Terrified Into Getting Clients Through Public Speaking

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I’m not going to bore you with the statistic about how many millions of people are more scared by public speaking than of dying…but isn’t that a bit extreme?

It’s also a bit of a shame, because public speaking is about the meanest marketing tool there is.  Public speaking can win you new clients on the day and set you up for the future by positioning you as an expert in your field.

Let me explain what I mean by public speaking…because I’m not talking about your transformation into a faux Bill Clinton.  You don’t have to stand up and expound world issues.  Unless you are serioulsy worth listening to (i.e. a world leader) then, at first, people don’t want your opinion, they’re looking for knowledge and information to help them improve a special area of their life or business.

Is this starting to sound like marketing yet?

Public speaking in this context could be any one of the following…

  • Running a workshop or seminar on your subject
  • A presentation to a group of staff or a board
  • Being a visiting speaker at someone else’s event so you can get them out of their room and into your room
  • Party Plan (remember tupperware – not such a silly idea)
  • Speaking at clubs – the women’s institute members all have problems, dreams, desires and money
  • Webinars – online events where attendees register and get to see and hear what’s happening, but all delivered online
  • Conference calls – a very cheap way of getting lots of people together to listen to what you have to say – but the limitation here is the lack of visual information and that matters to some people
  • Interview, or be interviewed, on the radio, or blog talk radio.

There is loads of information around on public speaking and far too much to tack onto the end of an article like this.  However, there are two core elements which you must account for if you are to have any success.

Number one is that whatever you decide to talk about, in whichever environment, for goodness sake keep your eye on the end game.  Yes, content is king and you must, must, must deliver value ( even if your event is free, participants have spent time and money getting to you) but what is the grander purpose here?  It’s to sell more of your product or service.  If you don’t set up ‘the close’, no-one will buy.  You can be the most engaging speaker ever, but if your sales message isn’t clear you will not get sales.  Bottom line.

At the very least, you can point people to a table with your brochure on it.  And that is the very least.

Here’s a tip while you work on getting comfortable selling yourself and public speaking – take someone along to do the selling bit, third party, after the event.  This leaves you free to mingle with the crowd and all you have to do is point prospects to the sales area where someone else does the dirty money thing.

Number two is to keep your topic tight.  If you provide an advertising service to anyone who knocks on the door, great, but you need to target your event… how about…

“How To Create Advertising That Works For Plumbers”

“How To Create Advertising That Works For Hairdressers”

When you target a niche for your public speaking, you give the heads up to your potential audience; make advertising so much easier by opening up advertising opporunities in specialist trade journals and industry events and you can finely tune your sales message to make it easier to get bums on seats and increase your conversion rate.

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