I had the chance (privilege/honor) to be an attendee at the Ogden Speaking Academy in Kansas City these past two days.

You are already wondering what that is, so let me tell you– Ogden Speaking Academy was created with a vision of bringing together individuals who are interested in learning the art of public speaking, self image, brand awareness, as well as the power of networking with like-minded professionals.


Still don’t understand? You learn how to not only become a speaker, but build a brand and the most important thing of all, network with some of the finest people who only want success for you as well.

I learned more than 4 things at this event, but trust me, it is well worth the time, and I have to share these 4 gems that changed my world.

1. What is your unique selling proposition? — Does your elevator pitch, branding, website, social media all match or promote that? If it doesn’t, it should.

2. Laying a foundation is going to take time! I know. You want success. You want it now, but not only in speaking, but anything that you are passionate about is not going to be an overnight success. Don’t be too critical of yourself in the early months/years. YOU WILL GET THERE. Just don’t quit the process.

3. 3 things – Funny, Vulnerable, Engaging. Not just your speech, but you, as a person, need to work on these traits to become a a speaker. Not everyone is naturally funny, (I’m not by any means), but weaving humor in every story, sticks with the audience. Vulnerable? Ok. Tough guys, I recognize this isn’t on your agenda as a speaker, but if you genuinely want to connect with people — they have to know that you’re human. WE all make mistakes. Marques Ogden’s story is highlighted with this, but being resilient through the tough times makes us better people today. To be engaging is simple isn’t it? No? Taking your message/story and turning it into value for the audience, makes YOU engaging. Just hearing a story about your life doesn’t always cut it, there has to be something in the message for your crowd, then you will be engaging.

4. Have an action plan. For everything. You don’t need to copy someone else’s action plan for becoming a speaker, but YOU need an action plan, but here’s the kicker — you need to take ACTION on the action plan as well. Developing an action plan and not starting it because of fear won’t help you get any closer to becoming a speaker or whatever it is that you’re passionate about.

That’s all you learned in two days?!? Absolutely not. These gems only occupied 10 minutes of time, but there was so much amazing material, I couldn’t possibly cover everything in this blog.

If you are considering an event as a speaker, then look no further, Marques has put together an absolutely amazing event and has put an emphasis on the networking piece as well. Need encouragement? Just starting in speaking? Just looking to meet great people? Then check out the next Ogden Speaking Academy in Baltimore in November, you can sign up at info@ogdenspeakingacademy.com