I remember the time that I would rather have a tooth pulled than to speak in front of any size group. My first business venture, straight out of college was to open a travel agency. I majored in engineering ( at ASU) and had very little knowledge on how to start and grow a business. My first mentor, a very successful travel agency owner in Los Angeles, told me to join several civic organizations and to get in front of people and talk about my business. He suggested that I contact as many organizations as I could and offer them a 20 minute talk on travel to an interesting destination. As a 22 year old, my travel experience was rather limited. I had some slides I took on a trip to Mexico and decided to base my talk around those slides. That and my participation in organizations such as Toastmasters, the Jaycees and Church groups, were the foundation for helping me lose the fear of public speaking.
Today, I consider the sharing of our business story as one of the very best ways to get exposure. Hundreds of civic organizations meet every week and they need a speaker for each week. Professional organizations, church groups, and countless of other gatherings are in desperate need for interesting and “value sharing” speakers.
It takes G.U.T.S (God’s undeniable terrific secret) to get up in front of a group. The following are some hints that may help.
- First, you must believe that you or your business has a valuable service or product to offer. ( If you don’t, get out of your business today, and look for another)
- Make a list of the benefits, and of the need for your business.
- Make a list of interesting things about your service or products. i.e. the history beyond your product or service, or how it has helped people in the past, or what benefits it could provide in the future.
- When speaking you should tell a story, not make a sales “pitch”. If it is interesting and provides a value, your audience will contact you after the meeting for more information.
- Leave a brochure on your firm including phone, e-mail, and web sites.
Not only can you get a free breakfast, lunch or dinner but your name will be introduced to hundreds of people at no cost. It also makes you an expert. A speaker, by virtue of the title, is automatically considered an expert in their field. This one one of the most rewarding ways to grow your business. Call or e-mail me for suggestions on how to find places to speak.
Courage is doing what you’re afraid to do. There can be no courage unless you’re scared.
Have a great day!