This is a guest post by my good friend Griselda Kumordzie Togobo. Check out her other tips for small business.
Imagine a room of potential clients (large or small, whatever you're comfortable with).
You have their undivided attention and the opportunity to present you and your business in the best possible light. Whilst on stage, you give them a preview of the solutions you provide, transformations and successes experienced by clients, sharing your expertise with a willing and grateful audience.
What could regular opportunities like this do for your business?
Speaking is the one place where you have permission to ask people to unplug and just focus and listen to what you have to say. When you go on stage, immediately the audience view you as an authority.
One good speaking gig keeps giving and giving long after you’ve walked off stage. This is because; you never know who is in the audience or the ideas your talk may be generating.
Let me explain what I mean by this.
I got my first FREE public relations feature in a multinational multilingual publication because the editor was in the audience at a conference I spoke at. FREE PR in a popular magazine that generated further opportunities to speak at two other conferences and make new valuable business connections.
I also just signed up a new client who was present at a conference I spoke at six months ago. It took a while. I carried on nurturing the relationship off stage, but we got there in the end. She viewed me as a highly credible prospect because she had seen me on stage and then subscribed to my insider tips newsletter.
So how can you start?
There is no reason to panic about speaking in front of an audience. You don’t have to be a professional speaker to do this. Increasingly “experts” are expected to be able to present on their areas of expertise or share their success to inspire and educate other business owners. So start small before a forgiving audience, and work your way up.
Before you know it, you’ll be invited to speak at conferences you had only dreamed about previously. My first speaking event when I started was at an event organized by a life coach – I got my first two clients from there and was hooked. You can’t blame me. I had found a way of marketing my business that I loved, was pain free and less time consuming than networking.
Speaking is one of those abilities that can be developed with practice. Seek every opportunity to speak in front of an audience, whether you are paid for it or not and you’ll gradually get better at it
No matter how you look at it, speaking is a vital part of promoting a consulting, coaching or professional service business. I always encourage my clients to give it a try. Why not give it a go too?
Griselda Kumordzie Togobo is a business consultant, coach, speaker and writer dedicated to helping business owners increase their cash flow, profits and productivity. She is a chartered accountant and holds an MPhil in Industrial Systems, Manufacture and Management from Wolfson College, Cambridge University. Griselda is the founder of AWOVi Consulting, a consulting practice that provides cashflow and profit enhancement solutions to owners of small and medium sized businesses using her unique blend of business development and financial management techniques. For more tips visit http://www.awovi.com.