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How can a nurse get started in the public speaking business?

Thursday August 14, 2014
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Dear Donna,

I have long admired your work and would love to someday do what you do. Can you give me some advice on how to get started in the speaking business?

Wants to Speak

Dear Donna replies:

Dear Wants to Speak.

When there’s something you want to do, it makes sense to rub elbows with those already doing it and there’s a couple of ways for you to do so.

I recommend you attend some local chapter and national meetings of the National Speakers Association (www.nsaspeaker.org). You have to qualify for membership, but anyone can attend the events as a non-member.

The national association has an “Academy for Professional Speakers” for those who wish to speak professionally. Some local chapters of NSA have their own Academy, but they may call it something different. Typically it is a one- to two-year long program to help people get started in the business.

I also recommend you attend the upcoming National Nurses in Business Association (www.nnbanow.com) conference in October in Kissimmee, Fla. Many of the speakers and attendees of this conference are in a business similar to mine and will be doing presentations on related topics. I plan to attend.

In the meantime, decide on a topic or topics of interest and prepare a 20-30 minute presentation. Then look for opportunities to speak, even for free, at schools, church groups and community groups. This is a great way to try out your material, gain experience and get exposure. Read “How to make an effective presentation” (www.Nurse.com/Cardillo/Giving-A-Presentation).

Just start putting one foot in front of the other and pave the path as you go.

Best wishes,

Donna Cardillo, RN, MA, well-known career guru, is Nurse.com’s “Dear Donna” and author of “Your First Year as a Nurse: Making the Transition from Total Novice to Successful Professional” and “The ULTIMATE Career Guide for Nurses: Practical Advice for Thriving at Every Stage of Your Career.” Information about the books is available at www.Nurse.com/CE/7010 and www.Nurse.com/CE/7250, respectively. To ask Donna your question, go to www.Nurse.com/Asktheexperts/Deardonna. Find a “Dear Donna” seminar near you: Call 800-866-0919 or visit http://www. Nurse.com/Events.