Want to know the fastest, most sure-fire way to raise your profile, build your database and make more sales? Then it’s time for you to brush up on your speaking and presenting skills!
Speaking offers you an amazing opportunity to connect with your audience at a grass-roots level. It builds awareness of who you are and what you do. It inspires and generates excitement about the real difference you can make to your clients’ lives.
It can also help people realise that they have problems they need solving. Often, people aren’t aware of the challenges they face until an expert brings them to their attention.
Speaking builds awareness
At least 60% of a person’s buying decision is made before they get in touch with you. When someone needs a service or product, they will ask their networks for recommendations. They’ll do a search on Google and LinkedIn. They’ll try to find out as much about you and your competitors as they can.
Speaking makes their decision to work with you so much easier. It positions you as an expert in your field and demonstrates that you have in-depth knowledge of your industry.
If you’re still working full time, speaking is a fantastic way to make the transition to solopreneur. It will build your profile and give you a sense of the problems out there so you can set the direction of your new business.
How do you get speaking gigs?
To break into the speaking market, you need to build your positioning. Even if you haven’t done any speaking, you must be seen to be a speaker. Share photos of yourself speaking on your website, in your e-newsletters and on your social media pages. Post footage of you speaking – even if there’s no audience and it’s just you and the camera. Event managers need evidence that you have effective speaking skills. And be prepared to do some unpaid speaking. It helps build your collateral.
Feeling nervous is a natural part of the speaking process. I often think of American writer Dale Carnegie’s famous words: “There are always three speeches, for every one you actually gave. The one you practiced, the one you gave, and the one you wish you gave.”
The key is to be prepared. Leaving things until the last minute is an invitation for disaster. You’ll feel unconfident, flustered and wish you were anywhere but on stage.
People also often feel anxious about appearing “salesy” when they speak. I very much come from a place of help. When I speak, I genuinely want to help my audience. Yes, speaking is a selling technique, but when it’s done right, it doesn’t come across as salesy.
The three key ingredients:
To deliver a rock-star presentation, you need to do the following:
- Know your content. If you don’t thoroughly know your topic, if you don’t have a strong conviction in what you’re saying, you’re wasting your time. Base your content around what you want to be known for. What are the three key points you want your audience to walk away with?
- Create a connection. Break the barrier between yourself and your audience with humour, storytelling and empathy. Create an emotional bond with your audience so they trust you. How can you make it a shared experience rather than an “I’m here to dictate to you” presentation?
- Arm yourself with collateral. Collateral refers to the aids that help you communicate your message: slides, case studies and handouts. Collateral makes things interesting for your audience, and helps you stay focused on your message. Be mindful that you don’t overload your audience with information. Keep them engaged by focusing on just one point, image or infographic per slide.
For more help with speaking, check out my High Impact Presentations training program in the mentoring and workshops area of my website. And if you have any questions, feel free to email or connect with me on LinkedIn.
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Jane Anderson works with Thought Leaders, Trusted Advisors, Experts and CEO’s to increase their lead generation and grow their businesses.
Her blog has been awarded in the top 25 branding blogs globally, is one of 12 LinkedIn Influencer Small Business Advocates in Australia, is the host of the Jane Anderson Brand You Show.
She is the author of 4 books including “EXPERT to INFLUENCER: 12 Key Skills to Attract New Clients, Increase Sales and Leverage your Personal Brand to Become an Industry Leader.”
To have Jane speak at your next event, please email email@example.com or click here.