What is a thought leader and how to be more confident when speaking?

Here is a realization that brought me form too long to realize: the most important thing you own is the story you already have.

Very often we are brainstorming and thinking of a great revolutionary idea or a Career change that will catapult us into a life of fulfillment, but I’m a firm believer that your own personal story can help you earn a living and make a difference at the same time (isn’t that the golden overlay we’re all looking for?).

I started my speaking career in 2012 begging my college professors to let me speak in front of the class for five minutes about my new startup. headbands of hope. Later I realized that I could make more of a difference (and turn it into a career) by talking about my story. Y what I learned to help the audience, not just throw a elevator tone for my business

Now, I speak around the world as a Forbes Top Rated Speaker and have two best-selling books: Chasing the silver liningY Create your brilliant ideas.

But if there’s one blaring reality I’ve found on stage and on shelves, it’s this: We need more women as thought leaders. According to Bizzabo, only 30% of the speakers are women. And according to Tagari, only 24% of published authors are women.

that’s why i started Mic Drop Workshop in 2018, an education company with the sole purpose of training women to become paid speakers and authors. Tens of thousands of women on stages later, I’d say we’re pretty good at it!

If you want to get your wheels spinning as to how you can become a thought leader in 2023, here are some ideas:


1. Develop a personal brand

Woman typing on laptop

Photo by Anna Nekrashevich / PEXELS

One of the first things to ask yourself before embarking on a thought leadership career is, “What do I want to be known for?” The clearer you are about the transformation you want to bring to people, the easier it will be to build a thought leader career around that idea. And, the more you embrace and own your specialty, the easier it will be to find audiences who want your message, identify you as a thought leader in your field, and build a following.

2. Get commitments to speak

Woman holding a microphone giving a speech

Photo by Mikhail Nikov / PEXELS

Talk is back and booming post-pandemic. People crave connections and inspiration. Not to mention, companies and events have budgets they haven’t used in the last three years and are looking to hire female speakers! You don’t have to be an expert to be a speaker, just ask yourself: what have I learned in my story to help others in their story?

Curious about pursuing a career as a speaker? Mic Drop Workshop it’s the perfect starting point for moving from the bench to the stage.

3. Be a guest on podcasts

Woman speaking in a podcast into a microphone

Photo by Karoline Grabowska / PEXELS

Like books, podcasts are another form of media that audiences consume for information and inspiration. Being a guest star on podcasts is a great way to share your thought leadership and build your personal brand. Find podcasts that align with your brand and introduce yourself to the host. Be prepared to mention some of the key points that you believe define your brand so that listeners are inspired to find your success on social media. continue.

4. Coaching and consulting

Women friends talking to each other

Photo via Brit + Co.

Turn your fans into clients and channel your expertise into a coaching or consulting business. Through coaching, you can broaden the concepts that interest you to help people in a more personal and practical way. Consulting is another revenue-generating avenue to leverage your expertise and help brands through the content you’ve already written about on social media.

5. Go Live

Woman recording video recording live on livestream

Photo by blue bird / PEXELS

We don’t need a TED stage or a national talk show to reach people. You’ve got that nifty gadget that fits right in your pocket where you can hit Live whenever you want on Instagram, LinkedIn or Facebook. Going live is a great way to pull back the curtains and talk to your people, no matter the size of your audience. Tip: Go live with another thought leader to cross-promote audiences!

6. Publish a book

Woman on laptop looking away from screen typing typing

Photo by Karolina Grabowska / PEXELS

Publishing a book requires a significant amount of time, effort, thought, and content, but it can also be a great way to make a enormous make a splash in your thought leadership career. after i posted Chasing the bright side My audience grew and so did my speaking business with more incoming leads and I was able to charge higher fees with this new seal of credibility as an author.

If you’re looking to publish a book and have no idea where to start (I had no idea either), I’ve put together a quick and free training to get you started.

Remember, your voice and your story matter, even if imposter syndrome tells you no. Event planners, the public, and your future readers are looking for someone like you to guide them with their story.

At the end of the day, thought leadership is about using your life experiences to help others navigate his Vital experiences. And most importantly, we need more women and diverse voices using these microphones, stages, and book pages to share their story and serve others.

See also  Cybersecurity leaders gather to inspire women in the sector