6 Tips to Developing Business with Public Speaking

This business development post from 2011, still resonates today.

The last thing an introvert wants to hear is the value of public speaking because it’s such an energy drain.

Yet as business developers, even introverts confess, the best way to gain clients is through creating and developing relationships. And standing in front of a group to help them experience who we are and how we think is a huge relationship enhancer, and can be one of the best uses of our time.

All it takes is practice. Practice done perfect isn’t expected. Practice done well is worth exploring.

I work with introverts to help them present effectively – demonstrate confidence, hone their message and relate to listeners. Based on their communication style, introverts are great speakers for any audience, based on their thorough understanding of their topic, their easy manner, or their willingness to plan well.

Although our focus is often on preparing our message (as it should be), it is also crucial to prepare ourselves mentally for delivering it. Not only several days in advance when we are honing our message for this particular audience, but also moments before speaking.

The most critical time for a speaker to be “on game” is before they get up and get going.

So let’s consider what it takes to get what we want from public speaking, if what we are really after is business or community trust.

6 tips in developing business with public speaking

1. Get clear who your best audiences are.
Unless you just want the practice, it isn’t good enough to say YES to just any audience group who needs a speaker. Get clear about who you want to spend time in front of, based on who you are really looking to do business with. The anybody/everybody idea about seeking business is too overwhelming and strays from good business focus practices. Think this through. If you are opting to get up and go to an audience, make it worth your time and energy.

2.Hone your message. So many speakers offer themselves while being unfocused, unprepared and unpolished. Perhaps this has been the turn-off which motivated you away from speaking in the past. It needn’t be. The point of getting in front of audiences is to be clear about what they want – some type of help. You already know to avoid the selling.

3. Deliver the goods. Make sure the goods are the tools to ease your audience’s understanding. Can they hear us? See us? Understand us? If not, our delivery needs some tweaking. Record yourself from your webcam or your phone recording device to get a taste of what it’s like from the audience perspective.

4. Connect with purpose. The edge all speakers and presenters have rests with this simple technique. Not all listeners are fast-paced or task-focused. Realize that the key to influence is to use pace and values that work for your listeners. Work some variety into your cadence. Adjust your tone from neutral to passionate, from serious to friendly. Pay attention to the impact your changes make on listeners. Once you’re aware of these connection approaches and begin practicing them, your ability to influence is HUGE.

5. Project for impact. Sure you need to be heard. You also need to be trusted. What are you projecting? Consider all the ways audiences discern what our character is about. If you’ve recorded yourself rehearsing, turn off the sound and watch how you come across. Then un-mute and listen for mumbling or filler words. It’s not terrible to use these things unless you haven’t impressed your listeners in any other way.

and finally,

6. Break down the behavior patterns that get in your way of being an effective communicator. Speak using any of the 3 most engaging attitudes – enthusiasm, curiosity or humility.

Want some assistance practicing before the big talk? The Public Peer Presentation Group may be just what you need.

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One Response to 6 Tips to Developing Business with Public Speaking
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