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Why Public Speaking is Good for Business

I gave a presentation on Google+ last week, booked by the CVWBC (Coachella Valley Women's Business Center) as part of their SBA grant funded program to provide free information, seminars and workshops to the audience they serve, which is entrepreneurs and small business startups. Well how about that, it just happens to be my target audience for the consulting services I provide! The CVWBC collects feedback from all participants about the programs being provided.  They graciously share the feedback with the presenters.  The graphic below is the feedback I received on the free presentation I gave.  

But Why Should I Give FREE Presentations?

I left the presentation with 2 new clients who had booked me for private lessons for how to use Google+ before they left the room.  They are people for whom paying for one-on-one lessons is less time consuming and more comfortable than diving in headfirst and making their own way. The rest of the participants were very happy with the class, and my being an "expert presenter" for the well respected CVWBC establishes me locally as a savvy businesswoman. I am continuing to cultivate and nurture my own personal brand identity in my local community.

In addition to the 2 new clients, I also got booked for another presentation by a participant who happened to be the president of one of the local chambers of commerce. This could turn into another long-term relationship that will provide regular opportunities to speak to my target audience of entrepreneurs and small businesses.  Here's what she wrote to me:

"My name is Brenda and I met you at the Google+ workshop Tuesday evening. I really enjoyed your workshop!  It was an eye-opener for me because I tend to shun the social media-type environments.  I will definitely rethink my approach...

I want to see if you are available to do a presentation at our October mixer. There are usually 15-20 business people present and we have a presentation with q & a afterward.  Of course, there are refreshments, as well."

Next - Why I Give Basic "How To" Lessons

After we get the "How To" stuff out of the way, there will be great opportunity to book these clients for the next step, the "Why To" parts - helping them figure out what their goals are for their social media outreach and devising a sound strategy for achieving them.  This outreach strategy consulting falls into a whole different price range. The straight "how to" lessons are highly discounted from my regular consulting fees.

But why would you charge less, when it's still about paying for your valuable time and experience, Meilani?

More than just a discount service, it is an investment that I am making.  Straight "how to" lessons will only go on for so long - usually from 1 to 4 sessions only.  But outreach strategy, brand identity, goals creating consulting sessions can be ongoing with a long term client.  Giving the "how to" lessons is a perfect opportunity to build a positive relationship with a client, show them what I know and what I do, and educate them about the value of why so that when they are ready to launch their business they will feel comfortable and confident in hiring me for identity branding and outreach strategy planning consultations.  These kinds of consultations may be ongoing, beginning with defining a successful brand identity for their biz and creating a strategy plan for how to cultivate that identity.  These consultations have great potential to be recurring, for example relating to planning special events and promotions, building and nurturing a positive reputation within the community, creating their print promo materials, and more.

A couple of low cost "how to" lessons is a small investment to make towards building a lasting relationship with a potentially long term client!

How Can I Become a Public Speaker?

If you follow me you may already know I'm a big fan and active member of Toastmasters.  Toastmasters International clubs meet regularly and provide opportunity to practice and hone your public speaking skills. As you increase your skills and confidence you will become comfortable speaking in front of audiences small and large.  Visit to find a club near you.

If you are a business owner, you are already an expert in some field relating to your industry. Share what you know with your community!  When you give a free presentation on a topic you know about you will:

- establish yourself as an expert on the subject

- build and nurture a positive reputation with your community

- give back to the community by providing your audience with info that is useful to them

- have the opportunity to promote your knowledge, expertise, and business to an audience who is already interested in your topic!  In other words, good leads!

Need Help Planning Your Presentations?

Well how about that, here's where I get to promo myself again!  I can help you define your public speaking goals and plan the strategy for reaching them.  What should you speak about?  Who is your target audience?  Who are your power partners?  How will you reach them? Who can you give presentations to?

You know where to reach me - right here on Google+.  Consulting sessions are face to face, one-on-one via Google+ Hangout.  Are you ready to dip your toes into the waters of public speaking?  What are you waiting for...dive in!

#smallbiz   #outreachtips   #publicspeaking   #presentations   #marketing   #CVWBC     #strategy   #strategyplanning  
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+Meilani MacDonald Ronnie was  just teaching  about how to do my google plus tip  I did today so it is a little easier to make my point come across. I did one today. and was off the cuff. 
+Meilani MacDonald thank you so much for promoting Toastmasters - I didn't know them, but found they have a club in Cologne, Germany as well! Definitely going to pay them a visit as my next public presentation is coming up in November!
+Marianne van der Zaag  you are welcome, I'm glad you found a club near you!  You reminded me to add the International in the post - yaay for editing!  I hope you enjoy Toastmasters as much as I do.   What topic are you presenting in November?  Let us know how it goes!
+Meilani MacDonald Thanks! First have a look though at the German Toastmasters ;0) - Will let you know! Topic of my presentation will be something about the influence of smart phones on customer service processes (eg increase of written requests vs. phone inquiries again, new ways of service opportunities due to increasing smart phone usage and apps), but I have to work it out as it will be the first presentation by me on this topic ...
+Marianne van der Zaag I have a small circle of Toastmasters, it's a good group to practice presentations with.  Shall I add you and share the circle with you?  You could send a message to that circle if you want to practice your presentation with an audience, via a hangout.  We are all english speakers though, so we won't be much help if you're speaking in German.
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