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Building your Business With Public Speaking
By Suzanne Mulvehill

A Personal Story by Suzanne Mulvehill, Author

While public speaking is a key fear for adults, it is also a key component of building a business. As small business owners, we can gain a competitive edge by expanding our marketing mix and sharing our expertise through public speaking. Why is public speaking so effective? Because it endorses you and your business, gives you an opportunity to promote your credibility to many people at one time and shortens the sales cycle. Think about it, you can have a one-hour appointment with a key prospect or you can give a 20-minute presentation to twenty or more prospects at one time. Here are a few ideas to help build your business through public speaking:

Break through the fear – Instead of thinking about speaking as "public speaking," think about it as sharing your expertise. This always helps me. It's okay to be afraid – feel the fear and do it anyway. Practice, prepare and know your material. Attend the Florida Speakers Association meetings or Toastmasters to help you develop your speaking skill.

Make a list of what you can speak about – Start by listing what you are good at and then build potential speaking topics from there. For example, if you build web sites, you could create a presentation about how to increase sales through your website. If you own a day spa, you could create a presentation about reducing stress at work.

Create a catchy title – Once you have a general idea about what you can speak about, create a catchy title. For example, I give a presentation about inexpensive marketing strategies and title the presentation, "Marketing your Business for Little or No Money."
Keep your title brief and to the point.

Develop the presentation – Build your presentation from the title. Microsoft PowerPoint is a great tool to help develop the presentation. Keep each slide simple with just a few bullet points. I would suggest 7-10 slides for a 20-minute presentation. Develop an informative presentation based on your expertise. Be careful not to create an advertisement about your company's services.

Create a promo piece – This is an important component to pitching the presentation to an organization. This promo piece has three components, the title of the presentation, an outline of the presentation and a brief description of the presenter. Submitting this promo piece and your biography shows professionalism when getting booked for a speaking engagement.

Create a biography – Develop a one-page biography and a speaker biography. The one-page biography will be sent along with the promo piece and the speaker biography will be given to the person who introduces you before you speak.

Have a professional head shot taken – Often when you get booked to speak for an organization, they may want a picture of you to promote you in their brochure about the event. Have your head shot available in a .jpg file as well as picture form.

Contact organizations and offer to speak – This is where a strategy comes into play. What audience is most likely to benefit from your topic? If you sell to businesses than a business-to-business organization will be appropriate. If your market is retail, identify organizations that support a retail market. Look through the business section of the newspaper and identify organizations that have breakfasts, luncheons and the like. These organizations may include Chambers of Commerce, Rotary Clubs, Kiwinas Clubs and trade associations. Contact them, find out who schedules speakers for meetings and pitch your topic.

Maximize your marketing potential - Most often, you will be giving these presentations for free and can therefore make a request to the organization in exchange for payment. Depending on what will benefit you, you might request the names, addresses and e-mail addresses of the attendees or ask to write a follow up article for their organization. Another idea is to request selling your product in the back of the room, or having your brochures and business cards at each place setting. Use your creativity in maximizing your marketing potential. Remember to invite your clients and potential clients to your speaking engagement and have fun sharing your expertise.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/self-help-articles/making-the-leap-from-employee-to-entrepreneur-261793.html

About the Author:
Suzanne Mulvehill, MBA, is the author of Employee to Entrepreneur: A Mind, Body and Spirit Transition She presents workshops and seminars and will be launching online training programs in 2008. Visit http://www.emotionalendurance.com for more information or contact suzanne@emotionalendurance.com

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