Upon hearing the words “public speaking” most people break out in a cold sweat. I recently did an interview with Caroline Partridge from Social Strategy Mum. The topic was “Speaking as part of your business”. We talked about how it helps your business, some common mistakes and what we can do to start speaking in our business now.
Speaking in your business is a foundational part of your business. Why? Because it helps with business growth. Speaking is not something people see as part of their business model. Yet it is great for your business.
What are the benefits of speaking?
- It Increases visibility
This adds to your credibility as a subject matter expert. Your audience gets a feel of your vibe. If they feel connected to your message, this in turn increases your profitability.
2. It helps to fine tune your message and what you do
It allows you to be clear on what you do as well as how you do it. Most people go into business to create change. There is always some bigger purpose to serve. Knowing what that purpose is will help you to fine tune your message.
3. It ultimately gives you one- on- one clients
This will add to your profitability and therefore your business growth.
What are speaking tips and tricks for people that are just starting out vs people who have been in business for a while?
Most of the tips and tricks I will offer apply to all business owners regardless of the size of their business or how long they have been in business.
- Show up
Whether it’s Facebook lives, conferences, networking events, running your own workshops or training, consistently showing up builds momentum for your business. Speaking is a foundational part of your business strategy.
2. Get out there and do something
Don’t wait for someone to put you on their platform. Create your own events. It can be on screen or in person. This will again help to add to your credibility.
3.Be prepared to make mistakes
The first event I ever did, no one showed up. There is a great local café that lets you use their space for free. I sat in a cafe on my own. As hard as it was at the time, there were some great lessons that came out of that “event”. Be prepared for this.
4. Free events suck
People simply won’t turn up to free events. Charge a small fee as this way people feel more invested and are more likely to show up.
5. It’s a long term game
Test your message while your audience is still small. It is a great way to fine tune your offering.
What are some of the common mistakes around speaking?
- Business owners saying “I am not an expert I have nothing to say”.
Every “aha” moment your clients have, you can talk about in a Facebook live, a live conference, a webinar etc. After a client meeting, take five minutes to reflect on where the value was in that interaction. What solution was provided? There’s your content.
2. Free workshops
I have already mentioned above why these are hard to get your audience to.
This is guaranteed to overwhelm your audience. Instead, think about why you would turn up to something. It’s not because you want great steps to X. You pay to get transformation. We want a solution to our problem. Understand your target audience. Understand what their problem and solution are as they see it. You must understand how your client sees the problem rather than what you think your client needs.
4. Focus on one outcome
One outcome makes it digestible for your audience. They are therefore more likely to put it into practice and get value out of you presentation.
5. Death by PowerPoint
People tend to make their PowerPoint THE presentation. YOU are the presentation. Your PowerPoint is the visual aid but you are the best visual aid. Too many slides, and too many words to read is a common no-no. If there is too much to read on a slide we stop listening to the speaker. Instead make it minimal. It needs to add to the presentation. Use imagery, big font and bolded.
When it comes to making speaking your business foundation how can we get started?
- Start by creating your own events
Whether it’s a workshop or a Facebook live, start now. You need to create your own stuff. This allows you to test your message.
2. Know what your message is
What are you going to present about? What do you do in your business?
Networking events are great. Go out and meet with people. It’s a way to be able to find venues and get to know the organisers. Organisers are always looking what they can give to their audience. Work out if your audience or referral partners are in the room.
4. Understand your own target audience
Be prepared to know what you are going to speak about when the organiser asks you what you would offer. Know what outcomes you can give them.
5. Be prepared to say no
Not all speaking opportunities are going to be right for your business. Pick and choose those that are in line with your own business.
The Up-sell: Selling from the stage. What is important to know here?
If it’s your own event, you can do what you like. Selling or upselling is an extension of customer service. There should always be a next step. Consider what the next natural step is your audience need to make it happen.
If you are on someone else’s stage understand how you can work with them. If it’s an expo or a conference understand the rules, deliver on your promise and don’t sell the whole time. Some events send you their database; some will allow you to send around a sign-up sheet. Others allow you five minutes at the end of the presentation.
Speaking in your business should be an essential part of your business. It helps you to fine tune your offering, test your message and grow your business.
If you’d like to work with me drop me a line Cynthia@createactionnow.com.au
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