Do you remember back in your school days when you had to deliver an annual “speech”? For some of us, that was a truly nerve-wracking, stressful event. First, you had to come up with an interesting topic. Then — horror of horrors — you had to stand up in front of the whole class and speak for a good 10 to 15 minutes.
Yes, I have vivid memories of those times…but, actually, they’re not all “bad”. Aside from the normal jitters and my shyness, once I got going, I actually enjoyed writing and delivering speeches. Especially memorable was the one I did in Grade Eight about “embarrassing situations”, a topic I felt uniquely qualified to speak about in my early adolescence.
What I learned from those school experiences is that speaking is a great way of connecting with other people. I also discovered that if you focus on your topic and giving something enjoyable, entertaining and/or valuable to your audience, your self-consciousness dissipates.
In a business context, speaking is a fantastic method of building relationships with your authentic community (target market), increasing your visibility and credibility and generating sales.
Speaking Platforms That Build Relationships
In the “old days”, options for speaking to your community were limited mainly to live events, television and radio. With advancements in telecommunications and the dawn of Web 2.0 (the second stage of web development and design), the speaking platforms you can access are much more diverse.
Of course, there’s nothing like a live event for creating a personal, “high-touch” experience. However, there are now numerous other ways you can speak directly to your community members, regardless of their physical location. For example:
- You can offer teleseminars. Teleseminars are seminars that are delivered over the phone using a telephone bridge line. There are free and low-cost services that allow you to do this. Some even provide call recordings that you can download, such as http://www.freeconferencepro.com/.
- You can offer webinars. Webinars are seminars that you can deliver by telephone and the Internet, or just the Internet alone. Two services that support webinars for a fee are http://www.gotomeeting.com/ and http://www.instantteleseminar.com/.
- You can create podcasts with short pieces of valuable content. Podcasts are audio files that have been uploaded to a blog, so they’re available for download through web syndication.
- You can establish your own Internet, call-in radio show for free using http://www.blogtalkradio.com/. Also, you have the option of using this service to create podcasts, and you can purchase advanced features.
- You can have someone record your live seminar with a camcorder, create video files comprising short segments (under 10 minutes) and upload these files to http://www.youtube.com/. Or you can record short segments of valuable information or tips with your webcam, and upload the video files to YouTube.
Start With The Basics — A Signature Talk
With so many options, it can be confusing to know where to begin. A good place to start may be with a signature presentation you can deliver again and again, in person or by teleseminar or webinar.
Like a signature article, a signature talk addresses the topic most directly related to your community’s key challenges and desires. It gives them a taste of the benefits of your signature/core product or service and your unique healing process, while providing something tangible they can take away.
Here are some tips to help you create an inspired and inspiring presentation:
- Craft a compelling title capturing the ultimate benefit your audience will receive from your seminar and a subtitle describing what they’ll take away.
- Create an outline of three major points you’ll cover that will allow you to deliver your seminar’s objective.
- Before you deliver your signature talk, align your energy by visualizing yourself and your audience members connecting heart-to-heart. Then focus on being yourself, being open and receptive to your audience, having fun and showing up with love and compassion.
- Besides providing valuable information, give your audience the opportunity to integrate what they’re learning through exercises and tools relating to your speaking points, and invite feedback.
- At the end, make a heartfelt invitation to your audience to purchase your core product or service (packaged as a “special” offer) or sign up for your free offer (e.g., a complimentary e-book or consultation). Pass around an opt-in sheet so your audience members can sign up for your free offer on the spot with their names and email addresses.
Speaking is one of the best ways to connect directly with your community members and can lead to sales and new clients. So, polish up those presentation skills, warm up those vocal cords and get ready to take the stage!
In Modules Nine and Ten of The Prosperous Healer’s Path™ Business Success Training and Coaching Program, I help participants learn how to use speaking to attract clients and how to sell authentically, effectively, easily and joyfully.
© Copyright 2011 Mary C. Davis, ANAM TURAS. All rights reserved.
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