I just took a look at my calendar for the upcoming month and realized I have a lot of presentations on deck. (Check out my next week’s ezine to see them all. Sign up at http://www.beheardsolutions.com)
So I thought I’d share why speaking is such an important publicity tool.
Throughout history, great speakers have touched the lives of millions of people. Today, in schools throughout North America, motivational speakers inspire students to stay in school, say no to drugs, become leaders, and prepare for life after graduation.
Adults are inspired by motivational speakers to follow their dreams and achieve their goals. Among other things, speakers help people to succeed in business, improve their relationships, develop a positive attitude, become healthy, achieve financial prosperity, and have more fun in life.
To generate new opportunities for business, today’s business leaders must increase the value of their service in ways others in their marketplace do not. Public speaking is one of the most effective tools to do that. You’ll gain an audience of potential customers, and a chance to generate new business and profits.
By speaking at public forums produced by other organizations –at conferences, seminars and forums held by independent associations, professional and industry trade groups, academic institutions and think tanks – you’ll look like a valued resource.
There’s a lot of evidence that speaking at public forums often results in the attainment of business. It provides increased awareness of the company in general and specific subject areas in particular, to an audience of potential customers or clients.
And it’s presentations about industry trends or “how-to” talks – not a canned sales pitch for a product or service – that makes a large impact on the audience.
If you want to give the most powerful presentations, it doesn’t take a college degree in public speaking. You just need a few strategies to help you:
1. Speak from the heart. Believe in what you have to say, or don’t say it. If you’re passionate about your subject, the words will come. Speak about the fundamental beliefs you have about life – the simple truths that you believe in with all your heart.
2. Develop key points. Write down two or three specific objectives you have for this speech. What do you want the audience to do as a result of your speech? Think differently? Act differently? Do something differently?
3. Write it out. You need to understand your speech so well that you could explain it to an eight-year-old. You know, if you write it down enough times, you will become familiar with it. Don’t read your speech. If necessary, just read the lead sentences that you write on a three by five card.
4. Be present. Connect with your audience in the first 60 seconds and then engage them throughout your speech. Once you get the audience rolling, be sure to expand on certain comments that you know are being well-received.
5. Use personal stories. Be sure to share your personal stories with the audience. People will relate to your mishaps, and learn from your successes. You don’t have to be clever; just share your life with your audience. Remember they are looking to trust you.
6. Conclude with action. What do you want your audience to do now that they’ve heard your speech? Go around the room, and ask them to share one nugget they got. Ask them for one idea that they can use now. In two weeks. In one month. Be sure to summarize your speech and then give them a call to action.