The snoring audience
Has anyone ever fallen asleep during a presentation that took you hours to prepare? Has there ever been an abyss of loneliness at the end of your speech when not a single person comes up to you? Are people gazing off into space a few minutes into your intro?
I must admit that all these things did at one point happen to me during my 7 year career as a coach who speaks publicly both to find new clients and to grow my brand visibility. I have, however, learned a few tricks along the way and I’d love to share them with you.
Start with a bang!
The biggest impression I know how to make when I speak is to tell a phoenix rising story that’s as personal and painful as it can get. The caveat here is that it has to relate to the topic of the talk. You don’t want to talk about your painful divorce at a fertilizer’s convention. On second thought, maybe you do…
During my “Attract not Attack: A Gentle Way to Get Clients” seminar, I tell the humiliating story of how my first networking event ended up in a fiasco of a woman telling me that she felt ‘attacked’ by my sales pitch. Upon hearing of my angst and the tools that I used to turn it around for my business, you can be sure that the audience was primed to hear more. Personal stories engage, connect and make you more accessible. Just like everyone in the audience, you make mistakes too.
Give it all away
I’m a proponent of the school of ‘giving it all away’. This means, tell everyone the best of everything you know for free. Don’t hold back the better ‘stuff’ for paying clients. In my experience when people get amazing value from your content, they’re going to be even more jazzed about working one on one with you.
Don’t leave the offer on the table
Most small business owners I meet who do any public speaking are missing this strategic opportunity of getting new clients. They don’t make an offer from the stage. This offer, of course, can be an invitation to sign up for a complimentary session or a newsletter or even to actually buy. When a speaker who has a captive audience can’t or won’t use the opportunity to connect further with a strong and specific offer from the stage, I call that a darn shame.
So I beg you as a frequent audience member to please use these tips at your next talk so that you can wow me and everyone that I’m sitting next to.
- Turn Criticism Into Money (coachtactics.com)
- Three Steps to More Word-of-Mouth — and More Business (entrepreneur.com)
- Focus on the Audience (followingfear.com)