Give Public Speaking a try and get Ready for a Bigger Stage "Product people - Product managers, product designers, UX designers, UX researchers, Business analysts, developers, makers & entrepreneurs 15 November 2018 True mtpengage, MTPEngage Hamburg 2019, Product Management, ProductTank, Public Speaking, Skills, Mind the Product Mind the Product Ltd 561 Product Management 2.244
· 2 minute read

Give Public Speaking a try and get Ready for a Bigger Stage

We all love to attend product conferences and events like ProductTank. It’s where we learn, where we meet our tribe, and where we exchange experiences.

But, as co-organiser for MTP Engage Hamburg (and I’m sure every other organiser of such events will agree), it’s hard to find speakers. It’s not hard to find people with interesting stories to tell, it’s just hard to get them on stage, and that’s sad to see because our community thrives on a sharing culture.

So, here’s my question to you: When was the last time you talked to an audience larger than a group of, say, 10 colleagues? What was the story you told? How did you feel after your last big talk? And how do you feel about speaking in front of a bigger crowd soon?

Here are some reasons why you should give public speaking another try. Before you know it, you’ll be ready a bigger stage such as an MTP Engage event or even #mtpcon!

Arne Kittler and Petra Wille at MTP Engage Hamburg
Take the stage at next year’s MTP Engage Hamburg

Reasons to Present

  • You will practise a new skill – one that is a key skill for product managers. Storytelling and speaking in public will help you throughout your career.
  • You’ll learn more about the chosen subject of your talk even if you think you already know a lot about it – wrapping it all up for an audience will make you see more clearly.
  • You’ll feel huge satisfaction after the talk. Every speaker can confirm this.
  • You’ll get a lot of feedback from the audience, in the QA session or in the breaks afterwards. You’ll make many new contacts and gather lots of thoughts. Both are great!
  • It looks good in your annual review or on your CV – even if it was not your best talk! You did it! You survived it and you will improve.

So, now that you know why you should give public speaking another try, and hopefully I’ve convinced you to get started, here are some tips on how to make it happen:

  • Start small – You could start in front of your own team, then your company. Then try your local ProductTank or similar events and meetups.
  • Find a topic you care about – This is easier than it sounds. Just note what you’ve been working on in the last 12 months and what you’ve learned. There is always something interesting to share with others. Or maybe you tried a new methodology and it went totally wrong… it’s still a good story to tell!
  • Rehearse, even get a coach – Public speaking without a rehearsal never works. Even the most experienced speakers need to check timings and phrasing before they hit the stage. So search for partners in crime to help coach you. If in doubt pay somebody to help you. There are brilliant public-speaking coaches. It’s money well spent.
  • Say yes to something bigger – Don’t overthink, just say yes if somebody asks you to enter a bigger stage or a bigger event. You’ll be frightened, but that’s fine, you just need to find 30 seconds of resolve before you go on stage. That’s all.

If you think you’re ready to take it to the next level, MTP Engage Hamburg is looking for speakers, so get in touch!

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