Public speaking won’t kill you – even if you think it will
This past week I helped the owner of a moving company in San Francisco put together a speech to give to a group of Realtors. He was, of course, terrified of getting in front of the group, but he did it anyway, because he’d like to earn their referral business. And you can too!
No matter what you’re doing for a living, you have some expertise that others don’t have, and you can share it with a group of individuals who care. This is effective marketing at only the cost of gas to get there – or the cost of a copywriter if you can’t decide how to say what you want to say.
Who can do this? Anyone. Who can you talk to? Any group that has meetings.
For instance, if you’re lender expert in reverse mortgages you could speak to the Senior Citizens group and let them know the pros and cons. If you sell insurance you could speak to this same group about the various and confusing Medicare plans.
If you’re a Realtor you could talk to the Chamber of Commerce. Just fill them in on how the market is affecting real estate sales in your city, if more people are moving out than in, if people are still searching for commercial property in your vicinity, etc. These folks have heard plenty of rumors, so go tell them how things really are.
With the Chamber, you can give a short talk introducing any kind of services – because business people do like to know about other businesses in town.
If you’re a farrier you could talk to the local 4-H Horse clubs about proper care of their horses’ feet.
If you’re a tutor you could talk to a parent-teacher group.
If you sell fund-raising materials you could talk to local service groups – and tell them the results of any studies you have about which promotional materials result in the most future sales.
If you’re a leather crafter, go talk to the local gun club and show them how to choose the perfect holster (that you can create.)
Think about what you do, who your target market is, and then look for a group of people who meet regularly and would welcome expert information about their topic of interest.
You don’t have to talk for an hour – in fact, they’ll be glad if your talk is brief and to the point.
Be sure to prepare a little hand-out material. You can give your audience a brochure, coupons for $ off future service, or an informational piece with your name clearly displayed. And be sure to attach your business card. Make sure your photo and your web address are on one or more pieces that you hand out – so people will instantly remember who you are when they look at your materials later.
You really can do it – just prepare ahead of time so you know what you’re going to say. You can take along your notes so you don’t miss an important point, but try not to just read your speech.
Remember that this is a group who is interested in what you have to say – it’s not anything at all like when I was a student teacher and had to get up in front of a class of kids who wished I’d just go away.
They won’t expect you to be perfect – only real. So get out there and promote yourself!
Yours for prosperity,