We are happy to introduce you to Phil Gerbyshak: Social Media, branding, and business coach, chief connections officer, master public speaker, published author, blogger extrordinaire, and so much more! His guest blog for Be Visible provides 5 highly accessible and critical reasons why as a business owner it’s a great idea to embrace public speaking to supercharge your business growth.
One of my best sources of leads for my business is one that scares the heck out of a lot of people: I get in front of groups and give presentations about what I do for a living. And I strongly recommend you do it too, even if you don’t ever want to get paid for the speech itself. In fact, there are 5 critical reasons speaking is something you MUST do if you want your business to be successful.
5 Reasons You Must Speak
Be seen as an expert - If you’re in front of the room, clearly you are WAY smarter than everyone else there - or at least that’s the perception many people have of speakers. Even if it’s a group of your peers, typically speakers have some compelling reason why they were asked to speak to the group, so everyone is tuned in to the speaker, provided the speaker isn’t just reading off of his slides. Don’t you want to be seen as THE GUY (or gal) who is the expert in whatever you’re talking about?
1) Offline networking - Think about any event you’ve been to where there’s been a speaker. Who is the first person everyone wants to talk to? Besides the person with the drink tickets, it’s almost always the speaker. Instead of you having to go find people who are interested in what you have to say, as the speaker, people come up to you and ask you questions. These questions are almost always related to your speech, and they are questions your business has the solutions for. What better way to understand the pain points of someone’s business than to have them come up to you and tell you all about it.
2) Even if audience members decide not to work with you, they will remember you - and introduce you to more people, making your networking so much easier. “John, meet Phil. He spoke at our kickoff breakfast this week. John is the VP of Sales for ABC Industries, and they REALLY need what you do.” Isn’t that better than a cold call?
3) Content creation for my website and email newsletter - About those questions people ask me when I’m done speaking. Those are perfect topics for my blog articles - and for videos and everything else I do. You don’t have to say who asked you the question - just mention an audience member from a recent talk you gave had a question - and then answer it in an article or a short video.
4) Speaking Gives You Confidence and Clarity - The more you speak in front of groups, the more comfortable you are speaking to groups, which leads to increased confidence in your topic - and increased clarity around the message you share with those you wish to do business with. When I started speaking to groups, I thought I was pretty clear about what I said I did, but I got a lot of questions about it, and I realized I was perfectly clear - to me. Nobody else got it - so I worked on what I say, and now, I am confident AND clear about my value proposition. Don’t you want to be more clear and confident in what you say about your business so people understand and believe what you’re saying?
5) Deeper understanding of my area of expertise - Along with confidence and clarity, I also gained a much deeper understanding of my area of expertise. I research my competition and the industry a great deal before I do a speech. I look for new trends, new stats, and new stories I can incorporate into my talk, especially ones that are relevant to the group I’m about to talk to. This gives me up to the minute insights my audience can rely on, and seldom do I get stumped with a question. And if I do get stumped, often there is someone in the audience who can help out, or I can write down the question and research the answer, to write up a blog post about it, and then email the answer to the person with the question. Following up is a really important, and often overlooked, skill for many. Isn’t this a much easier and welcome way to follow-up than a call to “check in to see how things are going” in someone’s business?
Whether you enjoy speaking or not, as a business owner, it is becoming more and more important that you get in front of audiences and share your message. It’ll help you with your business in these 5 ways, and likely many more.
YOUR TURN: In addition to these 5 ways for growing your business because you’re a speaker, what have you found has been the best result of your speaking in front of groups? If you haven’t spoken to groups before, what’s holding you back?
About the Author: Phil Gerbyshak works with business owners so they can stop shouting into the void of social media and make real connections to retain customers and recruit new business. Visit him at http://philgerbyshak.com or connect with him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/philgerb.
Want to know the naked truth of social media, as told by a group of smart folks? Get a free ebook featuring Brian Clark, Jason Falls, Erika Napoletano, Chris Reimer and Phil Gerbyshak at http://socialmedianakedtruth.