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Public Speaking – Small Business 101

I attended a luncheon several days ago. As with most civic organizations  a speaker is invited to give a 20 minute presentation. The speaker was a small business owner who spoke on the economy and small businesses from his own perspective.

The topic sounded interesting and I, along with the rest of the approximately 25 members in attendance, was eager to listen. After lunch the guest speaker was introduced and I listened attentively for at least 4 or 5 minutes before my attention was focused on staying awake for the rest of the talk.

A great tool in a small business marketing basket is public speaking. It is an opportunity to lead people to take action, to make a professional impression and to initiate future contact with those present. When I suggest this type of marketing to small business owners they usually tell me that they would rather have a tooth pulled without novocain than to stand up and speak.

Take comfort. Public speaking can be learned. There are several ways to accomplish this training. First, keep giving talks to groups until you get it right. Join a local toastmasters group and follow their excellent system. Take a college course on public speaking or look into one of the other numerous educational resources.

Learning the proper way to make presentations is necessary, not just for speaking to groups, but it  is needed when making presentations to future clients. The following are several things to remember:

  • Know the subject you are speaking on
  • Be passionate about your topic, your audience will know
  • Know your audience, who they are, what they expect, etc.
  • Include some of your own story in the talk
  • If possible, add a little humor
  • I love props and “clever” handouts
  • Involve the audience
  • Practice your talk
  • Dress to meet the expectations of your   audience

There are hundreds of groups, many who need a speaker for their meeting every week. This is one of the most overlooked, but perhaps one of the best ways to tell your story and generate business.

Heard a cute one today: “ God made lots of heads – those he was ashamed of he covered with hair”

Nick J. Petra    nick@strategicduck.com   visit our site and buy the Seven Weeks to Increased Profits, it will change your business life.

Make it a successful today!

 

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