Most of us need to speak to groups once in awhile. In fact, a lot of small businesses (especially professional practices) can get great exposure if you talk to groups.
The key is talking to the right people and getting them to want to learn more about you and your business.
I used to think any time you spoke on behalf of your business, it should be about your business or profession. Otherwise, how could it help you promote your business?
Well, believe or not, I was wrong!
If you use public speaking as a way to promote your business, focus on entertaining and inspiring your audiences. Do this and they’ll want to learn more about you, no matter what you spoke about.
I have spoken to thousands of people over the years (from teenagers to business owners). And I have seen a lot of very good professional speakers do their thing. From this experience I’ve developed some ideas on what makes a good presentation.
Here are my Top Ten Rules of speaking to groups:
1. Whatever you talk about, be an expert about it. Never talk to a group unless you know what you’re talking about.
2. Be passionate about your topic. It should be something that thrills you so you’re compelled to talk about it.
3. Make it personal. Use examples from your life and your experiences.
4. Tell stories. Use humorous stories of things that happened to you to illustrate points and to entertain.
5. Prepare and practice. Memorize your speech so you can say it at moment’s notice. Never read from a script! Be able to say your speech as naturally as a conversation with your best friend.
6. Be funny but do it honestly and without hurting or offending others.
7. Speak to entertain and inspire. You need to entertain them to connect with them. Once you connect, deliver a message that inspires them.
8. Be yourself. Your audience doesn’t expect you to be one of them. Just respect them and open up to them. They’ll do the same for you.
9. Never apologize for anything. If you show confidence in yourself, they will too.
10. Make it interesting and relevant to your audience. Give them something to think about and talk about. Get them involved.
And, since this is your lucky day, here are 10 more speaking tips from someone who’s done a lot of professional level speaking, Guy Kawasaki.
Have something interesting to say.
Cut the sales pitch.
Focus on entertaining.
Understand the audience.
Don’t denigrate the competition.
Pre-circulate with the audience.
Speak at the start of an event.
Ask for a small room.
Practice and speak all the time.
Okay, that’s actually 11 tips.
Go to Guy’s blog for the details because he has a lot more to say about this and it’s worth reading his stuff.