"Get Business Opportunities From Speaking"
From Career Tips, 2006 Volume 6, June 2006
Now we're up to step 3 in my SPEAK approach to making sure that speaking generates business opportunities on a regular basis:
- Setting the Stage
- Kick Off
Execution is about how you deliver your presentation to build rapport and encourage follow up.
- Ask questions.
- Identify challenges and get your audience thinking about them.
- Don't make it your goal to answer all the possible questions people might have about the subject.
- Yes, give powerful nuggets that demonstrate your expertise and give the audience real value. But if you spend most of your time giving me all the answers, I may recognize that you are very knowledgeable, but I will also lose any urgency about hiring you. I'll see what I can do on my own first with the information you provided.
- Make it interesting and involving, with as much audience participation as possible!
- I recommend not handing out your materials in advance. You want people focused on you and what you are saying, not reading the information in their lap. If you must, use a handout with highlights, or modified/simplified versions of the slides, so that they need to pay attention to YOU.
- Make sure you incorporate time for responding to the audience's specific questions. Many in the audience will consider the Q&A period the most valuable part of the presentation!
And don't give a long promo for your or your company's services. A short marketing headline will generally do the trick, particularly if you've done a good job of building rapport during the talk, getting your audience to a point where they want to ask you additional questions. Instead of the focus being on YOU and what you do, you want to answer the listener's questions: What's In It for Me?