In a previous post, I wrote about ways you can use the written word to persuade others.
Another method of sharing your ideas, boosting your credibility and helping others see that your way is best is to get up and talk to groups of people. This follows the same approach as writing, just using different communication skills.
Who should you talk to?
- Local business clubs and associations
- Better Business Bureaus
- Area trade associations
- Internal groups within your company
- Audiences at specific industry events
- Attendees of off-site business functions
- Listeners to call-in radio talk shows
Anyplace you can position yourself as an expert will work. Remember, the message needs to be as non-promotional as possible. If you sell computer consulting services, provide advance information on computing solutions that will be available in the coming year, or ways to protect against identity theft. If you sell cars, explain the lasting impact of hybrid vehicles. If you sell real estate, expound on the “new normal” and how it relates to property values. Do this enough, and you’re talking real sales torque.
Most people aren’t professional public speakers, so it’s wise to learn how to create an engaging “open” – an interesting way to start your talk. My favorite involves asking a rhetorical question. For example, “Have you ever wanted an automated solution that could make your job easier and your commissions higher?”
Then make three to five brief points about your topic – each supported by a fact, statistic, or anecdote.
Finally, summarize what you talked about, and what you’d like your audience to do or feel as a result of spending time with you.
Whether you’re leading a talk at a local business association, writing op-ed pieces for newspapers on relevant topics, or starting meaningful discussions among your colleagues on LinkedIn, you mustn’t be afraid to put yourself out there by engaging in activities that will attract more people willing to sing your praises — I like to call them “personal evangelists.”