Wednesday, October 3, 2012

How to be a Guest Speaker to Promote your Business

One of the most effective ways of getting the word out about your business is to talk about your business. That doesn’t necessarily mean stopping strangers on the street and passing out business cards (although that can work!). You should find ways to become a guest speaker. While you might not command those huge keynote speaker fees, you could volunteer to give a talk to local community groups or at trade show conferences. Those event planners are always looking to broaden their agendas and you’d be providing them a great service. Here are five terrific tips to help you become an amazing guest speaker to promote your business.

Get the Facts

 Know your audience. You should develop a kind of “stump speech” which is basically the same speech that can be delivered to any audience. However, that doesn’t mean you can tailor make that speech to fit a particular group. What you might be presenting to a group of senior citizens is different than to a group of high school seniors, even if it’s the same product. You should also know exactly how much time you’re allotted for your speech and when you’ll be “going on.” Additionally, if you require any special equipment like a projector or extension cord it’s always best to bring that yourself. Don’t count on the facility to have what you need.

Write Your Own Intro

Since you’re going to be introduced it will be best if you can position your biography and theme of your speech. Writing your own introduction can certainly be done with humility. It’s also a great relief to your host since they won’t have to worry about getting that information wrong.

Have Take-aways

It would be extremely beneficial if you can put something into the hand of everyone listening to your speech. Whether it’s a brochure, menu of services or even a refrigerator magnet, giving the attendees something with your company name and contact will be invaluable in terms of creating new customers. If you have something to sell immediately, like a book or other promotional items, make sure you clear it with the event planner in advance. Also find out if there will be other speakers selling stuff. You don’t want to be the only one selling.

Engage Your Audience

The best approach to giving a speech is to make it more like a conversation. Yes, you’ll be doing most of the talking but you don’t want to get stuck reading from a written speech or slides on a power point presentation. One of the most effective ways of engaging an audience is to ask them questions. You don’t always need to hear the answer but you’re getting them to think about your presentation by turning it on their own lives. That will make what you have to say resonate with the crowd.

Stick Around

Don’t just talk and run. If you have time in your presentation to open up the floor for questions, that will be terrific. Often attendees might prefer to pull you aside after the speech to ask questions. Stick around to meet the folks and find out more about them. Who knows? You might even be asked to give your speech somewhere else!