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‹ View all articles 6th March 2014

6 ways Entrepreneurs must improve their public speaking

How to Inspire

There is a problem in the City of Build-Your-Own-Business. A problem with the go-getters of the world... the Entrepreneurs.  They are creative, they’re driven, they have brilliant ideas, but they can’t always communicate about their business in a way that’s clear, let alone impressive. Let's look at the way that inspiring public speaking can help entrepreneurs to make their business more successful and become a Public Speaking Superhero.

 

1. Actually do it!

  • Make the business benefit more important than the fear of your speaking. You could easily pay someone else to do it or have one of your employees speak, but it's SO much more compelling and rich for the business owner to do the talking.
  • People want to hear more from the founder than they do another spokesperson. It's your story that is interesting, you business and how you built it, that is engaging to an audience. So get on with it! Stand up and speak! Your business deserves a passionate endorsement from you!

2. Figure out one ‘idea worth sharing’ about your business.

Think about your audience. What is one idea or concept that your audience will find fascinating? Think about things that would capture your audience's attention, a selling point or something broader about your business that would make them aware of what you do.

For example, one speaker I know talks more about his business approach than selling his product. He sharesabout the importance of having a "human approach", namely NOT to leave your life issues or problems at home but bring them to the workplace to fuel creativity. He uses that to promote his organization rather than selling, making more people want to hear his compelling idea that is worth sharing.

There is a distinct difference between the boring clichés, things we've heard in speeches over and over again, and the fresh stuff you want to get to your audience. What can you give them that they can explain simply to another person.Here's your challenge! Answer the following:

  • What is ONE thing about my business that others will want to pass on?
  • What is it about my business that is different or not seen before?
  • What is it about my business that is super useful to people? 

It's useful to talk to someone, give them your message, and then get them to summarize what you told them. A couple of hours or even days later, you'd be surprised at what people remember. It's quite interesting to test to what degree people will remember your message. You'll realize that you need to be much stronger about your key message than you think. In this world of information overload, people need to have a message spoken to them with great power for it to stay in their memory.

3. It’s not about you and your brilliant idea - think about your audience! 

It's no use saying “yeah, we’re the only car company that sells purple wheels” if that’s not going to benefit your potential customers. If your customers could care less about purple wheels then that information is no good to them at all. Better to say: “You know how most cars windows steam up when the kids are in the back? We take care of those little details so the whole family can enjoy the ride.”  Pick up on the aspects of your product that really tickle people, really get them excited and invested in what you're selling.

4. Don’t tell them everything all at once!

Lead with what’s unique about your business. Give the audience a sense of detail about your business (if there is any), but focus again and again on what is unique!  Your challenge here is to filter, focus, filter focus.

Remember that time is precious and even if you only have ten minutes, it's more important to show them what's unique and important about your business than say every little detail about your organization. Remember that you're trying to leave your audience singing a chorus line, rather than a whole symphony to remember.

5. Be a human being, not a machine.

We have enough corporate ‘blah blah’ in the business world for all of us to be cemented into a fixed-smile-slicked-hair-vacant-eyes grin. The benefit of representing your own business is that you can be a real, authentic human being. Laugh! Be vulnerable! Feel! Make your audience feel too! They’ll thank you for it – and you’ll get much more business as a result.

This is what we expect and wish for from an entrepreneur. If we look at Richard Branson, who still labels himself as an entrepreneur, versus Antony Jenkins,the CEO of Barclays, they styles are very different. We WANT them to be very different, from the human being that is Richard Branson to the corporate CEO style of Jenkins. We want to see the differences, the "human" behind the company.

6. Think bigger, Much Bigger.

Choose the impact your speaking could have as an entrepreneur. Choose the BIG impact. Seek to benefit others rather than to just simply get the word out about your business.

Speakers who want to serve rather than just trying to gain more business, are the ones people want to listen to. It's the difference between giving and taking. As an entrepreneur you want to enrich the lives of your consume. Your audience wants to listen to a giving, servant speaker time and time again and ultimately are the kinds of speaking entrepreneurs that they want to buy from.

The public speaking entrepreneur will be high profile, more sought after for opportunities, and will benefit their business in epic ways. Entrepreneurs, I encourage you to raise the bar with your speaking. Rather than just try to 'get through it', think of ways you can really inspire your audience through public speaking. Use the way you communicate to effect change on a wider level by becoming a public speaking superhero!

 

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