Every business is designed to do one thing; solve the problems of other people. If you aren’t solving problems for others, you won’t be in business for very long. For example, if I have a leaking faucet, I’ll call a plumber who can fix it. Problem solved. If I need to sell my home, I’ll hire a realtor who can list my home, find a buyer, walk me through all the paperwork, and make sure everything gets filed correctly. Problem solved. If I’m having a party and I want to make sure my guests don’t get bored, I’ll hire entertainment such as a magician, comedian, band, or caricature artist. My guests are entertained, and my problem is solved. If you think your business is different, and you’re not there to solve a problem, you’re either fooling yourself, or you don’t have a viable business. The key to maximizing your marketing is to clearly identify the problem, and then convey your solution. This blog is designed to solve a problem. If you’re looking to grow your business, gain more clients, and increase your income, my posts are designed to give you information to do exactly that, but here’s something to think about. Everyone is at a different stage in their career, so unless we were doing a one-on-one consultation, it’s incredibly difficult to give you exactly what YOU need at this particular moment to grow YOUR specific business, so if there’s some aspect of growing your business you’d like me to address, please let me know by leaving a comment below. As they say, the squeaky wheel gets the grease, so if you want to be heard, make some noise by leaving a comment.
Last week’s video received a really good response, and there was one person who asked about booking speaking engagements, so over the next few weeks I’ll be addressing several different aspects of the speaking business.
Regardless of the industry you’re in, I believe that public speaking is one of the best and fastest ways to grow your business. There are two main reasons. First, you’ll draw attention to your business. There’s no benefit in being your industry’s best kept secret. Second, you’ll be able to position yourself as the expert or authority on your topic. When people seek the solution to their problem, they’ll seek out the expert, YOU.
The number one question most speakers have is, “How do I book more gigs?” It’s an excellent question, but before I can answer that, I have to ask YOU a few questions. Do YOU have something to say? Are you passionate about your topic, and are you so passionate that you’re willing to put in the hard work it’s going to take to book those gigs? Booking gigs isn’t necessarily easy, but if you’re passionate about getting your message out there, then the hard work of getting gigs won’t matter. Your passion will motivate you to do whatever it takes to get the business.
Assuming you have the passion, have you honed your presentation to the point where other people will want to invest their time and resources into bringing you in to speak to their group? If not, then you’ve got some work ahead of you.
The only way to get good at public speaking is to get out there and do it. You can practice all you want in your living room, but practice won’t take the place of real world experience. If you’re new to public speaking, speak as often as you can. Offer to speak for free to service groups such as Rotary Clubs or other charitable associations. Join a local Toastmasters group so you can learn and practice in front of a group of very supportive people who want to help you succeed. Sign up to a lead listing service such as SpeakerMatch.com. For a reasonable fee you’ll get leads for both free and paid speaking gigs. The more you speak, the better you’ll get, and the better you’ll be when you get hired to speak at that high profile gig.
Not only do you have to provide content that people want to hear, you have to deliver it in a way that inspires your audience to take action on your ideas. Anything less is a complete waste of time. It’s a waste of time for you, the speaker, and more importantly, it’s a waste of time for your audience.
I think of a speech as a performance, and a great performance has an attention getting opening, a solid middle where you deliver most of your content, and a closing that people will talk about long after you’re gone.
Really give some thought to your presentation. I’ve seen way too many people get in front of a group and just wing it, and winging it just doesn’t cut it. Show respect to your audience by preparing a presentation that is worthy of their attention, and there lies the most important step. Prepare a presentation worthy of your audience’s attention by never giving a presentation you wouldn’t want to sit through yourself. If you wouldn’t want to sit through it, why would your audience want to sit through it? If you start with this one idea in mind, you’ll be on the right path to succeeding in this business.
Until next week, go out, share your message, and make a difference in the world.