As an entrepreneur or sales professional are you tapping into the unlimited opportunities to promote if you are a good presenter?
In an era of tough competition good presentation skills give you a competitive edge.
Speaking before a group about your business is definitely the least expensive and best way to market your product or service and expand your customer base. I know this from first hand experience. I started talking about my hair styling business at local service organizations, such as Rotary, Kiwanis, Optimists. That helped me build my service business and led to a full time speaking and training business.
Check out the Room:
Being prepared is a key to presenting a good talk. It's a comfort knowing that the lights, the microphone, the flip charts, etc. are working and, more importantly, that you know how to work with them.
Go to the room where you will be speaking earlier than everybody else. Imagine yourself a success. Get comfortable on the stage. Test the microphone. Are your notes in order?
You may not be a professional speaker, but struggling with audio/visual equipment just distracts and annoys your audience. You want them on your side.
Presenting your Talk:
Do not read your speech. Write key points in large, bold typeface on your pad you keep on the lectern or table. I urge you not to stand behind the lectern throughout your entire talk. It puts a barrier between you and the audience and they feel it. However, if you feel more secure standing behind the lectern, do not lean on it.
Write your own introduction. Use your resume as a guide, but customize it to fit the topic on which you're speaking. Do not include your job as a life guard in your intro unless it directly relates to your subject.
Develop a page detailing your key points. Or if you've had an article published, make copies for the audience members. Make sure that the handout includes your name, address and telephone number.
If your goal is to develop business contacts, always collect business cards from the audience members. You can offer to send additional information, articles or tip sheets to them. Or you can offer a door prize (this can be a product you sell or certificate for service--a free evaluation of financial status, etc.); ask that everyone drop their business cards in a box from which you or the program chair will draw the winner (or winners) at the end of your talk. The business cards give you prospects with whom you can follow up later. If you offer to provide attendees with written material, you might include an order blank for you product or service.
Just Do It!
Speaking before a group of strangers can be intimidating, but keep focused on the positive impact the presentation will have on your business reputation and your bottom line. Don't expect to be a magnificent speaker the first time out. Your goal is to present the most valuable information possible to the members of the audience. Think of it as the beginning of many long-term relationships.
Go on--step up on the podium and profit from the experience.
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Patricia Fripp, CSP, CPAESales Presentation Trainer, Keynote Speaker, Executive Speech Coach - Patricia coaches clients on the three essential aspects of presentation: simplifying organization, mastering content, and perfecting delivery. Learn More
Executive Speech Coach, Business presentation tips from George Torok, the Speech Coach for Executives.