Do you know how to use public speaking events to grow your small business? As a business owner, this skill is very vital. Well if you don’t, do not worry, you are in the right place. We’ll tell you all you need to know on how to use public speaking events to grow your small business.
Public speaking can be used as a tool for growing your business.
It is one of the ways to reach out to decision-makers, potential clients, and potential investors.
It can be quite a powerful tool if used correctly.
How to Use Public Speaking Events to Grow Your Small Business
Let’s start things off by answering the question; how can public speaking promote a business?
In other words, what are the pros and cons of promoting your business through public speaking?
The pros and cons can help you understand the importance of public speaking in business.
You may even feel like it isn’t for you or that you just can’t do it.
Don’t worry many people experience anxiety when it comes to public speaking.
However, if you weigh the benefits versus the downsides of it all, you ought to see that the pros outweigh the cons.
So, let’s begin with the benefits.
Pros and Cons of Promoting Your Business Through Public Speaking
- It can increase the profitability of your business.
- It helps to build your reputation as an expert in your field.
- Also, it allows you to mingle with other people involved in your industry.
- It’s a great way to get out of the office and still be productive.
- It can boost your confidence as an entrepreneur and as a leader.
- Also, it opens up a lot of networking opportunities; you may even meet new business partners in the process.
- Public speaking opens avenues for increased sales.
- It also improves your brand awareness and it helps to build your brand.
- Sets you up as an authority in your specific niche.
- It can become an absolutely terrifying experience.
- You usually have to offer your public speaking services free of charge.
- It may involve a significant amount of travel time as sometimes you will have to drive or even fly to different speaking engagements
- Public speaking is also time-consuming.
- Giving a talk in public can be quite a stressful experience especially if things don’t go the way you planned them to be.
Types Of Public Speaking Events
Now that you know the pros and cons of public speaking, you ought to know the different types of public speaking events.
Not all public speaking engagements are the same.
You’re not always going to be a la Robert Kyosaki or an expert giving a TED Talk.
Here are three basic types of talks/speaking engagements that you can participate in.
This is the type of speaking engagement where your goal is to entertain and amuse your audience.
Different companies and organizations can hire comedians and entertainers to give talks of this type.
It isn’t serious.
The important thing is that you give the people in attendance a good time.
If you have an entertainment firm then you might want to keep an eye out for annual corporate events, special occasions, etc.
This type of speaking engagement as you might have guessed is meant to persuade your attendees.
The aim is to promote a certain point of view, method, strategy, or business niche, etc.
For instance, if you are in the business of selling technical office gadgets, you may provide a presentation in favor of an office complete with apps and other tools.
This is a type of speaking engagement where you are called in as a keynote speaker, resource speaker, or as a member of a panel of experts.
The goal of this type of speaking engagement is to provide information, training, and other forms of instruction.
Now, other than the types of speaking engagements that you can participate in, you should also note the types of talks that you can provide.
They include the following.
In this type of public speaking event, you are part of a panel (or group) of guests that can give their expert opinion on a specific subject matter.
Being a panel member is a great option if you’re just starting out as a public speaker.
A panel expert talk is one where you provide information and at times you will only speak when questions arise that fall within your specific expertise.
Panel discussions can last anywhere from 30 minutes to one hour.
Also, you can conduct training in a corporate and/or group settings.
In this type of setup, you educate and train a group.
Aside from speaking and lecturing, you will also involve the attendees in activities to practice the concepts that you have discussed.
Training or seminars can be as short as one hour.
However, there are training events that can last an entire day.
And in other instances, they last for several days.
You can also use training in promoting your business by highlighting your business offerings and letting attendees try your products.
Workshops are like training but only shorter.
They usually just address one or two items on the agenda whereas training are rather comprehensive.
A workshop is also more hands-on compared to seminars.
The goal of a seminar is to inform and educate the people who are attending events.
Compared to workshops, seminars are more talk than hands-on work with the participants.
Seminars are also short just like a workshop but there are seminars that can last a full day.
A keynote talk is one where the message is relevant or is about an event being celebrated.
It is always about the subject of the particular event being held.
It doesn’t exactly have to be informative in nature.
In fact, some keynote speakers have turned their talks into something lively and entertaining and at times quite persuasive.
Useful Tips To Consider For Effective Public Speaking
Here are some important tips to keep in mind when using public speaking events to grow your small business.
Public speaking events are opportunities to promote or grow your business.
Hence, a proper understanding of the opportunity that is before would help you make the most out of it.
Below is an outline of the opportunity you get from a public speaking event.
- You have a group of people who came to see you, to listen to you, and learn from you.
- The audience is already engaged and committed.
- The trust level is high since they have you in high regard; someone even introduces you before you speak.
- Your credentials are already being validated.
- Some of the people in attendance may even be decision-makers and influencers that can sway things in your favor.
Do you see the huge marketing opportunity there?
But it is more than just one of the ways to advertise your business.
Depending on how you use your speaking engagement, you can utilize the opportunity for growing your business.
The following is a step by step process on how to do effective public speaking in order to grow your business.
Analyze the Needs of Your Target Market
Public speaking can be used to increase sales, improve brand awareness.
Furthermore, it is one of the definitive ways to advertise your business.
Hence, you also begin from the same starting point which is finding out what your market needs.
Just like in the other methods and techniques on how to promote your business, you should determine a problem that your presentation will help solve.
That is the way you provide value to your attendees.
Try to answer this question;
How will your presentation solve their problems?
How will that solution be provided or facilitated by your products and/or services?
Build Your Talk or Presentation Around the Solution You Want to Propose
Your business may have more than one product or service.
Or maybe your business may have one product or service but it can have more than one application.
The point is that you should choose only 1 or 2 solutions that you can offer.
You can then elaborate on the solution (or solutions) that you will present.
Doing that also stops you from covering too many topics during your talk.
Remember that your listeners can only remember so much.
Overwhelming them with lots of information can cause confusion.
Focus on one product (or two) or just stick to one particularly useful aspect of your service that is beneficial to your listeners.
For instance, if you’re in the business of drone surveying you can emphasize how using drones can increase workplace safety.
You can also highlight how drones can help reduce costs on the side.
Rule of Thumb: keep things short, sweet, and simple.
That way what you present will be easily remembered.
That is the more effective method on how to promote your business.
Set Your Professional Fee
You can’t exactly go cheap when determining your speaking fees.
You can give free talks and training when you’re new.
However, fast forward into several speaking engagements into the future, you should look to establish your fee.
Sometimes you can still give talks just for the opportunity to stand in front of key decision-makers in your market.
But if for some reason people want to hear more of what you have to say then you have tapped into another line of business (LOB).
Public speaking engagements can become one of the marketing tools for public speakers and another source of direct income.
So, how do you set the price?
Here are a few important tips to consider.
- The handouts, guide books, workshop kits, and other items that you will give away.
You can give the workshop or training free of charge but you can sell the training materials.
- Other than that, you should also take into account your speaking experience.
If you have become a seasoned speaker then you can justify raising your talent fee as it were.
- Consider the location or venue.
If you’re renting space then you should include the rent in your calculations.
You should also consider the fact that corporations tend to pay more compared to small/medium enterprises and non-profit organizations.
- You should also take into account the length of your talk.
If it is just a 30-minute keynote speech then it shouldn’t cost a lot.
But if it is a training event that will last several days then the fees should be higher.
- The type of speaking engagement will also matter.
Panel appearances are more affordable compared to a seminar since you will be doing all the talking in a seminar than in a panel.
- Do not undervalue yourself.
If what you are going to give is something that will provide a lot of value then you should charge commensurately.
- Again, consider the host of the event.
Even if you’re just doing a 15-minute keynote speech at a corporate event, you can get more compared to a 1-hour seminar for a non-profit organization.
Approach Your Target Market
Don’t just reach out to your would-be clients.
You might want to look into business to business (B2B) opportunities as well as collaborating with other companies that compliment your business.
This ability to look for speaking opportunities is one of the practical marketing tools for public speakers.
Look for professional networks (your LinkedIn account might come in handy in this department).
Find out which organizations are involved in your niche.
Is your product or service fit for their needs?
If it is a yes, then here’s the next killer question;
Do they hold events where you may possibly pitch your public speaking skills?
If yes, then prepare your proposal.
Again, if you’re just starting out then you might want to offer your services for free.
Social and civic groups are also a great opportunity like the Lions Club.
You can also try to speak in churches that hold training and relevant events.
You can also contact schools and adult education programs that may have programs that are related to your particular industry.
For instance, if you delve into app development in your business then you can contact computer technical training schools.
Libraries are also a great option.
Have you published (given away or sold) books and training materials?
Then you can use those in your pitch.
Other great places to check are community recreation centers, business centers, and local clubs.
There should be plenty of organizations that you can contact and pitch to.
You can turn to them as opportunities on how to grow your business.
Do Some Background Research
So how do you ensure that people will like your pitch?
You should get to know your targeted market.
Do some background research.
Besides, you’re supposed to know the crowd you’re going to address.
Your talk should be custom-tailored to the needs of the people who will be listening to and interacting with you.
You can also say it is kind of customary to mention the host organization during your speech.
You also should mention the services, products, or at least the resources being offered by your host.
That way you demonstrate to your audience that you know who you are talking to.
It will be much appreciated by everyone in attendance.
Finally, find out if they have any events coming up.
Custom tailor your speech/talk/seminar/etc. to that event (or needs if you spot any needs they may have).
Make Your Pitch
Now that you have done your due diligence, it is time to make your pitch.
Here are a few tips to take note of.
- Go straight to the point of why you are the ideal speaker for such a topic and how your talk might benefit the organization/company/etc.
You should be able to communicate this reason in 30 words or less (think elevator pitch).
- Don’t sell anything.
Don’t try to sell your book, program, app, training, etc.
You shouldn’t focus on your business or your line of business at that moment. (that’s for later during your talk).
- Make sure that your pitch edifies; it should build them up not you.
- Give 3 to 5 key takeaways from the message that you will be giving (free sampler!)
- Emphasize how your key takeaways can solve their needs.
- If you’re meeting face to face give them your card or if you’re emailing or writing give them a link to your social media platforms or your website
- If there is time or space, give a short back story to create a much-needed connection.
- Also, if they ask questions give answers that are backed up with facts.
- Close with a sale.
Ask for the yes or no at that very moment.
Sometimes they may want to schedule talks, which is great.
Get Your Talk in Order
If it’s a go and they agree to meet up for a formal signing or whatever, then go ahead and prepare every needful thing as it were.
Get your audiovisuals and other materials ready.
Go to the meeting and sign the deal.
Next, you should help to promote the speaking engagement.
It supports their organization and it supports your business.
In other words, it encourages a mutual benefit relationship.
And that is a good method on how to grow your business.
Plan how you will insert your products or services.
Make sure to clear this up with the host.
Inform them that you will also do a short sales pitch about your business and if they’re okay with it.
They’ll usually agree since you won’t take 5 minutes to do that.
Next, show up on time or even ahead of time so you can get things set up.
This way you warm up to everyone attending events that you are creating.
Conclusion on How to Use Public Speaking Events to Grow Your Small Business
Finally, after wowing your audience, make sure to give out feedback forms.
The responses you get will help you fine-tune things.
And that is how public speaking improves your business.
Do take note of these tips and apply them as you engage in public speaking activities to grow your small business.
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