In a list of “top 5 phobias,” public speaking takes the top slot, followed by death. That’s right, more people are scared of speaking in front of others than they are their own death. And that’s a shame, because what many people don’t realize, particularly business owners, is that public speaking is a tremendous tool for growth and success.
Brand benefits of public speaking
Public speaking is one of the most effective ways to showcase your products and services to a larger audience. Think about how business owners usually extend brand reach. They either pay for expensive advertising or they take part in what seems like an endless series of one-on-one meetings.
speaking helps build brand awareness for your business. As a bonus, it will
generally pay YOU to speak to a hungry crowd, so it’s easy on your ad spend
budget. And, instead of winning people over one by one, you can impress
hundreds of people in a single presentation, encouraging them to give your
brand a try.
No other endeavor can build your reputation as an expert quite as quickly or efficiently as public speaking. This is invaluable as more consumers are apt to engage with a new brand that has proven its expertise.
finally, public speaking can greatly enhance your confidence and sales skills.
Selling is an integral part of growing a customer base and monthly revenue. If
you generally aren’t thrilled selling to others, public speaking can help you
feel more comfortable talking to just about anyone.
9 Public speaking tips to get started
that you know public speaking can be one of the best things you can do to grow
your business, let’s look at some practical tips to get started:
1. Develop a relevant presentation
will you speak about? In order to offer the most valuable information, you’ve
got to do a little research on your audience. What are their biggest pain points?
What kinds of questions do they ask on social media and online forums? How can
you genuinely help?
you focus on what people need to hear instead of what you want to
tell, you will develop relevant messaging that resonates with the audience.
you’re new to public speaking, it’s a good idea to practice before booking your
first gig. You can start by presenting your speech out loud to yourself,
perhaps in front of your mirror. Once you’re comfortable speaking your ideas
out loud, ask a few friends, family members or associates to listen to your
presentation and offer feedback. Take this feedback to heart. Don’t get
offended by any criticism, instead use it to get better and better.
may also want to record yourself speaking so you can see for yourself how you
are coming across. Are you stiff and robotic, or do you move and act naturally?
Is your voice monotone or expressive? Are you talking very fast or taking your
time and using effective pauses? These are some of the things to look for and
3. Set your business objectives
do you specifically want to use public speaking? Do you want to connect with
potential investors? Network with other business owners in your industry to
form alliances? Introduce consumers to your new product or service? Get
specific with your business goals so you can then identify the right
prospective event organizers to target.
example, if you want to network with other business owners, speaking at a
chamber of commerce event makes sense, whereas if you want to get in front of
consumers looking for your product, a chamber of commerce event could be a big
waste of time.
4. Actively seek speaking engagements
“If you develop a great presentation, they will come.” This sentiment does not apply to public speaking. In the beginning, you’ll want to set time aside each month to actively seek speaking opportunities.
Consider adding an email signature that advertises for you. Have a speaker’s bio available to pass out at trade shows and chamber of commerce events. Add a speaking page to your website and actively reach out to event organizers to offer to speak.
Once you get a few engagements under your belt, you will become known as a subject matter expert and will eventually be invited to speak at events. It will take a little bit of time to get there, but don’t get discouraged. A bit of work up front will really pay off.
5. Come with marketing materials
you start booking speaking engagements, remember to bring with you enough
marketing materials to hand out to prospects. This can include brochures,
business cards, coupons and free giveaways (pens, magnets, etc.).
6. Think quality not quantity
public speaking is a great way to get your brand message in front of large
audiences, don’t focus on the size of the crowd. The goal is to make sure your
time is well-invested. It is much better to speak in front of a totally engaged
audience of 80 people than waste your time speaking to a disinterested audience
7. Don’t get lazy
Once you get comfortable with your presentation, it’s easy to get lazy and just give the same old presentation over and over for years. It’s important to keep your presentation fresh and engaging, so find updates or new examples to add to it.
8. Stay on top of trends
Stay on top of industry trends and share innovations. By doing this, you will be considered not only an engaging speaker, but one who can be depended on to keep the audience informed.
9. Be helpful – not perfect
you know why so many people are terrified of public speaking? Because they are
afraid they will make a mistake and look like a fool in front of others. But
that is entirely the wrong attitude to take.
Don’t try to be perfect and memorize every word and hand gesture. Be real and honest and most of all, be genuine in your desire to help the people in your audience solve a problem. If you focus on helping instead of being perfect, you can’t go wrong.
speaking is one of the absolute best ways to grow your business while being
seen as an expert in your industry. Don’t be afraid to speak in front of
groups. Instead, follow these tips so you can become comfortable and skilled
with public speaking.
Guest author: Ashish Arora is the Co-Founder of SketchBubble.com, a leading provider of result-driven, professionally built presentation templates. Travelling the world to gather new creative ideas, he has been working in the digital marketing space since 2007 and has a passion for designing presentations. You can also find him on Twitter or LinkedIn