Your business is like an organic entity. The more you can air it the more it will flourish. By giving it the marketing oxygen it needs, your business will grow in all sorts of ways. It makes sense therefore to look into all the ways of giving your business exposure. One of the oldest, and still one of the most important, is public speaking.
Your business may be all about public speaking. It may have nothing to do with it. The key fact is that by talking about your business in a compelling fashion you will drum up custom for it, whether you’re an established operator or just setting out and wondering how best to get started in business.
Here’s how becoming a good public speaker will give you the abilities to grow your business.
Become the Known Expert
To be able to deliver authoritative wisdom on a subject is the kind of quality that sticks in people’s minds. This is the case whether you’re in a meeting room with half a dozen colleagues or talking to possibly thousands attending a webinar.
Whatever your expertise, from hosted telephone systems to the most happening hotpants, speaking publicly with confidence and poise about it will demonstrate your guru status and will have your audience wanting to hear more.
However, getting to be regarded as a sage depends not just on what you know about your subject, it also depends on knowing your audience.
It’s crucial to have an idea of who your audience is and what they seek to get out of your presentation. You may be dishing out the best knowledge in the business but if it doesn’t quite address what your audience needs, then you’re wasting your time.
It’s like any selling: don’t concentrate just on the product. Concentrate on how the product solves the customer’s problem.
Plan your talk around this concept and you won’t go far wrong. Remember that people feel flattered when you show that you’ve taken the trouble to learn about them. Pick up facts about them and drop them in where you can. It can be anything. If you’re talking to some Salesforce employees, mention a few things about filling out a quote proposal that Salesforce staff will relate to.
You can also try to target specific groups by looking into whether they have events you can speak at. Hotpants Hotheads might be a group who are getting together near you and are just desperate to hear all about what’s new in the heady world of shrunken shorts. See if you can get yourself on the speaker list.
It’s important to start with as familiar a territory as possible so that you’re not beginning your public speaking career with too big a challenge.
Get Your Message Across Efficiently
When you’re able to hold the room in the palm of your hand you can get information across to a large number of people at the same time, instead of having to do one on ones or talking to small groups.
Let’s take contact centers as a parallel. With a traditional call center that enables only one-to-one telephone calls the proliferation of information works relatively slowly, person by person, call by call. However, with an omnichannel cloud contact center, the possibilities for higher volume communication are expanded dramatically, via teleconferencing or any number of other means.
The great thing about getting everyone together, whether face-to-face or even over the internet, is that your audience will feed off each other. Positivity is contagious and the better you go down, the more your audience's enthusiasm for your product will grow.
Get Practiced with Multimedia
Public speaking is predominantly about oral ability. It’s your spoken words that are the primary means of message delivery. But you don’t have to stop there. Imagery is also tremendously important.
We’re visual creatures. Research has shown that if we’re told something we will remember on average 10% of it after three days. If, however, this information is paired with a visual representation, our recall rises to 65%.
Let’s have some more on the importance of imagery. Yes, with an image:
Image sourced from uplandsoftware.com
It’s bad to bore. Even the most compelling speaker can use some help sometimes, and to use images means you’re introducing a stimulus that the audience will appreciate. Especially if it’s a striking picture or chart.
But don’t stop there. There’s nothing wrong with a little audio too – perhaps a recording of somebody famous saying something remarkable, or even a sound effect. Nothing wakes your audience up like a loud bang. (Note: use loud bangs carefully and with restraint – or you won’t be invited back.)
What works in the room will also work via webinar. In fact, the latter affords even more opportunity for experimentation with camera effects and transitions.
Finally, consider producing hard copy too. People love to take things away with them, as an aide memoire or just something to get their hands on. For all our sophistication, we’re pretty basic acquisitive beings at root.
By using a clever blend of delivery means, your presentation will benefit, as will your business. And that handout that you’ve prepared? As long as your business contact details are loud and proud then you’ll see some real value in terms of new custom.
The great thing about starting to use multimedia in this way is that you can then seek to deploy it in other activities. You’ll find that your thinking when considering marketing strategies will become more diverse, as will your approach to avenues such as social media.
Overall, your ways of conducting planning in general will become more adventurous when you factor in a wider range of techniques than merely scribbling down a few thoughts on a pad. Before you know where you are, you’ll be a visual workflow builder par excellence. And all down to public speaking.
Bolster Your Confidence
When you become an effective public speaker your general confidence will benefit. In just the same way that you get a boost from, say, passing your driving test or being invited onto a prestigious ambassadorship program, the feeling you get from being able to deliver a knockout speech will filter through to all areas of your personality.
Meetings will no longer hold any dread for you – after all, if you can handle hundreds of strangers you can certainly deal with a handful of colleagues. Communication with business partners will be easier, in that your self-image will have benefitted and the ability to be assertive will follow.
Confidence is one of the key requirements of a successful businessperson. It’s essential that you believe in yourself and your product. As the adage goes, if you don’t, why should anyone else? So, anything you can do to give that confidence a shot in the arm will be of immense benefit to your business. Confidence is the secret to success.
‘Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities! Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful or happy’
Norman Vincent Peale, author
The great thing is that confidence is part of a closed feedback loop, as this chart demonstrates.
So once you start down this route it leads to better and better results.
Confidence doesn’t mean arrogance. It means having the willingness to take risks and seize chances. Such qualities are the very lifeblood of business.
Close More Sales
What’s interesting about effective public speaking is that it’s an exercise in persuasion, in a very similar way to sales techniques. You’re inviting your audience to take a journey with you as you relate a story about the product. You’re keeping their attention throughout as you build towards your conclusion, and finally give them the big CTA.
These are the abilities that close deals. It’s not being afraid to take control of the situation, and having the ability to direct the interaction.
Let’s take an example of a salesperson selling, say, call center software. It doesn’t matter that the product itself is a solid performer, offering terrific features such as powerful speech analytics and superbly designed interfaces. If the salesperson doesn’t have the ability to describe that software in a compelling storytelling fashion then the deal’s dead.
Public speaking doesn’t have to be the terrifying prospect many regard it as. It’s just like most other skills – it can be learned, and once you have the basics you’ll find you quickly improve. And as you improve, your business will benefit too, whether it’s a bricks-and-mortar store or all about B2B SaaS.
Being a skilled public speaker will mean you can talk about your business to large numbers of people, which spells big marketing potential. But being able to speak in public with self-belief and aplomb will benefit your confidence and ability across the board, which will help with all sorts of business activities. In short, as you learn to talk the talk, the walking will follow.
About the author:
Jenna Bunnell is the Senior Manager for Content Marketing at Dialpad. Dialpad PBX is an AI-incorporated cloud-hosted unified communications system that provides valuable call details for business owners and sales representatives. She is driven and passionate about communicating a brand’s design sensibility and visualizing how content can be presented in creative and comprehensive ways. Jenna has also written for other domains such as PayTabs and zenloop. Here is her LinkedIn.