5 Secrets to Taking the Fear Out of Public Speaking
Public speaking is for most people pretty high up on their list of things to pass on doing. The mere mention of having to do a presentation or speaking in front of a group can result in cold sweats, flushed faces, or a dash to the nearest exit.
Even though the dreaded thought of public speaking may make you want to hop on the next plane out of town, don’t. I instead want to share my secrets to become a confident public speaker with you because it can be a real change agent in how you market your business and, ultimately, the level of success you achieve.
Why you need to be a good speaker
These days, people are bombarded with a flood of emails, videos, social media posts, etc. In fact, every second about 6,000 tweets will be posted on Twitter, 100,000 YouTube videos will be viewed, and 2,300,000 emails will be sent*. Public speaking is how you break away from the white noise of marketing today.
A powerhouse platform, public speaking will allow you to inspire others and show them that they, too, can take action to help others, correct a life situation, build a successful business, write a book – whatever your message may be. Speaking also puts you in a position of authority, making you a thought-leader in your respective field.
Though it may cause undue anxiety, I ask you to consider why you wouldn’t want to take advantage of building your company through speaking? The benefits of public speaking, even a few times a year, are outstanding. The statistics alone, published by the Convention Industry Council, reveal the significant opportunity that awaits you when you jump into speaking at conventions, conferences, business events or exhibitions, etc. Not only does it position you as an expert or influencer in your industry, the return on investment (ROI) can certainly be quite lucrative. All are huge contributing factors in your business growth.
Despite all the positives, I know there’s still a lot of hesitation. So, here are my five secrets to erasing anxiety and getting behind the podium without sweaty palms.
Secret 1: It’s about mindset
You know very well the core building blocks of your business – niche, services, target market, etc. You have clients and may be making a good income. But if you want to have greater reach, influence and to make more money, then your marketing plan should include speaking. You have to want speaking to be a critical component of that plan because you recognize it as a key avenue to industry positioning and greater wealth.
I won’t even say that you have to believe in yourself first in order to be a speaker because there are lots of tools and resources to help you craft and deliver a powerhouse speech. What I want you to know is that to be a speaker, you first need to PIVOT your MINDSET so that you are focused on developing ‘speaking’ as a must-have pillar of your marketing plan.
Secret 2: It’s a repeatable process
Crafting a speech that emotionally connects to your audience and causes them to act may seem difficult. But, I want to tell you something. You can create a speech that will grab your audience, hold their attention, create that connection to them and, ultimately, cause them to seek you out because they want more of what you have to give.
The secret? There are some basic components that every presentation should have and if you include them in presentations you put together it will be a repeatable process – and you will consistently deliver speeches that sell.
Secret 3: It’s about knowing how to craft a speech that SELLS
We’ve all sat through speeches that seemed unnecessarily long, too off the mark from what was promised or with less value than expected. It’s easy to leave such presentations, giving the speaker or their presentation no further thought. This is not what I want for your speech.
With enough forethought and planning, your speech can be one that conference coordinators, attendees, and even fellow speakers will not only remember, but will talk about and, even better, take action on after they’ve heard it. It’s about having a speech that “sells,” over and over again! And the best way to ensure that this happens is to create and deliver a speech that has 6 key elements.
In every speech you deliver, you should be:
- Arresting attraction: Grab attention with a striking opening statement.
- Coursing through the content: Throughout the speech, peel back layers of good information that your audience will perceive as valuable.
- Offering an opportunity: For those in attendance, provide them a way to learn more, find a resolution, or get your help through a call to action, like a complementary consultation.
- Providing content takeaways: Share actionable tips, resources or next steps that will provide attendees with immediate answers or paths of assistance.
- Wrapping up the speech: Leave the audience with thought-provoking final reminders, comments, or insights.
- Finishing with follow-up: Make a lasting impression by following up with attendees after the event.
Secret 4: It’s about continuing to reach out
Following up with attendees is one of the six key components of your speech and it’s listed above. But I also have to state it as one of the 5 secrets to being a successful speaker. Really, I think it’s the most important—especially if the goal of your speech is to increase revenue.
The best crafted and delivered speech will not yield desired outcomes if there is no formal, planned approach to “touching” attendees who showed interest in what you had to say. It’s imperative to connect with these people at least 5 to 7 times over the course of the two to three weeks following your speech. Each connection with them, whether in email or by phone, should be one that reestablishes your desire to help them either with additional valuable information or services.
Secret 5: It’s about booking speaking engagements
Having a well-crafted speech and knowing how to deliver it is critical to being successful in public speaking. But, just as important, is where you will speak and to whom. If you are in the right place, talking to the right people, i.e. those who most want and need what you are presenting, you yourself will be far more confident because you are sure that the audience wants to know what you know.
That said, the catch really is how to find the right speaking venue. This is not a particularly easy thing to do. It requires a lot of research, creating the right supporting materials, submitting many applications, and tracking your results.
Not sure where to start? I have a systemized process to finding and booking speaking engagements that will help you get the results you’re looking for. You can contact me to get information on this, plus the detailed infographic of my 6 Steps to Crafting a Speech that Sells.
*Statistics courtesy of http://www.internetlivestats.com/