We all know that word of mouth is the best and most effective form of advertising. People experience your service or product, like what they experience and tell others about you. The only problem with this is that it occurs sporadically between two individuals or small groups thus taking a lot longer the get the word out and build your reputation.
There is a way to supercharge the word of mouth process by getting a lot more people experiencing your service or product at one time and it involves public speaking. I know you would rather die than stand up in front of a group and speak. BUT stay with me and you just might change your mind when you consider the benefits of promoting your business with public speaking without cost to you..
Why is Public Speaking So Effective As a Business Promotional Tool?
It gives your audience a chance to experience your expertise and your personality up close and personal as they say. If they like what they hear and see and if they feel a connection with you they will either hire you and/or tell the world about you and your service.
How to Proceed
In every city there are many associations, service clubs, support groups, health care organizations etc. in dire need of speakers for their monthly meetings or annual banquets. Check your telephone directory or regional community directory published by your local newspaper for group names and contact information.
Once you have selected the groups you would like to present to, call them and ask for the name of the person in charge of lining up speakers. They will be happy to hear from you as their job is difficult and they will appreciate your offer to speak free of charge.
1. Outline your talk to the person in charge of getting speakers.
2. Stress how your presentation will benefit their members.
3. Prepare your presentation to solve a problem for your listeners. Suggest concrete solutions.
4. Put your presentation topic in the form of a ” How to” title.
Examples : How to Bully Proof Your Children.
Five Ways to Protect Your Computer from Hackers
5. Don’t make your talk too self promotional. This will turn off your audience. One or two references to your business during your talk will be fine. Avoid having more than that.
6. Make sure you provide great practical, usable information.
7. Suit your topic to the group. If you have a computer service business and you are talking to a P.T.A. group a great talk would be ” Ten Ways to Protect Your Children From Child Predators on the Internet”
8. Be enthusiastic about your topic. Enthusiasm is contagious and memorable.
9. Use humor within your talk. If you can’t tell a humorous story then collect and use humorous one liners related to your theme.
* To receive a free copy of my 35Best One-liners mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
10. Near the end of your presentation invite your audience to pick up a copy of a tip sheet you prepared and brought with you related to your topic. At the end of the tip sheet put your contact information plus a statement inviting them to copy the tip sheet and give it to anyone they think would be interested. All you ask is that they copy the tip sheet as is with your contact information in tact.
11. You can also indicate on the tip sheet and orally that you are available to speak to any group they think would benefit from your message.
12. Have your business card and any relevant promotional material as part of a handout for audience members. Invite them to pick up a package before they leave.
13. At the end of your talk say, ” I will be glad to stay around at the conclusion of the evening to answer any questions you may have.
14. If you have an on-line newsletter or a special report related to the topic of the evening offer to send them a copy if they would leave either their business card or their email address. When you get home make sure you send them what you offered. Be sure to keep their email addresses on file for future contact.
15. If you are good, the word will spread and you will start getting calls to speak. When this happens you can start charging a fee for your speaking services.
When I started charging for my speaking services I did 50 in one year for $200 per speech. Now I do 40 or 50 a year for between $1800 and $2500 plus expenses. I get well paid to speak and I still reap the benefits of word of mouth advertising.
If you have a fear of public speaking don’t let it stop you from benefitting from the promotional value of giving presentations. Remember you only overcome your fears by confronting them head on. When you conquer your fear of speaking in public you will have at your disposal a powerful and effective publicity tool. And you won’t have top pay out one penny.