The Art of Speaking  

Using your LinkedIn account to post more than just an online resume

Make an impact on LinkedIn

YouTube Wade Paterson

The catchy slogan “set it and forget it” was coined decades ago by infomercial star, Ron Popeil.

While the phrase was used to describe the Ronco Showtime Rotisserie and BBQ at the time, it is also accurate when describing the way most people approach their LinkedIn accounts.

For many, LinkedIn is treated like an online resume, only visited periodically to update major career milestones. But the people who take the time to post content on LinkedIn often see a great return on investment in terms of the number of people who end up consuming their content.

Social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are more competitive when it comes to the amount of content published by users. That means it may be more difficult to cut through the noise and catch your audience’s attention on those platforms.

When it comes to LinkedIn, fewer people post on a regular basis, therefore, the LinkedIn algorithm is more likely to put your content in front of more eyeballs than many other social media platforms.

LinkedIn also periodically sends e-mail alerts and push notifications to users when their connections post an article or other relevant information.

In the video at the top of this article, I give two suggestions of how you can leverage LinkedIn in a way that most others don’t (disregard the third suggestion of using “LinkedIn stories,” as that feature was recently disabled on the platform).

Give LinkedIn recommendations

Recognition feels good. A simple compliment has the power to turn a bad day into a great one.

LinkedIn has a built in “recommendation” tool, which allows you to write a short testimonial for your connections that will live on their profile page.

Perhaps you have a former co-worker who is great at what he or she does. Maybe you’re a manager in an office and you want to recognize your hard-working staff. Whatever your motivation, giving someone a recommendation via LinkedIn will mean a lot to that person (especially because these aren’t typically given out often) and may help build your professional relationship with that person.

A side benefit of doing this is that, in some circumstances, the individual who you give a recommendation to may return the favour, without you ever asking them to do so.

Publish long-form posts

Short text posts on social media are great, but if you want to take your LinkedIn game to the next level, you should experiment with publishing articles via your profile. Every time you publish a long-form post on LinkedIn, it will automatically trigger an announcement post, which will be visible in your connections’ news feed. Because these types of posts are less common than short posts, they are more likely to capture the attention of your audience.

But perhaps most importantly, publishing long-form written content establishes you as a thought-leader in your area of expertise. That blog-style piece of content will live on your LinkedIn profile for all to see who land on your page.

If you’re already taking the time to produce video content, consider transcribing the videos you’re creating into text posts as well. This is a great way of taking one of your ideas and stretching it across various mediums to maximize your reach.

If you’re not currently using LinkedIn very often, I challenge you to post consistent content to LinkedIn for a month and monitor the results. I suspect the level of engagement you receive will exceed your expectations.

The video attached to this post is one of an eight-part series on Impactful Communication on social media.

If you want to learn more about making the most of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and even TikTok, check out the full series: here.

If you’re interested in learning more about Impactful Communication in general, subscribe to my YouTube channel


Why it's a good idea to start your own podcast

Launch your own podcast

Why on Earth should you consider launching a podcast for yourself or your business?

I was on a flight from Kelowna to Toronto four years ago, and halfway through the flight, I discovered I was sick of my own music. Despite the fact I had thousands of songs downloaded on my phone, I kept skipping forward, song after song.

I had heard about podcasts from some of my close friends, but for some reason, I assumed they weren’t for me. Desperate to find entertainment other than the music I had become sick of, when I arrived at the Toronto airport and waited for my connecting flight, I posted on my Facebook timeline asking my network of friends what business podcasts they would recommend.

Within 20 minutes I had more than 30 suggestions. I downloaded one episode from each podcast recommendation I received, and on my next flight, I quickly realized what all the podcast fuss was about.

No longer was I just killing time. I was simultaneously being entertained and educated. Instead of listening to brainless Top 40 songs on repeat, my mind somehow felt healthier after listening to podcasts.

The habit of listening to podcasts went beyond my trip. To this day, podcasts are part of my daily routine.

I decided to launch a podcast for the company I work for – RE/MAX of Western Canada – in 2019. My own audio consumption taught me podcasts are a powerful tool for capturing the attention of your audience.

In a time when people will glance at Facebook, Instagram and Twitter posts for mere seconds while judging if its worth their further attention, they will also generously spend 20 or even 40 minutes, and in some cases several hours, listening to podcast episodes from start to finish.

Now it’s important to understand how audiences consume podcasts. Is a listener sitting on the edge of his or her couch listening to a podcast from start to finish? No.

They might listen to 10 minutes of an episode in the car, then 30 more minutes during their afternoon workout, then finish the episode while cooking dinner that evening. But, even though the sessions are broken up, informative podcasts have the power to keep audiences coming back time and time again.

Going back to the original question of why should you launch a podcast? Simply put, podcasts are one of the most effective ways for capturing an audience’s attention.

A secondary benefit for podcasts or YouTube series that feature guest interviews is the concept of leveraging your guest’s audience.

As an example, let’s say you plan to announce a new podcast episode on social media, and you have 500 followers. When you publish an announcement post about your new podcast episode, a small percentage of those 500 people will see that content, and an even smaller percentage will take the time to listen to the interview. But, if you interview influential people in your community (or anywhere in the world, depending on your podcast’s subject matter), they will most likely want to share that episode with their audience as well.

Even if they only have 500 social media followers, you are still doubling the number of potential listeners. If they have thousands of social media followers, it could help you gain a significant audience much quicker than it would if you solely relied on your own existing network.

If you’re interested in launching a podcast or YouTube interview series, check out my eight-part YouTube series that walks you through key elements such as: What equipment to use, how to syndicate your podcast, how to edit audio and much more.

The video with this column is Part 1, covering why you should launch a podcast.

The entire eight-part video playlist can be found here.

If you’re interested in learning more about being an impactful communicator, subscribe to my YouTube channel.

Three things to do before speaking in public

Ready to talk

YouTube/Wade Paterson

Glossophobia — better known as the fear of public speaking — is a condition that is believed to affect approximately 75 per cent of the population.

Prior to 2015, speaking in front of a group of people was a terrifying experience for me. Even though I was told that I usually did a good job, I would experience anxiety for several days leading up to each public speaking opportunity.

In 2015, I joined a local Kelowna Toastmasters club. Since then, my stress related to public speaking has reduced, but it’s still normal for me to feel slightly nervous just before I take the stage.

In this month’s column, I’m excited to share three tips to give you a boost of confidence before your next speech.

Tip # 1 – Stand Up in Advance

The simple act of standing up a few minutes before you speak in front of a group of people is a game-changer.

Whether you’re delivering a wedding speech or giving an update at your building’s strata meeting, in most circumstances, you will likely be seated before your opportunity to speak. What I like to do is find a spot at the side or back of the room to stand up about five or 10 minutes before I’m about to take the stage.

Standing up tells your body that it’s time for action; it helps you physically and mentally prepare to deliver your speech.

In almost every instance that I felt I didn’t do a great job of public speaking, the commonality was that I had been seated for an extended period of time beforehand and failed to stand up in advance.

Tip #2 – Have water nearby

As mentioned earlier, public speaking is one of the most common fears that people experience, and our bodies play frustrating tricks on us when we’re put in a position where we’re nervous or scared.

One of the most common body responses to public speaking is getting a dry mouth. The worst part is that it’s not only frustrating for the speaker, but the audience will likely notice — and be distracted by — it as well.

It’s important to have water nearby in case you experience this. If your mouth starts to get dry, pause and take a sip. If you find the right times to strategically hydrate, the audience won’t find it distracting; in fact, many of the world’s top keynote speakers drink plenty of water while on stage.

Tip #3 – Take the stage in advance and visualize

It’s not always possible to be the first one in the room, but if you do have the opportunity, stand on the stage (or at the front of the room) before anyone has arrived and visualize a room full of people.

This tip is one that I try to leverage every time I speak in front of a group of people, and it has made a world of difference for me.

If you’re not able to stand at the front prior to others arriving, try to quickly face the audience at some point before you’re called up to speak. For example, on your way to the washroom, quickly turn back and face the room full of people that you will be speaking in the meeting.

Why? Because by doing this, it takes away that initial daunting feeling of having everyone’s eyes on you, and gives you one less thing to worry about so you can focus on delivering a killer presentation.

If you’re interested in learning more about being an impactful communicator, subscribe to my YouTube channel here.


Can you make a lasting impression in a few seconds?

A pitch with purpose

An effective elevator speech is a bantam biography you can use to intrigue a listener in the 20 to 30 seconds it takes to ride several floors on an elevator.

The elevator speech is a ready-made opportunity to demonstrate the concise speaking skills you’ve been perfecting in Toastmasters. During your career, you’ll be asked countless times, “What do you do?” The elevator speech is your polished and personalized answer.

Like any good speech, the elevator pitch is customized to the interests of the audience, whether it’s a one-on-one exchange or given to a group of people. Rather than touting degrees and titles, share details that will intrigue listeners and make them want to know more.

Take a basic paragraph about yourself and tailor it to the audience. Four common elevator elements are: your name, what you do, a snapshot of key strengths, and a micro example of how you’ve used your talents to solve a problem or deliver noteworthy results. Some people also include what they love about their job.

If you sense a spark among listeners, or someone has questions, you’ve made an initial impact, says Simon Bucknall, an executive speaking coach who presented “The Art of the Elevator Speech” at the Toastmasters 2020 International Convention. “Your listeners’ response will lead you,” adds Bucknall, who placed second in the 2017 Toastmasters World Championship of Public Speaking in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Some of his additional points: “People will rarely complain [about a short elevator speech] as long as you give enough information to move the conversation forward.” One of his favorites comes from motivational speaker W. Mitchell, describing how devastating accidents temporarily left him in the “prison” of a wheelchair. His mission to inspire others to rise above personal prisons led Mitchell to a fascinating elevator pitch: “I help people stage jail breaks.”

Stories can be a pivotal point in the elevator speech, Bucknall adds. “As anyone who’s been in Toastmasters knows, stories can bring a product, service, or idea to life.” The challenge is pruning a two-minute tale down to about 10 seconds. Crafting an elevator speech is “not an exact science,” Bucknall adds. “What resonates with one group or person may not with another. It’s not a fixed script, although in time, you start to figure out what messages people find relatable.”

Above all, a good elevator speech is delivered in a conversational and authentic tone. The speaker must demonstrate genuine enthusiasm. “If it starts to sound trite, your mindset isn’t right. You have to believe what you’re saying,” Bucknall adds.

Stephanie Darling is senior editor of the Toastmaster magazine. This article is reprinted from the magazine.

More The Art of Speaking articles

About the Author

The mission of a Toastmaster Club is to provide a mutually supportive and positive learning environment that offers every member the opportunity to develop communication and leadership skills, which in turn foster self-confidence and personal growth.

There are eight Toastmasters clubs in the Central Okanagan.

For more information and/or to find a club near you, check http://www.toastmasters.org.

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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