As a small business owner, you’re living the American dream. You work for yourself, create jobs, and strengthen the economy. And people want to hear about it!
You might not consider yourself a talented orator, but one of the skills that got you this far — your ability to sell an idea — makes you an excellent candidate for public speaking.
Don’t fool yourself by thinking no one wants to hear what you have to say. Most people dream of working for themselves, and they want to learn from people who are doing it. While you might think you’re too busy, the best small business owners make time to speak because they recognize the value of exposure.
Public speaking not only helps you network, but it also establishes you as an expert in your field. The more you provide for others (especially other small business owners), the more you can increase your reach and grow your personal brand.
Use the Power of Observation
To become a better speaker, all you need to do is use your power of observation. Notice the world around you and communicate to others what you see.
One of my favorite speakers, Arel Moodie, likes to ask an audience member to jump as high as he can next to a wall. After marking the spot, Moodie places a $10 bill two inches higher and tells the person to jump again. Needless to say, everyone manages to grab the money the second time.
Moodie’s speech provides a great example of what observation can accomplish. He noticed how the power of reward changes not only people’s mindsets, but also their abilities, and he came up with a simple yet effective way to demonstrate that.
You don’t have to make your audience literally jump to be a good speaker; you just have to help them better understand a concept that helped you along your career path.
Start Speaking Up
To get started, you need to find the right crowd. Knowing you’re talking to the right people helps you motivate the room, motivate yourself, and find allies who might help you grow your business. For example, if you’re looking for new employees, give an engaging, interactive presentation to young job seekers.
Get involved by volunteering at industry-specific events so people will think of you when speakers are needed.
Create a persona for yourself within your industry as an expert in a certain field, and share your triumphs and trials. People like speakers they can relate to. In the end, you go from being an unknown small business owner to someone people look up to and want to work with.
Speaking helps keep you motivated to continue taking on the world. Business owners stay alive by learning from and sharing with others, so surround yourself with people who challenge you to go beyond your limits, then do the same for them!
Anthony Russo has been a self-employed business owner for more than five years, and his seven-figure agency, Identity Marketing, is recognized among the top companies in the field of experiential promotional marketing. Russo is also a professional speaker and an emcee for large national events.