The Voice of Your Business

A few days ago, I was speaking for Eastside Business Association.
J.R. Gillespie came up to me when I arrived and introduced himself.  He said he had been in the audience when I spoke about 10 years ago at an event at Emerald Downs.

I am always flattered when someone who has heard me speak before comes to hear me again.  He went on to say that someone in the audience asked me what I felt was one thing small business owners could do to improve their business and I said they should get more comfortable at public speaking.

Years later, he remembered the suggestion, had taken it to heart and felt it had made a difference for him.  As a result, I felt I should share it with you.

Public speaking ranks higher than death in “fears commonly held”.  Yet once you are outside your own home, it’s ALL “public speaking”.  Your ability to speak authoritatively about your business, what differentiates you from your competition, new products or services or the expertise of your team is a great marketing tool.

A comfort with public speaking does not necessarily mean being a professional speaker like me or standing at a podium addressing a group.  However, we are all the “voice” of our business and we need to be comfortable speaking for and about our businesses in groups of 2, 20 or 200.  The personal connection you make with an audience, regardless of size or setting, is a competitive advantage.

The power of your voice, the passion you feel for your industry, your services and what you offer the marketplace will establish you as an expert in your field.  You will become synonymous with your goods or services in their minds and share of mind always equals share of market.

Want to be a more confident speaker to take advantage of the many benefits public speaking offers you and your business?  Join a local Toastmasters Club to practice in a safe environment and learn skills. Volunteer for a committee or board of a civic organization so weekly or monthly you have to stand up and give a “status report” to the group as another way to learn and practice.

The National Speakers Association has a local Chapter you can visit to see professional speakers at work and learn tips from the masters.  When you feel you need to make more professional presentations, top speakers such as Patricia Fripp offer public workshops and coach one-on-one with executives to improve the delivery of their message.

You are the voice of your business in the community.  Getting comfortable with this role through improved skills in public speaking will set you apart from your competitors, establish you as an expert in your field and make memorable connections with current and future customers.

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