May 19, 2020 10:38
The value of public speaking for consultants
How to build your brand as a freelance with public speaking?
I won't insult you by asking you who is Tony Robbins or Les Brown. You know that for a fact. Public speaking is a powerful branding tool as it allows a consultant or a coach to be quickly assessed as an expert within his or her specific niche. After all, if they are on stage, and we are not, the formers probably know something the latters don’t. Right?
And pitches are pouring in from everywhere. Videos are oozing from the Facebook walls, podcasts are streaming the YouTube floor. Even LinkedIn allows you to drown your pages with videos. Drop by drop, the planet is underwater. And many of us are still here, a glass of content in the hand, trying to send a few drops of our knowledge around the wet stage.
According to the economic law of supply and demand, what one can find everywhere is worthless. So it’s logically mean that speech, on stage our behind the camera, is becoming cheaper and cheaper.
But as a scientist you remember the Lavoisier law: nothing is lost, nothing is created. Everything is transformed.
So if the delivery of content is cheap,
how has the intrinsic value been transformed?
When organizers are preparing congress, they still spend at least half the time looking for key opinion leaders who are going to speak during the event. They know it remains the most powerful magnet for people to come. The most famous the KOL, the more people are going to attend the event.
But spectators are now more demanding. They know the value of their time and want the return of investment. They don’t want to be lectured anymore.
And if we are not here for the content, what do we expect?
Today, giving a speech is more than sharing content, hoping to sell on stage. Public speaking is a call to action. The goal of public speaking is to force the audience to evaluate a subject from a different perspective. And to act on it. It’s the hope to change and be a different person from the one who sat in the auditorium.
If it is cheaper to disseminate content, motivating others to act becomes priceless.
Am I going to change my behavior after hearing what you have to say?
Will I reconsider my beliefs after your speech?
Should I finally take action after your talk?
Those are the only questions that really matter for the attendees.
And since it's never been easier to pitch your own content, the temptation is great to go to the other side. Although public speaking is highly attractive (and highly effective as a marketing tool), it remains a difficult method to master.
Public speaking is a persuasion exercise.
And when it comes to taking center stage, this is a huge pain for many of us.
We don’t know how to start. We are afraid to be boring and lose people after five minutes. We are becoming nervous, sweating, and losing self-confidence. All our ideas get mixed up and what was clear before, suddenly becomes nebulous.
Many people are not comfortable with acting.
To be in front of other people, on stage, and to be the center of the attention is for extrovert people, not for them. They’re shy, and they don’t want to face the public eye, to be judged or to seem ridiculous. The ego is always part of the equation.
In fact, all of this can be solved with great preparation, sufficient time spent on rehearsal, and authenticity.
But why people are willing to listen to what you have to say?
1. As An Expert Consultant, Know Your Audience & Anticipate
“Anticipation is the ultimate advantage in business and in life”
- Tony Robbins
Before acting, you need to prepare yourself. Rehearse. Rehearse. and…rehearse. I can’t insist more on this point. If you find people executing a perfect movement in sport, or doing the perfect meal in cooking, be sure they have practice and practice again a thousand times. The best way to improve yourself is to record you, not only your voice but also your movement. Watch the movie and discover how (strange ;-) you move and speak. The only way to increase self-confidence in public speaking is to…speak.
Be in the shoes of your audience
Top consultants are eager to know as much as possible before their public speech in order to tailor their presentation to the precise motivations of each attendee. You need to envision the particular persona you’re going to talk to and have a clear image in your mind of this specific persona.
If you were in his or her shoes, what would you like to learn?
Totally absorbed by the passion of the moment, we often make the mistake of talking about what we are interested in on the subject, what we particularly like. But you are not here to talk about your tastes but to talk about the tastes of others.
What do they want to hear? What can possibly entertain them?
Be a freelance expert in the room.
- The only way to be self-confident is to know your subject by 200%. You’ll so release only a fraction of the topic and be comfortable with final questions. Knowing a lot will also allow you to rebound, to fill the blanks if needed. You don’t learn about the benefits of your audience but for you. This in-depth knowledge boosts your self-confidence, sharpens your critical sense, gives you positivity, and galvanizes you.
- The best when you’re preparing a speech is to let your ideas mature for a long time. You can’t prepare a public speech one day before your performance because you need your ideas to evolve, to expand width and height, and to nurture them with new connected ideas. Ask yourself all possible questions concerning it so you consider the issue from every possible angle.
- Beyond the direct benefits of self-confidence, the deep knowledge of your subject allows you to create a status for yourself. Your peers will then recognize you, as one of them because you reveal ideas only a certain limited of a person can possibly know.
Visualize Your Own Success
Like great sport players, visualize a great performance. Enjoy success before success. Act as if you have already made it. The more you will perform on the scene, the less the fear will take hold of you.
Create Social Pressure
Explain to your friends and relatives you’re going to give a public speech. Doing so, you create social pressure by making a public commitment. It’s now difficult to retreat and your only way out is to go ahead with your presentation.
2. Develop the right attitude
Don’t take excitement for anxiety
Practicing public speaking, you need to learn to give the correct label to your feeling. The experience may be new for you. But you will have the rare opportunity to connect with many people at the same time. This adventure is highly exciting and thrilling.
Develop a strong desire to be the best version of yourself
List the different benefits of the experiment and arise enthusiasm for preparing, rehearsing and going to the scene. Your achievement will be in the measure of your enthusiasm.
Learn to give, before taking
An attitude to give what you know: stop be a taker and develop a giver attitude. Don’t mention your Ph.D., your email address, and your website on every slide of your PowerPoint. Just answer the question because you know the answer and not because you want to sell your book at the end of the session. Stop selling from the stage.
Develop A Taste For Authenticity
When people are giving a public speech or selling, they’re often trying to be somebody else. Sometimes confident, sometimes authoritative, sometimes mysterious. But they miss the truth. Your body can’t lie. It’s what is called synchronicity. When you try to speak and gesture as someone else, your body will still act in harmony with who you really are.
Dare To Be Audacious, Think Outside The Box
Don't fall into the trap of convenience and find a new way to deliver your message. Be bold to deliver a message that lasts.
Be aware of the present and adapt to the moment
It’s not possible to plan everything and rehearsal has also its own limits. Things will never go as planned. Yes, you’ll stumble on certain words and sometimes you'll find it hard to find your words. Don’t apologize and take your time. People won’t notice your hesitation. Enjoy the present moment and be yourself.
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