Guest Author - Deborah Crawford
Public speaking is a great promotional tool for your business. It helps you build your list of prospects and get your name and business out there. Public speaking is a great opportunity for you to educate people on who you are and what your company does. Almost any small business can benefit from speaking to groups in your area about your business.
Once you have determined your message, think about who needs this message. Who can benefit from this information? This is your target audience and should align with your overall target market, but there may be some instances where they are similar but not an exact fit. That’s okay as it helps you expand your marketing reach. For instance, your target market may be mothers of toddlers because you sell toys for toddlers, but you may have a great presentation that works for expectant mothers on choosing nursery toys. That’s fine. Those mothers will eventually be buying toys for toddlers so that’s a great group to speak to.
Your next step is to find out where those target audiences meet and if they need speakers for their meetings. You can also host meetings on your own and invite your audience to come hear your presentation, but it’s easier to start with established groups if possible.
To find groups in your area that your presentation would be appropriate for, you can search google and other search engines, and Meetup.com is a good source for small group meetings. You can also call your local library and chamber of commerce for group information. Once you have a list of possible groups, contact them and ask to speak with the person in charge of programs or speakers. Ask if they are looking for speakers and if you can send them your information. Even if they are currently booked up, many will want to keep your information on file. It also helps to ask when they do their program planning so you can update them at that time.
If you already belong to any networking group, use your contacts there and ask them for referrals to groups that would fit. If it is allowed, print up some small flyers to distribute to members. I use a flyer that has my speaking topics and a short description of each as well as a short bio of me. It’s just one page and has five speaking topics listed. You can distribute those flyers in your newsletters, customer orders, in libraries and community centers or wherever else might work.
Don’t forget social media. Post a note on your Facebook page, twitter, LinkedIn or any other social networks you use.
One more tip: Be specific when promoting your presentations. Come up with great titles and descriptions for your talks to get people interested in hearing what you have to say. Instead of calling your presentation “Organize your Kitchen”, come up with something like “Five Tools and Five Minutes to an Always Organized Kitchen”. Make your titles compelling!
This fun DVD can help you make better presentations: