“The buzz in the room was infectious…”
…That’s what one fellow said after a talk I gave recently to a group of entrepreneurs in Dublin, Ireland. And he was right.
I could feel their excitement, as I led them through an exercise that challenged them to get clear about their business. Though they were reluctant at first, the momentum really shifted once they got started. And afterwards, they couldn’t wait to share their aha’s, and the excitement they felt about their next steps.
Being a part of moments like that is just plain fun, and is one reason I love speaking to entrepreneurs.
But the truth is that public speaking has been one of the most effective tools I’ve used to promote almost every business I’ve ever created.
And you should be out there, speaking to your ideal clients too.
Back in the early days, when I was offering free talks to church groups and civic clubs, it didn’t take long to see that getting in front of an audience was one of the best ways I could reach those I wanted to serve.
Think about all that you’ve learned as a business owner. What could you share that could really help your clients and customers? Lessons you’ve learned? Skills you could teach? Something that would make their lives better?
There are probably many things, no matter what kind of business you have.
Though if you need to take a deep breath right now, that’s totally okay. :)
Because I know that just the thought of standing in front of a group makes some of you break into a cold sweat. Public speaking is always near the top on any list of things people fear – right along with death, spiders, and snakes.
And yet, if you’ll give yourself permission to be imperfect, and be willing to learn – speaking can make a huge difference for your business.
Speaking gives your ideal clients a chance to get to know you.
No longer are you just a status update on their news feed or a flat photo on Instagram; now you’re a living, breathing human being. And now, they can relate to you in ways they never expected.
Speaking is an act of service.
A well crafted talk provides meaningful content that can make a real difference in their lives. They don’t have to buy something to benefit from what you know.
But when they experience what you have to offer, they are much more likely to CHOOSE to buy from you – and for good reason.
Speaking forces you to fine tune your message.
At my last talk, I unveiled a new model I’ve developed that any entrepreneur can use to achieve repeatable, sustainable success in their business. That model has emerged out of my own experience; it’s something I’ve lived for years.
But it was only when I wanted to teach others what I do, that the steps I follow became clear. Like anything worth doing, that took time to develop. But when it did, I knew it was a message that could make a real difference – and it has.
Speaking adds to your bottom line.
In the beginning, it’s fine to give free talks. (I’ve done a ton of those over the years.) But there are ways to earn revenue even with “free” talks.
For one thing, some of those in the room will want to come to your program, visit your store, hire your services – because they liked what you had to say.
Back when I was building my counseling practice, speaking helped break down the discomfort folks often feel about seeking help, and I usually got calls the next week for counseling.
But you can also make an offer during your talk that provides a way – for those who want it – to go deeper by working with you. Just be sure to check with the event planners to make sure they’re okay with that.
Speaking helps you grow.
When you stand in front of an audience, you are performing. You have to manage your energy, present yourself with confidence, lead them forward in a way that will do the most good, and generally bring your best to the table.
There’s no way you can do that without growing yourself along the way.
If you’re not an experienced speaker, take a class, work with a coach or find a local Toastmaster’s group. Not only will you become a better speaker, but the skills you learn will serve you in other ways as well.
But whatever you do, don’t let fear stop you. Get the help you need, and get out there.
Your audience is waiting.
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