5 Ways To Make The Most Of Your Speaking Engagements
Just before getting in front of your audience, a deep sense of connection with your topic comes over you and suddenly you pull together your confidence to share everything you’ve been working on. You’ve practiced your main talking points and are ready to use this opportunity to gain followers and potential clients.
After going through the experience of getting on television or in front of a group of people, did you remember to share information on your product and service? Sometimes we get caught up in the performing part and forget the selling part. There are a few tips I have that will help you lock-in the time you put towards preparing for this opportunity to connect with your viewers.
All parts of the speech are important to keep the audience connected and intrigued, but first you must get their attention. The introduction is meant to help draw a story in their mind, find humor or interest in fun facts, or relating to a problem you share that they want a solution for. In order for them to stay interested, you’ve got to hook them in.
Once they connect, they’ll be more attentive to listening to the main points of the presentation. I like to start with talking about the story of a client who gets stuck the day before an event trying to figure out what to wear. As she looks through her closet she finds clothing from her body five years ago, a dress with distant memories attached to it, a cheap find last minute from another occasion, and one that she loves but has worn too often.
This story becomes a problem that others understand and want to learn more about. It might click and spark a memory from their past that they start to play out as they hear me speak.
- Read your introduction over and over.
- Read it to someone new.
- Ask for other people’s opinions.
- Find a way to make it captivating.
Freebie at the end
You have this amazing speech and then what? Don’t let your audience leave without having a way to keep them in the loop of your current promos, events, deals, and courses that could convert them into a client. The whole point of having the opportunity to be in front of people is to create a longer lasting connection influence, or relationship with them.
Create a tangible promo piece aside from your business card, have a free gift or a handout outlining what you spoke about, or create a giveaway. Do something creative to stay in touch. A few years ago I did a presentation about business casual wear at a law firm and mentioned at the end of the speech that I had a giveaway for a 3 hour Personal Shopping Session that they could enter simply by putting their business card in bowl.
Out of 150 lawyers at least half entered, my assistant and I were at the table bringing people in, engaging in conversation, and creating that connection. It was extremely beneficial for us to get their e-mails to add to my newsletter. We got new clients and referrals from this opportunity, which made it a huge success!
- Do you currently have a free giveaway that you could offer?
- If not, could you create something that the audience is looking for?
- Put together a plan to be prepared for all your future presentations.
Walk the room
Before and after the presentation, there’s most likely a time for the audience to do a meet and greet with you or just network and mingle amongst themselves. It’s important to be in the crowd and strike up a conversation, get to know the group and allow them to ask you questions in detail about your product and services.
Rather than just giving your card away, ask for theirs too in order to follow-up and provide them with an email that captures their attention. At the end of the night, take notes on their business cards about something interesting you learned about them. This helps make emails more sincere and personal.
I actually have separate tabs for my business card contacts on my Google contacts. After I send I a follow-up email, something could come of it at the moment, but if not, I have them in mind or in my system for future projects.
- Is your business card up to date with your most current branding and information?
- Do you already have a system in place to take business cards and keep them organized for use in the future?
- Create a folder online and start keeping track of the people you meet along your business journey.
Before getting on stage you need to be in right energy and the right state. The speech you have been practicing could have great information but if the energy isn’t there, it could be a huge bust. You attract what you want and what you feel. If you are feeling nervous, you need to get the right energy in mind and heart to get up and talk with confidence.
If you are feeling low, time to pump some high energy into your body to get your feelings in the moment with your topic and your audience. I personally like to listen to positive YouTube videos by Marie Forleo, Lewis Howes, or Tony Robbins. It really grounds me and allows me to see myself in a positive light that I can shine to the audience.
The one I’ve been using lately is an interview of Lisa Nichols, a sought out motivational speaker and transformation coach. Her energy is contagious; she has that personality that is inspirational, a way of speaking, of telling stories.
It’s hard to turn on her videos and not to give 100% of your attention. After I listen to that interview, I feed off her high energy and positive words to get to my clients in a similar way.
- What do you currently do to get ready before a show?
- If you don’t currently have a ritual.
- Find three activities you can try out to see what gets you in your zone to present and get on stage.
Keep on Learning
Try something new, always keep learning and getting better at your craft, including speaking. If you’ve never been on stage or in front of the camera, don’t let that stop you.
Go up and do your best, prepare as much as you can and give it all you’ve got. There are different ways to learn from your speech after you’ve done a few presentations. You can have a camera stand or someone there to record it, this will help you see how you use your hands, where you are looking, the facial expressions you use, the tone you speak with, there are many elements that you can see or hear that you can change.
When you’re up there, do your best but afterwards, be kind to yourself and make any changes necessary to continue making it better. Another great idea is to sign up for a public speaking course or group. Practice, practice, practice and even the nerves will go down because you’ll feel more confident after doing it multiple times.
A few years ago I made it my goal to be heard and be seen. I signed up for two big speaking gigs without having too much prior experience. Having them booked and set on my calendar created this sense of urgency to get working. I put together the speech, practiced it, and there was no canceling or making excuses. This is what I wanted and I went right for it.
- Is there a local workshop you can join to start practicing?
- Can you call local businesses that could use help in their department and have you come in to offer advice?
- Get it on the calendar; don’t wait for the right moment because it’ll never come!
It’s more than just sharing information; it’s really about finding that special spark that allows you to connect with others. During this vulnerable process you’ll learn from yourself, you’ll learn from your clients, and you’ll become more business savvy along the way.
Make the most of every interaction and grow your business through engaging with your audience. Put these five tips into practice and you’ll see a difference in the impact you can make through public speaking.
Tannya Bernadette makes fashion accessible and easy, no matter how busy, what body type, or budget her clients are faced with. Helping clients’ transition into their best most confident selves through discovering their personal style has been her biggest accomplishment. Read her interview on LadyBossBlogger here.