Didn’t I talk about Social Media Marketing World 2017 in my last blog? Yes I did, but I didn’t talk about something that few people talk about in social media circles: public speaking. Yes I know video is the coming thing. It is the rage with Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat each trying to out do each other in one corner and in the other corner Facebook, You Tube and Periscope playing leapfrog in advancements.

But speaking, talking, sharing ideas is as ancient and vital a part of the communication process as it has ever been.

And that point leads me back to SMMW 2017. How else did we starving-for-info social media managers, strategists, gurus learn things? We sat and listened to speaker after speaker. And then we will go forth like apostles and spread the word giving lectures and seminars for local chambers of commerce “meet & greets” and at community colleges— and anyone who will listen to us.

But not everyone feels comfortable speaking in front of crowds (remember high school? 3rd period Lit? Mrs. Parker asked you to read your essay in front of the class?)

I was thinking about this when I came across an article by Larry Kim, CEO of MobileMonkey and founder of WordStream, where he stated that if you wanted to be a “public-facing professional, you’re probably going to need to get comfortable with public speaking.”

The article, “9 Places to Learn Public Speaking Skills for Free” is a great resource to give you the tools to just spread the word or even be a thought leader.

Courses are in video, audio, text and interactive forms. Some are short. Others are in a series.

You don’t think you need it? You are just an entrepreneur with a great idea that you are trying to sell? Cool. What do you think an elevator pitch is? Public speaking to an audience of one. No matter how good your ideas are, if you cloud them with “uh-ms” and “you knows,” offer no direct eye contact, no tonal inflections, or no hand gestures to emphasize points, you will bore the heck out of your listener and he will get off the elevator before you finish, if not physically then mentally.

Check the blog and and class options out. Who knows? We might even bump into each other in one of them!