Do you love sales? How about public speaking – is it something you look forward to or dread? There are 2 main times you have to speak up for your business. One is when you are selling one to one, and the other is when you are selling one to many (i.e. speaking in public).

You may know that I am a public speaking coach and coach people all over the world to be better public speakers. I have coached people on their 2 minute networking pitch, their 10 minute speaking slot all the way through to their 90 minute expert positioning keynote speech – using no notes and no slides (yes it is possible).

What you may not know is that I spent 10 years in sales with one of the best sales training companies in the UK at the time – Yellow Pages (yes that little leaflet thing that comes through your door now, that used to be a dobbing big directory which was the only place you could find all the business information in your area).

The principle of being a good speaker is the same whether you are in a meeting with one client / pitching to a board / at a network meeting with a few dozen or speaking from stage to hundreds or thousands. There are certain skills which you always need.

Let’s have a look at what they are: –

1. You need the confidence to do it in the first place. If you don’t have the confidence you will come over as nervous, unsure and unbelievable. Nervousness does not elicit confidence in your audience. There are a number of techniques you can use to build your confidence, one of which is simply – practice. The more you do it, the less worrying it becomes, the more you stretch your comfort zone. So volunteer – to speak at any network events, any work events, it will all help. Confidence building is a whole massive subject which I don’t have time to go into today but it is fundamental to being a good speaker/salesperson and one of the areas we spend a lot of time on in my Magnetic Business Mastermind Group.

2. You need to be passionate. If you are not excited about what you are speaking about don’t expect anyone else to be. Real passion is palpable and authentic. Don’t come over as a phoney. Access the passion you have about your subject area.

3. You need to connect with your audience. There are various techniques here which are included in my model which I call the bonding Blueprint. There are 7 elements to this blueprint – let’s look at just one of them. You would be surprised at how many rookie speakers I see on stage who make this simple mistake. In fact, one of the ways you can tell someone is a rookie speaker is that they forget to smile on stage. I get it – you are nervous, or you are concentrating on how to get through the next 5 minutes, but here’s the thing – that is not the audience’s problem, and your job is to connect with them. Wouldn’t you agree that when we interact one on one – we definitely smile? And for our presentations to be as powerful as possible we need to treat them as one to one conversations. Hopefully – if we are passionate about something as in the point above, we will be happy about it. So, don’t forget to smile, no-one likes a misery guts!

4. You need to tell stories. Stories are in our psyche. They were all we had in cave men times to teach and learn from. Even (in evolutionary terms) modern day man – before writing was common, used stories to pass on the wisdom of the generations. Religions used their ‘oral tradition’ to pass down their sacred writings. And in modern times – Mothers tell their children stories – nursery rhymes and fairy stories are all lesson based learning, but in a much more interesting way. If a Mother were to tell her child – don’t talk to strangers – the child may or may not listen. Contrast that to the story of Red Riding Hood, where the stranger ate the grandma and nearly ate Red Riding Hood, and it much more interesting and memorable. Likewise, you need to tell YOUR story, the story of your business and other minor stories to make you and your presentation memorable.

5. Know your audience. If you know your audience are a load of scientists, who want to know the ins and outs of the new medicine you have created which deals with ageing at a cellular level, then clearly you would put some detail and some technical terms in it. If your audience however are business owners – who are generally bigger picture thinkers – LOSE the jargon and the detail and talk about the difference it will make to their bottom line, their reputation, their ability to help THEIR clients and their profitability and visibility.

6. Remember that people buy on emotion and then back it up with logic. So whether you are selling a product, a service or an idea – tune into the emotions behind the idea and focus the presentation on that (with some facts in there for reassurance).

7. Remember your call to action. If you are in a sale – close the deal. If you are doing a keynote speech – let the audience know what they can do next – donate / buy your book / sign up to your list / book onto an event. Otherside, they will go away informed and entertained, but without a way of continuing a relationship with you.

Perhaps you need some help in speaking up for your business. Whether you lack a proper sales process, or need a better networking pitch, or have a presentation coming up – we can help! Email me for more information on our business coaching [email protected]