquely ours. Content credibility leads to personal credibility on or off the stage.

About Dianna Booher
Author/speaker Dianna Booher is CEO of Booher Consultants, a Dallas-based communications training firm. Her programs include communication (writing, oral presentations, interpersonal, customer service communications, gender, listening, meetings, conflict) and life balance/productivity. She has published 40 books, including E-Writing: 21st-Century Tools for Effective Communication (Simon & Schuster/Pocket Books), Communicate with Confidence! (McGraw-Hill) and Get a Life Without Sacrificing Your Career (McGraw-Hill)., 817.318.6000

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