December 2014 Coaches Corner
applause-clapping-public-speaking

Selling From the Stage 101

Have you ever given a speech?

Public speaking can be terrifying to some, but doing it well can be absolutely life-changing for your business.

You are an expert, and there are people out there who are hungry for what you know.

When they are shopping around looking for someone to teach them, who are they going to go for?

Some online “guru” that they've never met? Or the person that they can see face-to-face?

Not only does public speaking establish you as an authority in your field, it also acts as a platform to sell informational products and generate leads for your services.

It is a very powerful marketing tool.

However, starting out can be challenging, so we are going to take a look at some basics on how to give a good presentation:

  • Where to speak.
  • What rules you have to pay attention to (and how you can get around some of them).
  • How to get over the fear of closing.
  • And what that will do for your profits.

Don't Be Boring

It may seem like common sense, but that is the cardinal rule of a good presentation – be interesting.

More importantly, if you want to be successful and find clients, you need to offer practical, actionable information that will help people.

Too often, beginning speakers fall into the trap of thinking that their story is fascinating, and thus everyone will pay to come and hear it.

This couldn't be further from the truth.

Unfortunately, soft topics, like how you overcame hardship, or an addiction, or achieved an impressive physical goal, may be interesting, but aren't why people go to these events.

People want to hear about things that will help them.

Now, if your story ties into your expertise – like how your overcoming hardship helped you develop your life coaching program – then, by all means, take some time to talk about your story.

But make sure that your presentation is filled with useful, actionable information.

Where to Speak?

There are a number of ways to go about finding venues for speaking.

If you are a beginner, and want to get your feet wet before going in front of a big audience, you should consider contacting your local Kiwanis, Chamber of Commerce, and Rotary Clubs.

They provide small, free spaces to test out your material to see how people react.

You also can get a sense of how things will sell, though, often you won't be allowed to hard sell while presenting at these locations (but I'll show you how to get around that in just a minute…)

For the more advanced speaker, you can try to get booked into larger events that are related to your field in some way.

American Writers and Artists Inc. recently had a convention for copywriters that lasted 4 days, and a few of the speakers that attended were marketing coaches.

That can be a fantastic way to capture a new audience, but again, you have to conform to the rules of the event.

Another option would be to plan something on your own.

You would have to find a venue and do the advertising yourself, but the trade-off is being in total control of the event and making your own rules.

The most important thing is that you work at your comfort level and follow the rules of the event to a “T”. That way, you will establish good relationships and expand your network to get bigger audiences each time.

Your Presentation

Now we're going to touch on the meat and potatoes of this topic – the presentation and the close.

Like I said before, it is important that you come in with a useful topic, and that you give lots of information that the audience members can implement right away.

But there are a few techniques you'll want to use to translate your expertise into sales.

Whether or not the rules allow you to sell, (this is particularly useful if they don't allow you to sell), you want to remind people that you have a lot of information to give beyond what is in the presentation.

And a good way to do that is, when moving along from topic to topic, occasionally mention that “there is so much more to tell you, but only so much time, so I will move on for now.”

Or something along those lines.

This plants a seed in your audience making them believe that they can learn more from you.

The next thing that you can do, especially if there are no sales pitches allowed, is offer a door prize. And before you announce the raffle, be sure to give a very benefit-filled, detailed description of the product you're giving away and how it will transform their life or their business.

That gets others in the audience excited about the product, as well.

At the end of your speech, you can do one of three sells:

  1.  Soft Sell: Remind them that they can get more information from your free report or downloadable audio or other “freemium” on your website that provides valuable content in exchange for their email address. Perhaps even have people at the event pass out a promotional flyer for them to take home. This is generally okay in the “no sell” environment.
  2.  Medium Sell: Send them to a particular landing page that you design specifically for attendees of the event you spoke at. This will have a sales letter leading to the sale of one of your products or services. This can lead to some strong revenue if you've established yourself well.
  3.  Hard Sell: This is how you make money at the event. Create a special offer for people attending today that they can get if they order before the event ends. Perhaps a discount on an informational product, or 3 sessions for a discount – you name it. Have a table set up in the back, with someone else running it, and make sure that you direct people there for the purchase. And absolutely stand by to answer any questions and/or work around objections!

Get Started Today

Regardless of your experience as a speaker, you should absolutely consider pursuing it as a marketing option.

It's lucrative, rewarding, and will expand your clientele faster than almost anything else.

If you aren't comfortable getting in front of people yet, consider joining the National Speakers Association and purchasing some of their books on public speaking.

Or, you can join a local chapter of Toastmasters, a non-profit dedicated to helping people become better at presentations.

Either way, start researching events in your area, your chamber of commerce, or even ways to create your own. By this time next year, you could be an expert speaker, and have more clients too!

Once you start, you may very well never want to stop!