Not too long ago I got a call from one of the country’s largest banks. They asked if I’d give a marketing presentation to some of their business customers.
A few weeks later I gave a talk to 30 business owners and about 15 of the banks staff.
The presentation was one I hadn’t given before and I think it went quite well.
Speaking is a very powerful business tool
At the end of the presentation we had a great Q&A session. And when that was finished I was swarmed by 5 or 6 business owners that were interested in my consulting services. (This was nice to see though I haven’t taken on new clients for over a year – my current load is heavy enough to say the least).
I was paid to give the presentation and have been asked to give the presentation again, this time at a different branch.
So let me share with you a few tips on speaking and giving presentations…
1. The money will come – Unless you’ve been speaking for a while don’t worry about asking for money for your first few presentations. The business you’ll get out of speaking will more than make up for the time you put into it.
2. You’re in need – There are countless organizations, from rotary clubs and non-profits, to banks and other large companies just to name a few that would love to have you speak. All you need to do is pick up the phone and call them. Tell them about your presentation and that you’d like to share your experiences with others. They’ll be happy to take you up on your offer if they have a need – especially if they don’t have to pay you.
3. Make it visual – Your presentation should be 90% visual and the rest can be text. Watch a presentation by Guy Kawasaki or Seth Godin to see how powerful visual presentation can be. This way you won’t bore your audience. There’s more life in images than there are in words.
4. Know it cold – The more you practice your presentation the more confident you’ll become. And the more confident you are the better presentation you’ll give. Practice several times.
5. Give it away – Don’t be scared to share your insider knowledge. Give techniques, strategies – pretty much don’t hold things back. Of course you can’t go into crazy detail but your presentation should deliver real value. Often this can be measured by the audience feeling that they can go home and apply what they just learned.
6. Make it easy – On the last slide of your presentation be sure to include your contact information. While you’re doing your Q&A or as things wrap up the audience can write down how to get in contact with you. Small things like this are often forgotten. But remember, if they don’t have your contact information they’re not going to contact you.
7. Don’t be salesy – Your presentation should educate, not sell. If you try to praise yourself too much or persuade the audience to do business with you they’ll see right through it and you’ll be done. By educating and being genuine you’ll become an authority in the audiences’ minds.
8. Bring those cards – Don’t leave home without your business cards. You’ll need lots of them.
There you have it. A few speaking tips to help all y’all consultants and freelancers out there.
Have other tips for speaking? Do share in the comments below…