Speak Up for Your Business
Just because you run a small business doesn't mean you're a natural salesperson. So, where can you learn the skills to be an accomplished communicator – whether speaking to the media, delivering sales presentations or pitching to investors?
Some People Are Born to Sell
The ready smile and outstretched palm come as naturally to them as breathing. They always say the right things and are just as comfortable meeting high level executives as handing out beers at the office social.
Then there’s the rest of us: not shy exactly, but perhaps lacking a touch of verbal fluency on those occasions when we’re called on to say a few words.
Of course, not everyone aspires to the traditional image of the slick sales executive with the smooth patter. But all business owners need to pitch their ideas and convince people at some point, and many of us would also like to convey a more professional image that better represents our businesses.
One Solution Is to Join a Public Speaking Organisation
Yes, they exist, and if the thought of visiting one makes your palms sweat, that’s hardly surprising: standing up to speak in front of people is scary. In fact, it’s the second scariest experience after sudden loud noises.
However, once you’ve set your mind on improving your communication skills, organisations like Toastmasters can help. Initially, getting up and speaking to other members is a challenge, but over time the supportive atmosphere generated at the meetings enables most people to become less intimidated.
Eventually, this enhanced comfort level transfers naturally to other occasions – from conference keynote speeches, to doing a toast at someone’s leaving party. By then, you’ll also have picked up a few useful basics, such as how to manage hesitations and reduce awkward hand gestures.
The Most Important Thing You’ll Learn About Public Speaking
Everyone does it differently. In fact, the best communicators usually draw on their own individual characteristics. Steve Jobs, for example, was never a natural speaker, but he found his own distinctive way to present and, in doing so, set a benchmark that others still follow.
And that’s the point: with the right message, and a smidgeon of basic technique, you too can be an accomplished communicator and a more effective advocate for your business.
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