Can you be in business and get away with not speaking in public?
It’s a question I get asked – usually by people who would rather die than stand up in front of a group and speak in public. If you have your own business and want to share, teach and sell what you do…then at some point you will be faced with an opportunity to stand up and speak up. In fact I would go so far as to say, that the ability to talk about your business, passion and values confidently, competently and compellingly is an essential business skill, not a nice to have.
Here are four main reasons why public speaking can help you in business:
- Stand out, don’t blend in
The world is a busy, noisy place. Think of the emails, the tweets, the posts, the pictures, the news items, the YouTube clips that have passed your desk just this last few days (or even hours!). Everyone is speaking up…loudly and persistently. If you don’t speak up, then no one will know you are there. But it is not just about adding to the noise and conversation. It is about speaking with clarity and impact so that people listen, people remember, people act on what you say.
- Develop a human business ‘voice’
There is so much information around isn’t there? We are drowning in data, statistics and detail. People, and by that I mean our clients and our potential customers, don’t want more information; they crave inspiration, interpretation and meaning. Being able to stand up and speak confidently and compellingly about your business means that you can develop a clear business ‘voice’. One that customers and future clients can understand and trust.
- Raising our Profile
What makes a client choose one provider over another? It’s not always about price or quality. It can often boil down to the fact that we are seen as the authority in that field, we are trusted, other people recommend us and what we say (and do) resonates with that client. Being able to stand up and present on our business raises our profile, our ‘expert status’. And that makes creating a base of raving fans is much easier.
- Leverage our time and effort
Imagine for a moment that you had to get new customers one by one. Each time you met a potential client, you had to win them over one at a time – and then start all over again. Now imagine that you had 30, 100, 300 potential customers and advocates in the same room while you delivered a key note presentation. Not only is this highly time efficient, it raises your profile no end (see point 3) and allows you to extend your reach. Use public-speaking as part of your marketing strategy and you will find customers know you, like you and seek you out – all by themselves!
If your business is all about making a difference – then yes, stand up, speak up and stand out!