How Public Speaking Can Help Your Brand
with Gerry Morris
Public speaking – a fear for many, can actually be tremendously helpful for your brand and business. Being able to speak publicly is a compelling skill in both business and professional life. The ability to articulate, connect, and persuade are all fundamental skills for success – especially if you’re in a leadership role or own your own business. Public speaking can be of paramount importance to growing your business and improving your career.
However, finding public speaking opportunities can be a bit daunting. What do you talk about? How do you get connected with events or hosts? How much is this going to cost? It’s a little overwhelming. That’s where companies like Book Speakers Direct comes in, to connect clients and speakers.
We spoke to Gerry Morris, GM at Book Speakers Direct, about the benefits of companies like this and how public speaking can improve your business’ success.
Why did you create Book Speakers Direct?
Gerry Morris: Because it made sense. It is fairer for the guest speakers, and it speeds up the process for business owners. If a client is looking to hold an event that requires a guest speaker, who best talk to them than the speaker themselves? Book Speakers Direct was created to connect clients and speakers, encourage open and direct conversations, and ultimately book speakers for events.
Personally, I have almost two decades of experience of booking guest speakers, and throughout my time I came to realize a gap in the market. Two of the biggest challenges in the speaking industry are clients finding quality speakers for their events and guest speakers to be found by a bigger audience.
In your work, have you seen business owners generate profit from public speaking opportunities – not from the event itself but as customer conversion?
GM: Most definitely! Most speakers become speakers because they are experts in their field. Sure, there are motivational speakers that inspire an audience, but the majority of the speakers are genuine experts in their field. They have a vast knowledge of the challenges other businesses face to succeed.
How can public speaking/public presentations help a business owner stand out from the competition?
GM: This is where they get to shine. They say public speaking is people’s greatest fear – the joke goes some people would rather be dead than to have to do public speaking. But those brave enough to stand before an audience and confidently communicate their message, by definition, makes them stand out.
Public speaking is a communication skill we should all have. But how does it make us better communicators?
GM: Anyone willing to stand before an audience will research their topic. They will write, rewrite, and agonize over what they are going to say. They’ll practice it over and over, leave parts and add parts, and ultimately rearrange their presentation the best way they can. And that can only lead to communicating better.
So, what makes for a good presentation? Surely you’ve seen successful presentations and flops.
GM: I love listening and being engaged by good public speakers. No matter what technology brings us, storytelling and public speaking is one of the best ways to get your message across. I like presenters to have a sense of humor, be their authentic selves, draw me in from the beginning to end, and cause me to want to take action – be that via a sale or just wanting to be a better person.
THEY SAY PUBLIC SPEAKING IS PEOPLE’S GREATEST FEAR – THE JOKE GOES SOME PEOPLE WOULD RATHER BE DEAD THAN TO HAVE TO DO PUBLIC SPEAKING. BUT THOSE BRAVE ENOUGH TO STAND BEFORE AN AUDIENCE AND CONFIDENTLY COMMUNICATE THEIR MESSAGE, BY DEFINITION, MAKES THEM STAND OUT. ”
6 Ways Public Speaking Can Help Your Business
1. Better understand your customers & build relationships
Public speaking can be a window into your customers and industry. You gain valuable insights by speaking in front of an audience and sharing your expertise. You will be asked relevant questions, feedback, and a better understanding of the challenges your customer/industry faces.
2. Increase your visibility
Small business owners don’t have the same name recognition as larger companies, especially in the beginning. In the age of global competition, it’s important to make yourself and your organization stand out. Every event you do will put you in front of potential clients, industry leaders, and relevant decision makers. Additionally, when put online, it will generate web pages, blog posts, social posts, etc. and create SEO related to you!
3. Demonstrate your expertise
The best way to persuade others of your expertise is to show them. Speaking offers a unique opportunity for you to connect with and persuade others on the topics you’re an expert on. You can actively demonstrate your subject matter while connecting with an audience. Also, by opening your presentation up for questions, you can expand even further and prove you’re an authority on the subject.
4. Practice thinking on your feet
Entrepreneurs make constant decisions, and a lot of them are unplanned. Public speaking can be great training for the situations businesses find themselves in. Between technical difficulties, Q&A time, and the occasional heckler, seasoned speakers can handle just about anything. These speaking skills can transfer into your business operations as well.
5. Build personal confidence & skill
You know what they say, practice makes perfect. And practice is the key to improvement. If you invest the time and effort, you’ll see your confidence grow along with your communication skills. Speaking aloud and teaching others can also help you improve your pitching methods, how you phrase certain attributes of your business, and solidify your knowledge on the topic even more.
6. Set yourself apart from the competition
Your competition probably isn’t speaking in front of potential customers, so by taking the opportunity, you become familiar. Actively speaking can really make your company stand out.