Five ways to use public speaking to attract more clients

I’m thrilled to introduce you to one of our standout students of The Client Attraction Business School™, public speaking consultant John Rasiej.  As always, we’d love to hear your feedback. Please post your comments and questions below. ~ Fabienne. Connect with John on Facebook here.

Screen Shot 2014-01-22 at 2.10.34 PMPublic speaking is one of the fastest ways to attract new clients.  The on-the-spot connection you establish with one effective presentation is a richer and more holistic experience compared to a blog post, a video or even social media. Your live speaking engagement is able to convey your expertise, authenticity and accelerates the Know, Like and Trust factor for your audience.

Public speaking is one of the fastest ways to attract new clients. (Click here to tweet this.)

Speaking effectively takes more than getting up and sharing information. There are key creative strategies that form a deeper engagement and lead to more client conversations and conversions quickly.  Here are 5 that stand out:

1. Begin by immediately making the speech about your audience and the issue with which they’re challenged. They’ll have a vested interest to listen more attentively from the start if they know your focus is on them! When you begin by launching into your story or saying, “I’m happy to be here,” you’re making it about you.
2. Keep your speech to fewer than five points and ideally three so your audience isn’t overwhelmed.  Different from a workshop, people attending a speech at a networking event are not there for copious note-taking.  Getting past five points taxes listeners’ ability to focus.  You want to make your points memorable and achievable.
3. Avoid taking questions from the stage and let the audience know it’s to their benefit.  Taking questions cedes control of your time to someone else. Furthermore, if you take questions and resolve their surface need in the moment, your potential client has no reason to approach you after the speech.  By connecting individually at the end of your presentation, you gain the chance to learn their specific needs and establish possible follow-ups that pay off.
4. Your call-to-action needs to flow organically from the speech.  Every speech needs to take advantage of the audience’s focused attention while they’re physically with you in the room.  Your call-to-action will be more effective when it flows naturally out of the points you make as opposed to seeming like a tacked-on pitch or afterthought.  Create your call-to-action and then plan your points to lead your audience there.
5. Command the room with your stage presence.  Everything you do in front of your audience sends its own message.  How you take the stage, the way you stand and the certainty with which you deliver the opening sentences affect the audience’s confidence in you and your message.  Some techniques such as ideal stage position may seem counterintuitive; however they’re designed to enhance the connection between speaker and listener. Unfortunately many business speakers miss them.

Well-crafted presentations delivered skillfully will grow your business fast. Maximize the art of speaking to make an impact both to your clients and to your bottom line.

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John Rasiej is CEO of Speak Louder Than Words, a consultancy that brings creativity to entrepreneurs so that businesses click when sharing their message with clients.The author of two books, “Speak  Louder Than Words” and “Speaking Leadership: 22 Essential Secrets to Make Speeches Succeed,” John combines over 20 years of acting and directing experience plusan understanding of delivering effective marketing speeches that lead to better connections and more clients. To find out more about these strategies and more ways to make your message resonate with the people you want to reach, connect with John at www.SpeakLouderThanWords.com.

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Comments 18

      1. Two things, John –
        1) Skip the intro & get to their hearts.
        2) Skipping questions <– It makes so much sense. "Why didn't I think of that?!"
        Cheers, John!

    1. Thanks, Michelle — it isn’t that hard as long as you let them know why you aren’t taking them. It’s the the benefit of the audience as a whole, as well as to the speaker.

  1. John, this is great. I’ll have to check out more of your stuff. I really enjoy public speaking and it’s one of the ways I would like to grow my business. I look forward to meeting you at a CABS event in the near future!

    1. Thanks, Sarah, I appreciate it. Yes public speaking can be a lot of fun, as i wrote about in this week’s newsletter. I hope you visit my website for some more ideas. And please feel free to get in touch if there are ways I may be of further support. I look forward to meeting you in person too!

  2. John, as a fellow public speaker, your five strategies are right-on! I especially like strategy 2 – Keep your speech to fewer than 5 points… This is so important to insure a wide awake audience!

    1. Thanks, Jeanette and I appreciate the validation of what I shared. I groan when I hear a speaker start by telling an audience they’re going to hear 12 points. :-)

  3. John,
    You’ve offered some great advice here. I’m a bit surprised about the questions from the stage suggestion but now that I read it, it makes perfect sense. Great job.

    1. Thanks, Lauri. Yes, it would seem odd at first glance but there are several reasons. Sometimes when a person asks a question that’s so personalized that it doesn’t affect most people there, the rest of the audience zones out and you lose them. You also sometimes have someone ask questions who is there more to hear themselves speak (just wanting their story to get heard) and they may go on and on without a point or someone who wants to use the time to challenge or argue with the speaker; those situations don’t serve you well as a speaker. Meeting with people afterward allows you to have a chance to make follow-up plans with people who are feeling a connection with you and may become your ideal clients. It is important early in the speech to include something letting people know there won’t be questions and why it’s to the benefit of the audience overall.

      1. That totally makes sense. I know that, when I speak with someone one-on-one, it’s a very different energy than addressing an audience, and I love the idea of maximizing the one-on-one potential *from* the speaking engagement.

  4. Great points and reminders. I like the differentiation between presentation and workshop strategies.

    1. Thanks, Stephanie, it’s great you noticed that. A lot of people who are used to doing some teaching and workshops can end up overwhelming audiences if they try to apply the same techniques in a marketing appearance.

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