Be sure to give yourself enough lead time because you will have to gather and organize new (to you) information and practice your speech. You did say you wanted to learn something new right? You may know very little about the subject when you begin.
When you are done, so many great things happen for you. First and foremost – you have the knowledge you wanted before you started. Other people will very likely admire you for getting up to speak. Public speaking is high on the list of ‘most feared things’ for a huge number of people.
You may be seen as an authority on the topic now – at least in that particular group. You may get more speaking gigs or even get paid to speak.
If you learn that you are really into this, you should know that there are three ways to book yourself for presentations – you can speak for free, you can speak for an honorarium (fancy way to say get a fee) or you can pay them to speak!
If you are seriously considering this, which method do you think will get you more speaking gigs?
Public speaking happens to be something I actually like doing (weird, right? I like doing taxes too, I’m just not normal, I know). I found out it’s a great way to learn something when I took on two speeches for our local astronomy group ages ago. I wanted to learn about the mass anomaly in the universe (you probably hear about it as ‘Dark Matter’ which is a misnomer), so I signed up and went to work. My talk was titled “What’s the Matter?” and was very well received!
The second presentation I took on was “Determining Stellar Distances” because it baffled me how astronomers knew the distance to stars far away. It’s actually a variety of methods confirmed by overlapping and calibrating them by the previous, more accurate method.
The second presentation was very different from the first because I didn’t plan out the ‘Stellar Distances’ talk as well as the ‘Mass’ speech and my boss, at the time, was in the audience!
You definitely want to be prepared, trust me.
My best tip for speakers: if someone asks you a question and you don’t know the answer, just say “I don’t know” because people know if you are not honest and, hey, you can find out then tell the one with the question later if it’s really important to follow up. People really like both the honesty and the follow up.
Does the ‘live audience’ part scare you? Ponder this, most people are terrified of public speaking so will admire you for getting up there and facing it.
If that still gives you the jeebies, why not accomplish the same goal by speaking what you learned to your camera and making a video? If you post it online, you could start a whole series for fun and/or profit.
*Takes time and research
*Any age if you are able
*You might get paid to do this!