If you want to grow your business and boost your brand, it’s important to understand that “you are your company.” That’s right! As an online eCommerce owner or entrepreneur, you need to put your best face forward with your brand to win more customers and influence your followers.
Modern day entrepreneurs are more visible and present than ever before as people want to see the CEO of companies that they are considering doing business with. You need to reach your audience in many different ways, and one way is public speaking.
In addition to this, entrepreneurs are influencers. People want to look to the leader of their favorite companies for ideas or inspiration in their niche area. If you are an influencer, you come off as more credible, also. Credibility is essential in the online environment. Learning to become an active speaker and communicator can help you to build your brand beyond where it is at today.
10 Tips to Become a Great Speaker
So, let’s say you’ve never considered yourself an effective speaker. Perhaps one of the things you feared most in school was getting up in front of an audience and giving a speech or a talk. My advice to you: get over it! It’s too important to your brand and your customers to speak to them on important topics and issues to bypass the opportunity to reach them this way.
Below are ten tips you can use to get started in becoming an effective speaker.
Tip #1: Become a sponge for learning
Some of the best teachers are also the best learners. They soak up knowledge like a sponge, and they are always happy to impart that knowledge to others as well. When you are learning to speak effectively, you should think about how you can share information that will be beneficial to your listeners and gather information through a variety of sources.
Some of the platforms that you can use to harness this knowledge include webinars, podcasts, online events, eBooks, traditional books, audiobooks, and videos, to name a few. You’ll find plenty of options in the types of media you can access on Amazon and Goodreads, as well as other platforms that offer media on various topics.
At the same time, there are plenty of engaging online resources and podcasts focused on how to be a better speaker from those who have already walked the walk. Not only will such references provide you with more value, they can also help you learn from some of the best experts in the world in the process. Try to find information that is central to your business or niche area and learn to incorporate this knowledge in a way that will help you make it a part of your brand.
Tip #2: Get over your fear
In order to become an effective speaker, you have to overcome any fears you have of getting up in front of an audience. Though many of your speaking venues may take place over recorded media, there may be times that you will be asked to speak in front of a live audience. This video has some good tips on how to overcome your fear.
Tip #3: Develop your own topics
Copying others is never a good idea in the long run. Sure, we are all influenced by the personalities, ideas, or success of others. We can learn from these successful people and apply it to our own ideas and presentations. But the content of your talk should be your idea. Choose topics that relate to your business or brand but avoid sounding like you are making a sales pitch. Instead, write out some valuable tips that will help your audience without trying to sell them anything. They will value the information, and it may help your credibility. You can use customer service emails or surveys that your customers fill out to come up with the topics. If you do this, you will know that your content is relevant to your customers’ needs.
Tip #4: Start small first.
If you have been invited to a large speaking engagement, consider trying a smaller one first. You could contact your local Chamber of Commerce or local town hall and ask if any organizations could benefit from your input. This may give you the confidence you need to succeed with a larger event.
Tip #5: Create a podcast or video.
As an online business owner, you need to learn how to communicate effectively on a variety of platforms. Creating podcasts or videos in which you address important issues that are relevant to your brand will help to generate interest for your brand and help you fine-tune your speaking skills for future engagements.
Tip #6: Plan carefully but remain flexible.
One great idea when planning is to plan carefully but also remain flexible to change. Remember that, while planning is important, if you are speaking to a live audience, anything can happen! You may have audience noise or interruptions that you hadn’t planned for, sound issues, or technical problems that require changes at the event, or other unforeseen events. Keep these things in mind and remain open to changes if you have to adjust to some variation in your program.
Tip #7: Promote some of your best content.
Putting your best face forward involves putting your best content forward. If you have content or speeches that you have given in the past, great videos that you want to promote, and other media, you can polish up one of these and promote it on your social media. This can help you get a following for your content that you can use to enhance your new speaking venues. It will also help you build your reputation with your target audience. If you have a variety of photos of various speaking engagements, this can help you improve your image as a public speaker online.
Tip #8: Tap into your individuality
One tip that you should consider is to stop promoting your business alone. Instead, think of your business as yourself. You are the ultimate representative of your brand. By putting yourself out there as a communicator, you’ll get the attention of people more than if you just put your logo out there to promote your products.
Tip #9: Remember that communication is a part of branding
Many business owners understand what marketing is, but they don’t always have an understanding of branding. Marketing has to do with moving products, selling services, and acquiring leads and customers. All of those things are important. But more important is how you do your branding. Branding requires you to use all of your resources and integrate your marketing plan in a way that reflects on your brand.
It also requires that you be on as many platforms as possible. This is often referred to as multichannel marketing. Doing podcasts, videos, writing blog articles, and speaking directly to your audience is critical to reaching your target audience.
Tip #10: Be yourself!
Finally, while it’s good to watch professional speakers and learn from some of the best such as Seth Godin, Steve Jobs, or other great speakers, it’s best to learn from them, while developing your techniques in communication that works best for you. You need to reflect your unique personality that helps gain interest from your target audience while giving your audience some rich content.
An Example of Greatness
One great example of this is Steve Jobs’ 2003 commencement address at Stanford. Jobs returned to the university where he dropped out after only a quarter, to tell people what he had learned about business, innovation, and life.
The speech is about more than technology. It is deep and profound, emotional and moving. Jobs not only connects to his audience of young graduates by sharing his personal experiences but also reminds them about the brevity of life and how they should use every moment to move toward their goals.
For a technology guru to cross over into the realm of philosophy is priceless. Jobs was not new to public speaking when he did this speech. But one thing about his talks that was always there was an authenticity that was hard to emulate. No matter what the situation, the audience, or the purpose, Steve Jobs was still Steve Jobs.
If you can tap into some of this magic when you prepare your next speaking engagement, you may very well achieve a little of what Jobs was able to do in these moments. Try to be prepared, expect anything, but always leave your audience with something to think about.
These little tidbits of content are known as “takeaways.” Consider what you can do to give your listeners so that they will remember your words long after you are gone.
One of the points Steve Jobs made in his speech is that the world may not remember us long, but they will remember what we brought to it as we make way for new talent that will replace us.
You don’t have to be this profound in every speech. But you do want to capture the attention of your target audience so that they will recall the significance and relevance of your words when they are deciding who to do business with.