On Friday August 17, I spoke at a Connections Networking meeting in Santa Rosa to a group of women entrepreneurs. The subject was, â€œYour Big Mouth: Your Most Powerful Marketing and Public Relations Tool.â€
Since I created all this juicy content for this speech, I thought Iâ€™d share it with you here. Iâ€™ve broken it up into three installments, but if you want to hear a recording of the actual speech, you can! Itâ€™s located at the end of this post.
Picking up where we left off, here are some more suggestions for creating your presentation:
Give Something Away
Don’t you love getting an expected gift? Or being the one to win a raffle prize? Well, so does your audience. People love free stuff, especially if it is something they consider valuable.
In almost every speech I give, I have a drawing and give away a prize. Often, it’s a product of mine, like the Engage Your Audience CD or a Special Report. But sometimes I give away music CD’s created by my singer friends. So, if you don’t have your own product, give away something else.
Pass around a hat and let everyone put in their business card. Then, draw a name (or two if you have more than one prize to give away) and announce the winner. This is a great way to include your audience, create a little break from the subject of your speech, and get the business card of everyone in your audience! Now, you can follow up with them, ask them to sign up for your newsletter, or offer them a special discount on something.
My singer friends, Lua Hadar and Linda Kosut used to perform together as The Kitchenettes. During one of their gigs at a small San Francisco restaurant, they passed the hat, had a drawing, and gave away fun kitchen gadgets, like an old egg beater and a crazy apron. People loved it, the gifts fit “The Kitchenettes” theme, and Linda and Lua were able to collect everyone’s business card.
What can you give away? Can it complement what you are speaking about or help to promote your business?
A Call To Action
Now that you’ve given your audience great information that they can use immediately, be sure to end your speech with some kind of call to action. Encourage your audience to take action on what they have learned. Reiterate the benefits they will experience. Double dare them to make a change!
Now, you don’t want to demand your audience to obey you. No, your speech should have already inspired them to make some kind of change so your call to action is more like an encouragement, an invitation. You don’t want to shame your audience to action but inspire them to action.
I recently saw a rerun of the Oprah Winfrey show in which Al Gore spoke about global warming. After his powerful presentation based on his movie, An Inconvenient Truth, the entire audience was aching to DO something. They were so inspired and impassioned by the time Al was done that you could almost feel them begging for information on what to do. So, Oprah and Al gave them all 5 easy things they could do immediately to diminish the global warming.
It was a great demonstration of inspiring an audience to take action and leaving them with a feeling of empowerment.
Give Them an Excuse to Engage with You Again
As I mentioned in Part One of this series, public speaking is like going on a first date with everyone in your audience. It’s the beginning of your relationship. So, if you want to further develop this relationship by having your audience members become clients or referral sources, be sure to give them an easy way to engage with you again.
Offer your audience a special deal, discount or offer that is irresistible. Or tell them how they can receive more information from you for free. Make it easy for them to find a reason to engage with you again.
Michael Port of Book Yourself Solid tells his students to always have something you can invite people to that has no barrier for entry. Meaning, have something that anyone can participate in for free, like a free teleclass, newsletter, open house or mini-consultation. What can you offer that has no barrier for entry, that makes it easy for your audience to continue their relationship with you?
You can also offer products and services that have a price, but be sure to include something that anyone can take part in, whether they can pay the price or not.
All too often speakers will take questions at the end of their speech. Don’t do it! Why? Because the end of your speech is your grand finale and you want full control of that final act. If you end with questions and answers, you never know how your speech will end, what final words your audience will be left with. Therefore, you’ve virtually dumped your final act into the lap of chance. Sure, you could still go out with a roar, depending on what question you get and how you answer it, but you could just as easily go out with a whimper.
Don’t leave your ending to chance. Even if you take questions towards the end of your speech, always leave time to give your own strong ending that sums up the main thrust of your speech and calls the audience to action.
In conclusion, I hope you now see just how powerful and multifaceted public speaking is as a marketing and public relations tool. There is nothing as comprehensive, compact, or cost-effective that also has such quick yet long-lasting results in attracting new clients, referral sources and business connections.
Use what you have learned in this series to craft a presentation that gives good, usable content, invites audience interaction and is outrageously fun for you. Throw in a few surprises, give something away, and always give your audience a way to engage with you again.
Now, go get ’em, tiger, and if you need help creating your presentation, you know where to find me.
Here’s the audio file of the speech I gave last Friday, August 17.