The thought of speaking in public is enough to make most people run for cover, and I was definitely one of them. I had been a classroom teacher for twenty years and could talk in front of groups of students with no problem, even if it was five hundred elementary school children in the auditorium. But speaking to a dozen teachers at a staff meeting or to twenty people at any other type of meeting or event made me become physically ill and ready to run away and hide. And at that time I did not even know that public speaking for your business was something people were thinking about.
Fast forward to 2006 and I had moved to a new community and begun my new online business. I attended a Rotary (this is an international service organization) meeting and saw this as an opportunity to volunteer and to connect with some new people. If I was going to be working from home and sitting in front of a computer every day, it would be great to get out and spend time with others once a week. The last thing I was thinking about at that time was the strategy of public speaking for your business.
It wasn’t long before I was being handed the microphone during the meetings and asked to give an update about a community project or event that I was involved with. My face and ears would become hot, my stomach would turn, and it was all I could do to share the information I had been asked to provide. They were counting on me, so I couldn’t say no. And when I saw that everyone else felt comfortable speaking in this way I decided to take this as a challenge and to improve my ability to speak in public. This was the beginning of public speaking for your business as something I could achieve.
As my business grew I was asked to speak to groups about one of the various topics I was now known as an expert in, such as affiliate marketing and building a business where I could earn huge profits with a tiny list. The latter was the subject of my first published book and I was eager to share this information with others. It wasn’t until the summer of 2010, four years after I first spoke at my local Rotary Club that I finally became comfortable speaking. I was in Minneapolis and the event promoter, Armand Morin asked me if I was nervous right before I was to take the stage. Speaking to him in all honesty I said “I’m nervous that I am not nervous about speaking today.” We both laughed and I went on to give the best presentation I had done to date. I had fun with the audience and told myself to remember how this felt, as this was what I had hoped for as a public speaker for my business.
There are many other forms of public speaking as well. Virtually, you can speak on teleseminars and podcasts, as well as on webinars and as a part of a summit. Any time people are hearing your message and information, whether in real time or recorded you are a public speaker. Public speaking for your business can take many shapes and forms.
Also, seek out opportunities to speak in person in your community. I shared that I did this first at my Rotary Club with about fifty people in attendance, and soon I was being asked to speak at our District Conference with more than three hundred people in the audience. These opportunities came about because I was building a reputation as someone who was willing to provide excellent and relevant information on my topics, and to be engaging and welcoming to the audience and their questions. As a speaker for non-profits and other charitable organizations I was not able to sell from the stage, but I will tell you that many people joined my list and went on to purchase many products and courses from me in the future.
Be willing to put yourself out there and speak to others face to face and online. You never know who you might connect with and how your message may resonate with someone. Just the idea of speaking on your topic will be enough to catapult you to great success as a thought leader and an entrepreneur. And even if you have a fear of public speaking for your business right now, that fear will dissipate over time and be replaced with a feeling of empowerment and great joy. If you are ready to stand in your power as a unique human being, speaking publicly is the fastest road to success. Give it a try and let me know if you have more questions on how to get started and on how to leverage the power of the internet to grow your business.
I’m author and online marketing strategist Connie Ragen Green. I work with entrepreneurs to create multiple streams of online income and would love to connect with you. Download my Online Entrepreneur’s Blueprint and get started right away.