Entrepreneurs Should Speak!

One important component an entrepreneur’s marketing plan should include is giving great presentations!

Here’s why:

Delivering superb presentations has the potential to catapult a speaker to Expert status. We perceive really good speakers as experts. Perception is reality, and we like to work with Experts. (This makes sense, doesn’t it?)

Furthermore, the research shows:

Speaking Opportunities are Business Opportunities!”

Business owners who take and make those Speaking Opportunities grow their businesses.

Unfortunately, many entrepreneurs don’t Speak. They don’t for several reasons:

  1. They have a Fear of Public Speaking.
  2. They don’t do a very good job of presenting, and they know it.

Let’s look at each of these reasons for not using speaking as a marketing tool and what can be done to change them.

Speaking Opportunities are Business Opportunities!

 

The Fear of Public Speaking

There are reasons for having a Fear of Public Speaking.

  1. If you don’t know what you’re talking about you should fear speaking!
    • Don’t have a passing knowledge of your subject; be an Expert!
    • Research and study your topic. You’ll never know everything, but your mastery should be better than most people have on the subject.
    • There is a “confidence in your competence” that lowers anxiety.
  2. If you don’t know the structure of a presentation, or how to professionally deliver it.
    • An award-winning, delicious cake has a very specific recipe. If accurately followed, the “baker” will have rave reviews bestowed upon them.
    • If they have little knowledge of baking and merely throw ingredients together and hope for the best, the results will likely be disappointing. Disappointing to the people who expected a delicious dessert, and disappointing to the “baker” who didn’t take time to learn and follow a proven recipe.
    • A professional presentation, like a great cake, has a specific structure. When constructed and delivered like a pro, the results can be spectacular. The audience learns something, and the presenter’s message is received as intended.
    • Structure and Delivery can be learned. The results are worth the commitment, and time needed.
  3. If you haven’t practiced!
    • Do you think any of the athletes who participated in the Olympics just “showed up” at their event? Of course not!
    • Will any of the players who put on helmet, pads, and a uniform in the fall to play professional football merely “show up” at game time? No!
    • How about the next showing of Les Misérables? Do actors, the orchestra, and stage hands notice what time the musical starts and “show up” a few minutes earlier. Absolutely not!
    • All the above require days and days of practice and rehearsal. Why would someone think they could “show up” for an important presentation and “wing it?”
    • Steve Jobs is my presentation hero. He was a master at this and set the standard for delivering exceptional presentations. As good as he was, he still practiced ad nauseam before taking the stage. If he had a new product or service to introduce at an Apple Event, he would practice for weeks! (Weeks is not a misprint.)
  4. You’re very Uncomfortable speaking with audiences.
    • Of course it’s uncomfortable! Think about this:
    • Most our talking is one-on-one.
    • Much of our communication is on the phone, and we don’t see the person we’re talking with.
    • Increasingly our ”conversation” is an email or text message. We don’t “speak” to or see people we are communicating with.
    • It’s understandable that getting in front of ten, twenty, or fifty sets of eyeballs we might feel uncomfortable because we are out of our comfort zone.
    • The uncomfortableness will lessen each time we speak in front of an audience.

You’re a Lousy Presenter

OK, I believe you.

There is something you can do about it!

Developing and delivering great presentations is a skill. Skills are learned.

We weren’t born knowing how to drive a car, use a computer, or any of the many other skills we use daily.

There are plenty of great books on the subject. There are courses that can be taken and clubs, like Toastmasters that can be joined. There are people whose expertise is coaching public speaking and presentation skills.

Important:

A Presentation has Two Components.

  • Content - Your message.
  • Delivery - Presenting your message.

Each of these components is essential for a presentation. Neither can stand on their own.

Take note that Delivery trumps Content.

You may have the most outstanding content on your topic, but if it can’t be presented in a manner that educates, entertains, and explains it well, your audience will never GET IT! GETTING IT! is the goal of all communication; verbal, written, and visual.

Delivery, Content, and the Parts and Elements of each will be the topics of future Posts.

Till then, I hope your next presentation is - NO SWEAT!