If you own a small business chances are you're talking about starting a marketing campaign, revamping your marketing campaign, or just doing more advertising in general. This makes total sense because you understand that having a strong product or service doesn't do you much good if nobody knows about it. If you looked at your business as the human body, marketing and advertising would be the mouth. The mouth that yells out, "Hey, look at how using us can benefit you!" Hopefully the strategies you are employing are bringing you fantastic results. With the advent of social media, websites, and email have come new and often cost effective ways of advertising. But while some new age advertising might replace older forms of advertising, they sometimes tend to enhance the effectiveness of older forms of advertising simply because less people are doing it. The issue with internet advertising is the fact that it usually lacks the personal touch once required to connect with customers. In addition, it can make some business owners complacent about doing some of the traditional methods of advertising. While some entrepreneurs might justify it by saying it is much cheaper to "go digital," there is still one form of old advertising that is not only effective, but free. The speech.
There are several opportunities in your area to speak in front of a group of people who are either potential clients or know potential clients. Think about it, conferences, luncheons, networking meetings, and even colleges all need speakers. I know what you're thinking, "why would they want to hear about what I do and how they can help me?" You're right, they don't. They do however want to hear a story of success, a story of inspiration; quite frankly the story of the entrepreneur. In addition, people want to hear about techniques and insights they can use in their life or business. You don't have to talk about your business, the simple fact you are the one speaking will be your advertisement all by itself. Your job is simply to give a memorable speech. For instance, I have absolutely no idea what "the most interesting man in the world" featured in Dos Equis beer commercials has to do with beer. But he seems to sell beer by simply talking about his own life.
Speeches and presentations are not an easy thing to pull off. Even the rare few who think speaking in front of people is easy, usually aren't as good as they think they are. The great speakers you've heard or seen on TV got there through a lot of practice. Being informative and entertaining at the same time is the key. I would say that taking a speaking course or joining a speaking club should be mandatory for business owners. Let's face it, what better mouth to have advertising your business than yours. So begin practicing your speaking skills now because you could be your best commercial waiting to happen.
Finally you might be saying, "why would anyone choose to have me speak at their event?" Simple, good speakers are hard to find. Face it, most people, this probably includes you, are not too excited about getting in front of a crowd and speaking. Most people avoid it like the plague which narrows the list of good candidates. In addition, the people who are willing to speak are usually not very good. The difference with you is you're going to show them how good you are before you even step in front of the mic. Here's how. When you join the speaking club you are going to work on forming one informative, entertaining, and inspiring speech that you can perform at all events. Once you have finalized that speech, have done it in front of your group, and made your tweaks, you will perform it again and make sure to film your delivery of that speech on a good camera. This could be done for your class or for a speaking gig you landed, but film it. After that, you now have your "demo reel" essentially done and you can easily send a link to that video to whoever is looking for speakers. Now that's using your right to free speech!