Editor’s Note: This guest post from Jason Phillips is pretty dern timely if I do say so myself, since here at Small Biz Triage we’ve been running workshops like insane workshop junkies. As an editorial aside, I’d like to add that public speaking is more than just marketing your business, it’s providing and proving the value of it to a room full of people. It’s not about mass communication, it’s about human interaction. My favorite. -Seth-

You are an expert in your field, and nobody knows your business like you do. You can share your knowledge with others through public speaking. When you do, you can enhance your reputation, expand your network, attract new clients, and build your business. Here are some tips to help you make the most of your public speaking opportunities.

movie theaterFind an appropriate audience

For marketing your business through public speaking, it is important to find the right audience. For instance, if you have a pool care business, you won’t do very well speaking to groups of college students. You want to find homeowners and commercial property managers. Find out where your target audience meets, and who the event organizers are that you want to contact.

Select a useful topic

You need to pick a presentation topic that delivers valuable and interesting content to your audience. You can’t just give an hour long sales pitch. Find something that is useful for audience members, yet related to your business so that they will see you as an expert in the field.

Pitch your speech

Contact the event organizers for groups that include the type of audience you want. Pitch them your topic, telling them how it will benefit their audience. Establish your credibility, citing factors like how long you have been in business, or other groups for whom you have done presentations.

Mention your business

You don’t want to focus the speech on your business, but you definitely want to mention it, and attract the interest of audience members who could use your services. One good way to do this is to include some entertaining anecdotes about the topic from your business experiences. Always make your website and contact information prominent and easy to find, so people can get in touch with you later.

chico-stn-crowdfunding-crash-courseInclude a Q & A session

Leave time at the end of your presentation for a question and answer session. When you answer people’s targeted questions, it can further establish you as an expert on the topic. It also provides additional value for audience members. Think about likely questions and try to plan for them.

Bring hand outs

Give people in the audience something to take with them, so that they remember you. You can hand out printed slides from your presentation, or a summary of key points. You can also have other materials on hand, like business brochures, or even product samples. Make sure that all handouts have your name, business, website, and phone number prominently displayed.

Promote the event

You don’t need to rely only on the organization’s promotional efforts. You can help to promote the event yourself, too. Send a press release to local publications, or get the speech included in a list of local events. You can notify people on your current e-mail list, and also publicize the event using Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter.

Gather contact information

You want to stay in touch with audience members who could be interested in your services, or who might know other people who would be. Try to gather as many people’s contact information as possible. Pass around a sign-up sheet for people to register for special discounts or subscribe to your newsletter. You can also have people deposit a business card to enter a drawing for a prize.

Reuse your presentation materials

After you finish your speech, you can still get value from your presentation. Post your presentation on SlideShare. If you have a video of it, post that on YouTube. Write a blog post about the event, and link to both the SlideShare and the video. Post the video on your Facebook page. You can also mention the presentation in your next newsletter, with a link to the blog post. Social media can help you get your public speech out there. It might go viral!

Public speaking is an excellent way of marketing a business. These experts have the capacity to motivate, entice and appeal to a wider audience, particularly if that audience is a company’s employees. Companies of all sizes and shapes should want to hire speakers to boost productivity and keep workers interested. Not everyone can master the art of public speaking, yet those who can have the ability to teach a lot of useful things to their audience.

By Jason Phillips and londonspeakerbureau.com