When Can Speakers Start Speaking Live Again?

In 2020, the public speaking events I had booked were cancelled. A few were moved to a virtual format. Most of my live event friends were in similar boats. BUT, most were (and still are) also pivoting somehow—finding virtual options and other ways to do the work, serving their audience, and sharing their message. The most uncertain, challenging, unwelcome circumstances always bring new opportunities to those willing to look. And work. And change.

While virtual events allow us to reach audiences far beyond what live events can and to engage in experiences we could never attend live, there’s nothing like being together and in person at public speaking events. So, when can we expect the return to live events to happen?

A Return to Public Speaking Events

While there are question marks in every direction, I know three things for sure:

Live speaking events are coming back. They just look a little different.

For lots of us, we’ve already been back in a big room with a group of people experiencing an event of some kind together. For me, it was a Michael W. Smith concert in June. Bands are out touring now. Other conferences and events are back live.

For most, the return events look a bit different than they used to—smaller audiences in bigger spaces. Depending on the location and venue, some events require masks. Some require proof of vaccination.

We’re doing all we can to be careful and safe. But we’re made to connect with one another. And there are things about the in-person connection that we’ll never stop wanting and needing. We need each other, and we will continue to need ways to gather together.

(In fact, public speaking is the surest path to meaning and impact. More about that here.)

Virtual is here to stay.

While we enjoy a return to live public speaking events, more and more companies, organizations and ministries are pivoting to virtual. And it’s working.

After a year of zoom meetings, remote work and virtual events, new opportunities have opened up for everyone. We’ve found new ways to work and connect. And we’ve discovered that virtual events can be engaging and impactful—all while allowing a world of people to participate from their own homes. Win-win.

So while we’re living in a world of changes brought on by challenges we didn’t expect or ask for, we’re benefitting from more options, not fewer. For instance, in my work as a virtual event producer for Compassion International, we’re partnering with artists and events to provide a livestream option for their in-person events. In many cases, while hundreds of people are enjoying a concert or conference in person, thousands more from all over the world can join in and experience it, too.

Today, there are more opportunities to share your message than ever before as live events return and virtual events continue as a viable and attractive option.

(Maybe it’s not so much about returning to public speaking as it is starting public speaking. If that’s you, take a look at this post for five tips to help you start)

There will always be an audience and need for impactful messages and a place for those with a heart to serve.

Whether in person or virtual, spoken or written, we need each other and never tire of hearing the stories and messages other people have to share. Stories that encourage or inspire, teach or persuade are the currency of connection in our culture. We were created for connection. And like water running downhill, our desire to connect will always find ways to reach one another.

Now is not the time to stop. Or wait. Certainly not to give up. Now is the time to reach. To imagine. To create. And to lean into the unknown and be brave in the uncertainty. Those who do will emerge better and stronger from challenges.

Okay, make that four things I know for sure.

What are you doing to embrace the new day that’s coming?

(On top of the things I know for sure about public speaking events, here are four things I know for sure about making money on stage)

Overcome your fear of public speaking today

Do you have a story to tell or message to share that will grow your impact, influence and income, but your fear of public speaking is standing in your way? Get started today and join my introductory course, Speak with Confidence, a three-module course that teaches the mindset and skillset to overcome the fear of public speaking.

Did you enjoy this post about a return to live public speaking events? Here are three more to read next:

This post was first published in 2020, but it was updated in 2021 just for you.

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