The surprising benefits of volunteer speaking (plus how to be great at it)

Volunteering might seem like a noble thing to do on paper, but when you are strapped for time, most people fall into the line of thinking that making an unpaid time commitment seem more taxing than its worth.

But Dr.Carr, in the article “5 Reasons Why You Should Volunteer” published on PsychologyToday says that investing your time by volunteering has some astounding personal and professional benefits, from strengthening your sense of purpose in life, to improving your health, to even helping you live longer.

Believe it or not, studies have shown that volunteering time makes you feel like you have more time. Wharton professor, Cassie Mogilner wrote in the Harvard Business Review that her research found those who volunteer their time feel like they have more of it.

One of our core values at SpeakerHub is helping organizations find the right volunteer speakers for their groups- we believe it strengthens both the speaker and the community as a whole.

If you’d like to make yourself available to volunteer, simply go to “Edit Profile” and under the “Event & Fees” section, select “Yes” for volunteering.

Do you want to know what makes a great volunteer speaker? Read below for some ideas on how to join this elite ‘tribe’.

1. Know your desired outcomes

Most volunteer speakers will talk about their area of expertise, but if you are going to crossover into a new area and speak on behalf of an organization, start by choosing the right one by knowing which issues are important to you.

Once you can identify the issues that you feel strongly about, whether that is creativity, nutrition, or entrepreneurship for children you can search for an organization that is focused on that cause.

If you’d like to stick to speaking about your key themes and topics, think about how you can talk about them to help the community.

Can you inspire school children?

Could your insights be helpful to a group at your community centre?

Which groups could really benefit from your skills and insights?

Be clear about what you’d like to achieve.

Whether it is inspiring members of your community, helping other volunteers figure out how to implement new programs, speaking in hopes of raising funds for an organization, or helping them attract more volunteers.

Knowing where you want to go will motivate you and help you achieve amazing results.

2. Be dependable

Do not flake out on your commitments. Have integrity, and be reliable.

If you say you are going to speak at an event, whatever happens, make sure to be there.

This might mean that you have to pay close attention so as to not over-commit.

Start small, and see how you can fit a volunteering commitment into your schedule. You have a number of other obligations — your family, school-work, jobs, and personal life, and you’ll need to assess how much time you can donate, and whether that can work for the organization.

It is better to begin volunteering slowly, and take on less, than to commit yourself to a schedule that is impossible and will mean that you will have to cancel last minute.

Remember to be professional. Even if you are not getting paid: use the same amount of professionalism as if you were getting paid top dollar. This means preparing your speech, showing up on time, and giving a memorable presentation.

3. Adopt an attitude of selflessness

“Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.”
- Muhammad Ali

Even though there are dozens of personal benefits to volunteering, at the end of the day, selflessness is really what volunteering is all about.

Giving your time and energy to a cause you believe in or to your community, in order to help others move forward is at the heart of volunteering.

So when you are working with the organization, keep this in the back of your mind: it is not what you are hoping to get out of it from them, but what you can contribute.

We would love to hear your stories about your experiences as a volunteer speaker. Contact us here.

Would you like to know more about being listed as a volunteer speaker on SpeakerHub? It is 100% free. Sign up here.

This was originally posted on the SpeakerHub blog.