PUBLIC SPEAKING SKILLS – CRUCIAL TO SUCCESS
We all know that public speaking skills are crucial to realising success. But we can only achieve our commercial and personal objectives once we have fully understood what makes an effective speaker and once when we have harnessed our communication skills by practising them frequently; working together as a team we help our clients to achieve this.
We examine how best to connect with different types of audiences in different situations, whether delivering a pitch to potential clients or investors, dealing with a live question-and-answer session, conducting a negotiation, delivering a speech to shareholders, speaking at a conference, communicating with the public, persuading people to pursue a call-to-action, or selling a service or product.
PUBLIC SPEAKING – HOW I HELP MY CLIENTS
When it comes to public speaking, I work with each of my clients (from C-Suite down) in partnership, helping them to:
1. speak fluently and eloquently with little preparation and no notes;
2. think on their feet with confidence and authority;
3. think and communicate clearly when under pressure;
4. think quickly and analytically;
5. apply an ambitious and determined approach to solving problems and presenting solutions;
6. think logically and coherently;
7. appreciate the virtues of style;
8. conduct themselves as a credible leader;
9. persuade their audience and wed them to their call-to-action;
10. build up their confidence and overcome perceived weaknesses.
PUBLIC SPEAKING: THE IMPORTANCE OF KNOWING YOUR AUDIENCE
If we want to make the right impact when delivering a speech or presentation it is crucial that we know our audience; who they are; what they want; what makes them tick. We understand our audience by identifying their objectives, areas of interest, and their reasons for wanting to hear us speak; we should know this before we even meet them.
We must consider how our speech or presentation can most effectively meet those objectives. Every word spoken by us should be spoken because it is necessary and speaks to considered goals; if we know and understand our audience then this is more likely to be so.
We must ensure that everything we do and say is tailored to our audience and that we positively engage with them, meet their objectives, and achieve a positive outcome. To connect with your audience it is crucial that your speech, presentation, or pitch is like a bespoke Savile Row suit and NOT something Ready To Wear (“RTW”).
RTW is cheap, generic, template-like, mass-produced, and lacking a personal touch; it has no real consideration for the person who is to wear it. If that is how you want your pitch or presentation to be then fine, but it is unlikely to engage with your audience and persuade them to pursue your call-to-action.
On the other hand bespoke reflects quality and something superior for the person who wears it. Your public speaking should be bespoke and express something personal; a superior creation tailored specifically for your audience. You want your audience to feel that you know them and that your presentation has been prepared exclusively for them. Bespoke is expensive and rightly so; but bespoke should reflect nothing less than what your audience deserves.
If we are delivering a pitch to investors for example, then we must carry out thorough research beforehand; we must know the company and individuals we are pitching to; their individual and corporate history; their interests; their likes and dislikes. In a nutshell, we must be able to clearly show that our pitch is tailored to the investors and the questions they will want answered, and this will include clearly demonstrating:
– The product or service that our business is selling;
– The benefits of our product or service and/or the problem that our product or service provides a solution to;
– That potential clients are likely to pay for our product or service;
– How and why our product or service is better than similar ones offered by competitors, or that there are no known competitors;
– That the key members of your team are the right people to take you forward to success (at least for the moment);
– projections for success, and basis for those projections, moving forward.
Oftentimes I speak with companies that can clearly demonstrate their product or service and very ably show the problem that it solves. However, sometimes they fail to consider whether people will actually pay good money to purchase their solution.
It is crucial to consider whether the cost of the product or service is a proportionate and reasonable response to the problem in question. No matter how inherently interesting the product or service is, if one can’t monetise the product or service to begin with then there is no point in pushing forward with it.
As a founder who has put a great deal of time and effort into the business it is all to easy to become overwhelmed with your creation and only see the positives. It is right that founders take pride in their creation and push forward. But it is also right that one does not do so at any cost, and one mustn’t fall into the trap of not seeing the wood for the trees. At all times it is important to remain objective and understand that which is likely to get traction in the market place and that which will not.
DEVELOPING AN EFFECTIVE STRATEGY TO GET TRACTION WITH CLIENTS AND INVESTORS
I help clients to develop an effective strategy to get traction with clients and investors, and to effectively communicate:
– what their product or service is;
– how it solves a particular problem/ benefits the client and why the must have it;
– that it is a product or service that is worth paying for at the price offered;
– how the product or service is better than anything competitors can offer or that it is a one-of-a- kind and there is currently nothing else like it on the market; and
– meaningful projections for success moving forward.
How one deals with each of these points will depend on the product or service and the potential client group/ audience in question. There may be a number of benefits that a product or service provides and it may be that one or more of the benefits are demonstrated and emphasised with one specific category of clients, yet with another category of clients the emphasis changes completely.
MAKE IT RELEVANT
For example, one of the companies I am involved with promotes and sells a unique and innovative range of healthcare products containing frankincense oil (boswellia serrata) and curcumin longa, which have been specifically designed for a balanced and healthy lifestyle (see here).
Frankincense oil has been used for thousands of years for its amazing benefits which includIing reducing joint pain and improving mobility; enhancing immunity and preventing recurring illnesses;
restoring hormonal imbalance leading to well-being; preventing skin ageing, finer lines and wrinkles, and maintaining youthfulness; natural antimicrobial properties – useful for oral health and hygiene; aids good quality sleep, and physical and emotional well-being.
Naturally, if I am giving a general presentation about this product I will give an overview of the host of benefits provided by frankincense oil. However, if I am speaking to a specific group, for example someone in the nursing home sector, I will home in on some of the benefits that are going to be of direct interest and relevance to that specific sector (in this instance reducing joint pain and improving mobility).
Indeed, such consideraitons will also dictate the wording and graphics used in brochures and other written materials. There may be several different verisons of the brochure depending on the specific sector, and also the country in question. This is all about being relevant and focused as far as the audience is concerned, and providing them with a bespoke service. It is all about knowing your audience and ensuring that everything you say and do is tailored to them. This applies whether you are producing a brochure, delivering a pitch, giving a keynote presentation, a training session, or any other kind of speaking engagement. In each case the content of your speech, the level at which you pitch it, and the style and points of delivery, must all be tailored to the specific audience before you.
I help individuals and companies harness effective communication skills so that their pitches, presentations, and networking efforts will help them get traction with clients, colleagues, and investors, no matter how difficult or challenging the circumstances may be.
I am not a coach. I am not a so-called guru. I don’t just speak about communications skills for a living. I don’t just speak about presentation skills in isolation; I apply them each and every day in all my business dealings.
I am actively involved in international business, working on deals with clients and also working with investors. I use my business, legal, and communications expertise and experience to help my clients. And one thing is certain: my clients will always receive a bespoke service.
Author: Lee Phanurat-Bennett