Is Public Speaking Your Thing? Here's 5 Ways to Win at the Podium Like Mother Maxine...

Congresswoman Maxine Waters
By Michelby Coco Whitehead
Hands down Congresswoman Maxine Waters is the most adored woman in modern politics. CNN’s Angela Rye refers to her as her mentor, and when Mother Maxine delivers a speech, the people sit up and pay attention—haters and fans alike. When you’ve got the gift of gab, you have influence and the ability to create a platform that gets you paid! 

And speaking of pay, speaking for pay is an excellent way for entrepreneurs to showcase their expertise, attract their tribe, and make more money. Authenticity is always a must, but so is willingness to learn. If you want to be a highly sought-after speaker, you've got to study the greats, like Mother Maxine. Here are 5 pointers to take from the ultimate teacher!

Confidence Is Key 
Have you ever been to an event where the speaker made awkward jokes and fiddled around with her hair and clothes? Whether the behavior is done consciously or not, this denotes insecurity and anxiety. Maxine commands her audience at all times with direct eye contact. 

Get To The Point 
Ever been excited to watch someone’s Facebook Live only to log off because they spent too much time adjusting the camera angles or getting to the point? Maxine Waters does not come to play. She addresses the issues at hand and moves on to the next question like a boss. Don’t lose your audience by wasting their time.

Appeal To Your Audience
The reason we love Maxine Waters is because she speaks directly to our souls. To do this, a speaker must know who she is addressing. Ask yourself why did the audience sign up for the particular event you’re speaking at? What’s the conference theme? Answering these questions will help you to understand the audience’s concerns, and what they need to hear from you. 

Know Your Stuff 
Maxine Waters always comes with a stack of receipts to support her argument. You can tell that before any interview or debate, she is well rehearsed and armed with facts. You can’t convey an idea that you have little or fuzzy knowledge on. The more well-versed you are on the subject matter you speak on, the better you can express it in your speech. 

Get Social 
If no one has ever seen you in action, how do they know you’re the right person to book for the gig? Share videos and sound bites from recent and past speaking engagements to showcase what you can do. Post pictures of yourself attending events and engaging with the crowd. Doing so shows you’re in demand and allows you to charge what you’re worth. Make sure there is a link for bookings inquiries on all your social media networks. Check out @repmaxinewaters on Instagram for some inspiration!
How do you slay at the podium?

A woman of the bayou pimping my pen because I'm scared of a day job. You can find me somewhere telling stories like Nas and Terry McMillan on April Fool's day. Writing is life so follow me on IG @cococurator

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