Your Business Needs a Speaker and It’s YOU

Years back when I was going to Chamber of Commerce meetings, coffee dates and meeting clients in Barnes and Noble Bookstores, I started to wonder if there was an easier approach to growing my business.

I was meeting clients on my lunch hour and after work. I was mingling at evening networking events and early morning BNI (Business Networking meetings) and I was frustrated.

What I soon realized was that I needed to broaden my reach and the only way I could do it was to speak to the masses – that’s when I incorporated speaking via telesummits, BlogTalk Radio interviews, hosting teleclasses and speaking live at networking events.

Within months of being in front of massive amounts of people my subscriber list grew, people wanted to partner with me on projects and I was getting clients and filling my programs. I’ll admit that I was reluctant to do it in the beginning- how was I going to squeeze it in around my family commitments and day job. But I did and I have to tell you it was worth it.

I’m often asked, “Why do you really need to speak to grow your business?”

Because you will reach more people with your message.

Because you will meet people who can refer to you.

Because you will get exposure.

Because you will get clients.

Because you need to grow your business.

Can I tell you that public speaking and speaking to sell is one of those strategies that can be extremely effective if done right.

So what do you need to know to speak to sell? Let me breakdown some of the key elements I share with my clients.

Here’s what you need when it comes to speaking for your business:

  1.  Know Your Target Market and What They Want– before you speak you need to be clear about who your target market is. What they struggle with the most. Who are they? Where do they hang out? When you know this you’ll be able to know what to talk to them about and ultimately be able to offer to solve their problems.
  2.  Have a Signature Talk – when I start working with my private clients I always insist that they develop a talk. One that can be delivered live or via the internet. A Signature Talk is a speech about your topic. You can breakdown the most important themes that you cover in your business or you can go very deep into one particular topic. The idea is that you create a talk that is interesting and will allow you to be heard.
  3.  Find Out Where Your Target Market Is Gathered– once you know what your market wants to hear and create a topic about that subject you then need to find places that you can deliver your talk. The easiest way to do it is to find out where your target hangs out. Where are they gathering in large groups? Who gathers them for you? Consider networking events, being a guest speaker on a radio show, telesummit or interview.
  4.  Gather Your Market Yourself – another way to gather people to have them hear your talk is to gather them together on your own. You can hold a workshop, a live event, a teleclass or webinar. If you do it online you can use this as a great way to build your mailing list at the same time.
  5.  Capture Them– this is one of the most important parts to the presentation. No matter if you speak live or virtually you want to capture leads. If you speak live then you can bring a sign up list to get your free offer that’s on your website. If you capture leads virtually then you want to add them to your mailing list and send reminders to them prior to the event.
  6.  Make an Offer – I think this is the most important part of the presentation. Every presentation you conduct for your business should include an offer. Even if it’s simply to have a conversation with you to learn how you can support them it’s still an offer. No presentation should ever conclude without you making one.

I hope this has helped you think about setting up your first or next presentation.  Remember, the more you do the easier they get!

What questions do you have about speaking to sell? What tips can you offer that will help others use this strategy better?

I’d love to hear in the comments below.

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Ready to start speaking for your business but don’t have a strategy to speak to sell? Set up a complimentary consultation with Jeannie to learn how to start! 


11 thoughts on “Your Business Needs a Speaker and It’s YOU”

  1. Great article Jeannie! I love the tips, especially the one about making an offer. Sometimes people get nervous about the offer, but if you’ve done a good job of showing you value up to that point, your audience will be anxious to know more about your services.

    My tip, of course, is to practice, practice, practice. It may not be Carnegie Hall, but as you said Jeannie, the more you do it, the better you get!

  2. I have a speaking engagement tonight. Actually my first. I’m getting a little nervous about it. But I’m excited about it and ready. I have my notes and the hand outs. I know the topic like that back of my hand. Wish me luck and many more!

  3. How on earth are you able to write enough on one subject for an entire speech? If I write for a teleclass, I need 3500 words for half an hour, and that’s very hard for me to do on just one subject.

    1. Linda,
      I bet you can come up with more content than you think. There are also easy ways to fill in the gaps- questions, examples, case studies. That works too!

  4. I do LOVE to speak, Jeannie. I even did in March and was THRILLED! I had such a great time I was beaming from ear-to-ear the entire ride home. But now… I have no more talks scheduled. How do I actually GET talks? UGH. I am so exhausted, frustrated, and tired. I feel stuck. I know where I want to be but not how to get there. Elizabeth

    1. Elizabeth I can totally appreciate where you are and I’m not surprised that you LOVE speaking. I know how hard you’ve been working and sometimes it feels like you’re just spinning your wheels.
      I have a few thoughts for you – first, what did you do to get the last engagement? How can you get one similar to that? Next, there are plenty of people who can do some research for you to find engagements for you to speak at. One of my former clients actually is a Speakers VA in that she books speaking engagements for her clients. Could you have a VA do the research for you? Could you hire someone like my former client to get you in front of more of your market?
      Next, what kinds of events are you attending during the course of the year? Are they leading to speaking opportunities? They very well could.
      I hope that helps! Hang in there – you will make it happen…Jeannie

      1. Well, I emailed about 45 nurse association chapters in the states of DE, MD, NJ, and VA. I then followed up about 3-4 times with each of them. That process was long, hard, and resulted in the ONE gig. UGH!! I do want the help. Let me know about the VA you are speaking of. I don’t have much money since my business doesn’t provide me with any income at all. But I do WANT this very badly. Thanks for the suggestions!

  5. I love your advice Jeannie. It’s always right on the mark. I’ve actually got some speaking gigs scheduled (with hopefully more to come). I’m still working off my notes for the most part but hoping to get to the part where I know it cold and need no notes. Do you think it looks bad to have notes up there?

    1. Thanks Jo – remember that ad-libing and improv is what makes a speech even better. You’ll get there. Having bullets as a way to trigger your thoughts is very helpful. If you have access to a/v and can display a powerpoint presentation that may look better but having notes is totally fine. Just don’t read off of them (I know you won’t).

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