You want to attract great clients that value your brilliance. Public speaking allows potential clients to experience your brilliance in real time.
This is akin to the increased excitement of seeing your favorite band in concert versus simply reading their lyrics. The live experience of you sharing what you believe creates intimacy with your audience while positioning you as an expert.
Public Speaking can be a high mental hurdle which prevents most people from taking the stage. This creates opportunity for you to stand out. I empathize that standing alone on stage may freak you out. You’re not alone. It’s a primal fear hard wired into our collective consciousness where we relate standing alone to being a potential appetizer for a T-Rex. To shield you from harm, follow these three steps:
Speaking is a learned skill so find a supportive learning environment. Toastmasters International is the world leader in helping people become more competent and comfortable in front of an audience. Each Toastmasters club has it’s own vibe so visit a few in your area to “date before you marry.” At your first meeting, expect to witness guests sheepishly stand up to say their name while staring at their shoes. Within a couple months, expect those same people to deliver a 5 minute speech to a standing ovation.
What To Speak About
As an excuse to avoid speaking, people frequently say “I’m not charismatic enough, I’m not a book author, I’m not THE industry expert…” Nonsense. We all underestimate how much expertise we already have. You can speak about a problem that you recently solved for a client. If you want to get fancy, call this a case study. Speak about patterns or trends in your client’s industry. Then take a step further and offer some suggestions on how to respond to these trends. Give a “how-to” speech on something you know clients are putting off. You could also create a humorous speech about common mistakes that clients make when working with a firm like yours.
Where To Speak
You are not going to be invited to speak at the main TED Conference right away. But there are infinite venues to practice your new skill. Find as much stage time as you can. Speak at talent shows, while commuting, conferences, luncheons, breakfast meetings and weddings. A great place to start is on a panel in front of your target audience. Not all eyes are on you and you can distribute the workload among the other panelists. Good panels feel like a candid conversation among friends (with an eavesdropping audience).
Clients don’t just buy your services, they buy what you believe. Speaking works as a business development tool because it is an opportunity for you to share what you believe in a non-sales environment. People don’t like to be sold to. Use speaking to build trust and then enjoy the magnetic pull of clients approaching you with their business card.
Standing alone on stage may freak you out. You’re not alone. It’s a primal fear hard wired into our collective consciousness where we relate standing alone to being a potential appetizer for a T-Rex.
1. Clients don’t just buy your services, they buy what you believe. Speaking allows you to share what you believe in a non-sales venue.
2. Public speaking is a learned skill. “I have a Dream” was not Dr. King’s first speech.
3. Don’t let fear block you from at least trying this powerful business development tool.
1. Find a Toastmasters International club near you .
2. With events worldwide, Pecha Kucha is a fun format of 20 slides for 20 seconds each.
3. You can always hire a coach!