Tag Archives: Public

Public Speaking for Your Business

Public SpeakingPublic Speaking for Your Business

It is said that most people fear the idea of public speaking more than they fear their own impending death. I can speak from personal experience and tell you this was most definitely true in my case. Even though I had been a classroom teacher for twenty years before coming online, the very thought of speaking to a group of adults struck fear in my heart and mind.

Because of this I told myself a story (it was not at all true) that I did not want to become a public speaker. I attended two Toastmasters meetings before throwing in the towel, and when I spoke to a small group (fewer than a dozen) real estate agents on a topic I knew extremely well my mouth became as dry as the Sahara. People kept telling me that doors of opportunity would open up as soon as I started speaking, but I continued to tell myself that I did not want to pursue that path along my journey to entrepreneurship.

What changed my mind? Actually, it was a series of events that occurred during 2006, my first year online. The first of these was joining my local Rotary Club. They would regularly thrust the microphone into my hands so I could tell our members about our upcoming projects. After I would speak and pass the microphone to the next person I couldn’t hear anything for the next few minutes. My face and ears were hot, I was thirsty, and I thought everyone was staring at me. But afterwards people would come up to me and thank me for the information and I enjoyed that feedback. I made the conscious decision to keep on speaking even though it was physically painful each time.

Right around this time I was asked to make a presentation on topics related to online marketing to a local group of small business owners. I believed they already knew more than I did and didn’t want to speak to them at that event. The man putting on the workshop asked me personally to share what I was learning about blogging, SEO, and social media and I decided not to let him down.

This event went much better than my Rotary speaking experiences, most likely because I had a bit more experience under my belt. The business owners were not familiar with the information I shared and again the feedback was very positive.

Within a year I was giving live presentations to Rotary’s District Conferences with audiences of several hundred people, as well as being asked to speak at a marketing conference in Atlanta the following spring. Each time I was nervous leading up to my public speaking, but once I got started the nerves subsided and I was able to deliver helpful information.

I can even remember the time I was speaking at a marketing event in Minneapolis the following summer and I began to have fun with the audience. At that moment I told myself to remember this forever, because it was exactly the feeling I had been reaching for during the previous couple of years.

If you have any interest at all in public speaking to enhance your life and business, step forward and accept all invitations. I’ve now spoken on three continents, as well as on hundreds of webinars and teleseminars and I will tell you that my opportunities continue to grow and doors to open because I was willing to share my knowledge and experiences with others.

I’m Connie Ragen Green, online marketing strategist, bestselling author, and international speaker on the topics of entrepreneurship and inner game mind shifts. Let’s connect to see how I may best serve you in the near future.

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Podcast: Felicia Slattery – Public Speaking

Felicia Slattery - Public SpeakingFor Felicia Slattery, public speaking became a part of her life at an early age. Whereas speaking in front of groups is frightening to most people, Felicia takes it to a new level with grace and ease. Now she works with business professionals to help them put together effective presentations in order to market their businesses. This includes presenting on webinars, creating powerful videos, and using storytelling to get your message out to the people who need most to hear it from you.

Over the past ten years Felicia and I have crossed paths repeatedly at a variety of conferences and events, and I am honored to have shared the stage with her at several them.

The photo above was taken at her new home near Knoxville, Tennessee. I had the pleasure of spending time with Felicia and her family while I was visiting friends there recently. During that time I was able to get to know Felicia even better and I have the greatest respect for what she brings to the table in both her life and her business.

During this podcast interview (you may listen here on this page or over at iTunes) we discuss public speaking in a way you may not have heard from anyone else.  She feels that speaking is an opportunity to build relationships from the stage and carry them forward into the future. I shared my story of getting started as a speaker with Felicia, and she told me that what I had experienced was typical of someone who had not previously been a public speaker. I was comfortable speaking in front of students while I was a classroom teacher, but speaking to adults in a business setting was terrifying for me. Now that has changed, but it took several years for me to get there. Speaking falls into one of the three greatest fears for most folks, and Felicia says this is with good reason.

Felicia is also a bestselling author of several books on topics around public speaking, and you can take a look at here titles to see which ones are a good fit for what you are working to accomplish in your own business.

We also take a look at Felicia’s “Speaker One Sheet Templates“, a package I highly recommend. These are templates you open in PowerPoint or Keynote and simple copy and paste your photo and information into the areas she has designed. When I first had something like this created for me the cost was over ten times what she is charging, and you can create as many different styles, colors, and designs as you wish in order to let others know that you are a speaker, author, or corporate consultant.

I know you will enjoy and benefit from my conversation with Felicia Slattery. Public speaking can open doors and provide you with opportunities you might otherwise miss, so please listen to this interview to learn more about incorporating it into your life and business.

Subscribe To All Interviews In My Podcast Series

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Public Speaking for Business Owners and Entrepreneurs

Public Speaking for BusinessPublic Speaking for Business

I pride myself with being an observer of the human condition. By this I mean that I watch people regularly to see what works best and what does not work at all when they interact with others. Specifically, I observe what business owners and entrepreneurs say and do that wither helps or hinders their business efforts over time.

It came to my attention some years ago that the most successful business people seek out opportunities to speak publicly on any topic they are knowledgeable and experienced in. Being thought of as a public speaker raises you to another level in that others look up to speakers and tend to think of them as thought leaders, innovators, and those who are more intelligent than the average person. This can do wonders for your business if you are willing to refine your speaking and improve your delivery. Public speaking for business owners just makes sense.

My public speaking was awful when I began in 2006. It was the Santa Clarita Rotary Club that encouraged me to speak and helped me to overcome my fear. Within a year of speaking regularly in my city I was being asked to speak all over the country on various aspects of the topic entrepreneurship. Now I host my own live events twice a year and have spoken in several countries on three continents. But my business is predominantly on the internet. What I am suggesting here is that local business owners look for new opportunities to speak within the community and finally in a wider area for exposure and business growth.

Start with your own company. Provide yourself with situations that require you to create a short presentation on one of the topics you know well. Experiment with this to see if it goes over better with a PowerPoint or Keynote slide presentation, utilizing handouts, or just speaking from the heart. It will depend upon your topic, and remember there is no right or wrong way to speak to others. The key is to practice what you will say over and over and over again and to be open to constructive criticism and feedback so you can constantly evolve as a speaker.

Once you feel like your presentation is ready for a wider audience, contact local groups and organizations such as Rotary and ask to speak to the program chair. The best idea is to attend the meeting in person first and to have a one page information sheet about you and your topic to give to the person in charge of booking the upcoming speakers.

Keep your message clear and stay away from anything controversial, even if you know people in the room. It’s your job to present your information in a thought provoking way that leaves a lasting memory with people who hear you, so keep it positive and upbeat if at all possible.

Your topics do not have to be directly related to your business, but the idea is to make sure your audience knows who you are and what type of business you have within the first three minutes or so. One of the best presentations I have heard this year was from a woman who owns several physical therapy practices. Her topic was on the environmental impact of waste in the ocean on the sea creatures who live there. Within the first few minutes she explained who she was, what type of business she ran, and why she had become so interested in the sea. We were mesmerized by her slide presentation and the passion with which she shared her message. By the end of her talk the audience was ready to sign up for physical therapy sessions and anything else she had available.

By now you can see that public speaking for business owners and entrepreneurs alike is a great opportunity. Think about what you would like to speak about, overcome any fears you may have, and start speaking!

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