As an entrepreneur, business owner, or any kind of leader you are going to get opportunities to speak to groups.
These are chances not only to acquire customers but to develop your brand and get seen as an expert in your field. Don’t blow it.
Learn how very important public speaking is to entrepreneurs. Stay till the end and I’ll point you to resources that can hone your public speaking skills.
A visit to the Business Networking International, or BNI, meeting showed me just how important public speaking skills are for a business owner. BNI is a networking group for all kinds of businesses.
Everything from insurance agents and bankers, to auto mechanics and house painters. It is built on the premise that you get business by connecting with other business owners.
As the name implies the core of a meeting is networking. Another critical skill every business owner needs, and one I’ve already done a video on. Check it out if you haven’t already.
But a big part of every meeting letting a business owner present about their business. They give a 15-minute speech explaining what they do and why the other people in the room should refer people to them.
Or at least that is the goal.
Sadly most people completely screw this up. Not only are their general public speaking skills low, but they also ramble around and miss the point of such a presentation. They talk about the wrong stuff. Spend too much time talking about their family or back story and not about their business.
They forget about their purpose and audience. So they never connect with the listeners nor have a clear call to action at the end.
And I cringed at the lost opportunity.
They paid to have the opportunity to pitch their business, but there are lots of chances to speak that are free and get your business in front of whole new audiences.
When I had my video game company I got to speak for an hour about video games to a rotary club. A local Startup Community lunch I go to regularly has business owners come in and speak about their business.
Public speaking is a vital skill for any entrepreneur.
Also in this age of social media and online platforms like podcasting and YouTube, you get even more chances to speak to audiences. Videos like this one are a version of public speaking. Vital chances that no business owner can neglect.
Which is why we’re are going to talk about public speaking over the next few weeks.
We’re going to start out by talking about how to start a speech. A place too many people screw up, falling into the urban myths of speech making.
Then we’ll talk about newbie mistakes that will kill the effectiveness of your speaking opportunities.
Question of the Day: How have you used public speaking to grow your business?
I promised you resources on how to increase you public speaking skills.
The number one resource is Toastmasters International. This organization spans the whole globe and teaches public speaking and leadership.
Not only do you get lessons as a steal of a price, but you get the chance to actually speak. Nothing improves your skills like doing something, getting feedback, and doing it again. Toastmasters does this.