One of the best ways to create visibility for yourself and your business is simply to start talking in front of a captive audience. That means seeking out every possible opportunity to speak in front of people who are interested in your subject.
1. You establish yourself as an expert. No matter what your topic or how much experience you have in your field, once you stand in front of an audience you are perceived as an expert. The more often you speak, the more quickly you will notice that the perception becomes reality.
2. Speaking introduces you to a whole new audience. You may be great at what you do, but if nobody knows about it, what good will it do you? Each and every time you speak, you place yourself in front of new people who are interested in your subject. Even if you’ve already built a reputation in your field and they know who you are, your presentation can easily convert the curious seat warmer to the committed customer.
3. Standing in front of audiences prepares you to be comfortable in all speaking situations, including media interviews. The only time it pays to be a Secret Agent is if you’re James Bond. For the rest of us, it is imperative that people find out about us and what we’ve got to offer. This means getting publicity wherever and whenever we can. The more you speak, the quicker the media will find out about you. You’ll find that when they come calling, you’ll have your message down pat.
4. You learn what people’s hot buttons are. Ask for and pay attention to feedback. Find out what people thought of the points you made and what area of your presentation excited them most. If you pay careful attention to what they tell you, you can start to design products and services around their needs, which, in turn will generate increased revenues for you.
5. You’ll get subscribers to your newsletter. The newsletter allows you to keep your name in front of people on a regular basis. The more subscribers you have, the more people will be reminded of who you are and what you do. This results in more business for you.
6. Giving presentations creates a great opportunity to network with people who are already interested in your topic. You will ATTRACT people to you because you will be the center of attention. Participants will seek you out before and after your presentation to ask questions and find out more about you. These could easily be the very same people whose doors you’ve been knocking on for a very long time. Now THEY will want to talk to YOU! Funny how that works, isn’t it?
7. Eventually, speaking can become a very lucrative revenue stream. You’ll notice a big difference in your income when you go from free to fee, particularly if you develop products to sell at the back of the room.
If you’re breaking out in a cold sweat just thinking about standing in front of an audience, take comfort in the fact that you are not alone. I hope you’ll also take comfort in the fact that just about every great speaker started out as a member of the Sweaty Palms Club.
On the bright side, though, the more you speak, the more comfortable you become and the stronger your referral network becomes, too.