Add it to the mix
- When we think of marketing, we might first think of advertising budgets, social media plans and sales promotions. We might not think right away about public speaking- but we should. Face to face marketing is a powerful tool for making meaningful connections that can pay off in the long run. Getting up in front of a group and sharing what you do is a great way to engage with people and get word of mouth working for you.
A valuable skill
- But not everyone feels comfortable addressing a crowd- in fact, many people find it downright terrifying. So terrifying that they would never consider taking a course to learn how to speak in front of others- but this is a mistake. Public speaking is a skill that almost everyone can learn. And everyone feels nervous- even the pros! The key is to learn how to prepare, practice and approach public speaking so you can manage your nerves and open up the truly wonderful opportunities for communication and connection that it offers.
- Even if you don’t plan to make speaking events part of your marketing plan, a public speaking course can improve your one on one networking skills. How many times have you wished you could represent yourself, your brand or your business with more confidence?
- When I facilitate marketing workshops I get the participants to practice saying out loud what their plans are – to identify as this new business owner and entrepreneur. It isn’t an easy thing to do- and I know- because I had to practice this myself. The first time I said “I’m a marketing consultant” it felt like I had marbles in my mouth- big guilty marbles that threatened to choke me! How could I claim to be this new thing? It wasn’t a lie- but it was new. My identity had been “English Teacher”and then “Mother.” Believing I deserved this new identity took time. I had to speak those words over and over again before I could say it with a smile and not feel the uneasy flutter of imposter syndrome.
- The entrepreneurs in my workshops feel the same way. They are starting something new, and standing up and speaking about it, claiming it and owning it, feels risky. But it is so important to do just that. And its okay if at first you only learn to say it and sound confident before you actually feel it, because saying it opens up opportunity- the opportunity for others to believe you, and give you a chance to deliver on the brand promise you have created. Once you gain that valuable experience, you become confident.
Speak it, and they will come.
- My best connections and clients have come from speaking about what I do. When I have the opportunity to speak about branding or marketing in front of others, people want to work with me. They can see that I am passionate about my work, that I have ideas to share, and that I know what I’m talking about. As an instructor and workshop facilitator I have helped others overcome their fears and learn the skills to communicate effectively in front of an audience- and seen it open up incredible new opportunities for them.
- I would encourage anyone who wants to promote themselves or their business to take a public speaking course. Toastmasters is a great option- fantastic for skill building and networking. If you live on the west coast, I’d love to see you in MKTG 1323 (Effective Public Speaking) – a course I teach at BCIT. Or, if you have employees or coworkers that you think could benefit from some help with their presenting and public speaking skills- I offer customized workshops and one to one coaching. Learn to stand in your own power and connect!