How To Use Public Speaking As The #1 Growth Strategy For Your Business
I’ve been speaking from the stage for 25+ years. Public Speaking from the stage ignited a passion for teaching I never knew I had until I got onstage. Now I speak all over the world teaching and training coaches, other trainers and entrepreneurs. Public speaking has enriched my life both personally and financially.
So let me ask you, do you use public speaking as a growth strategy for your business? If not, why not?
Public speaking is one of the quickest ways to grow your business if you know where to start and the mistakes to avoid.
5 Types of Stages
There are five types of stages to be aware of:
- The Free Stage: this is the stage you usually start on as a public speaker. This is a great stage to ‘get your feet wet’ and learn how to speak successfully to a room full of people. You don’t get paid and you typically don’t get invited. The free stage is one you create yourself or it might be a community you join like Toastmasters International.
- Speak-to-Sell: The speak-to-sell stage is a little bit more of a professional environment. You get to make an offer and use your Call-To-Action on this stage. You also split any revenues from your offer with the meeting planner. Remember the term ‘meeting planner.’ The meeting planner is the person whose attention you want to get. This is how you get invited to speak on stages. Getting to know meeting planners is one of the steps you take in getting on bigger and bigger stages.
- Sponsored Stage: You pay a fee to be on this stage. The benefit of a stage like this is it’s usually a bigger audience than the first two and you get to make an offer from the stage. You also get to keep all the revenue you make from your offer. This can be a very lucrative stage if you have a great signature speech.
- Paid Keynote: This is a big boy stage. To get to this stage you need to be invited or you can request to be on this stage and you get paid by the meeting planner. Getting to this stage means someone has seen you, loves your presentation and wants you for their stage. You’ve hit the big time baby.
- Your Own Stage: this stage is the ultimate stage. You’ve proven yourself and now you’ve got the clout and money to create your own stage and invite interesting speakers. You’re the keynote address on this stage and of course, you keep all the revenue from your offer. Plus, you’re the meeting planner or you’ve hired a meeting planner so you’ve worked out deals with all the other speakers. This stage is lucrative and powerful because you’re in charge.
3 Common Mistakes Most Entrepreneurs Make On The Stage
1. You’re Not Using Speaking As A Growth Strategy
One of the ways entrepreneurs hurt themselves is by using public speaking as an episodic opportunity to get known rather than as a growth strategy to cultivate and build their list. Repairing this mistake is simply a matter of reframing your strategy. Start looking at speaking as a way to grow your business rather than as a way to be seen.
One of the ways you can use public speaking as a growth strategy is speaking alongside your competitors. Yes, competitors. If you’re part of a trade association you can pay to speak in one of the breakout rooms at the next trade association meeting.
Preparing for the speech is the easiest part. Getting on stage is much more difficult and if you don’t speak as a growth strategy the growth of your business is that much more difficult and slow.
My friend and mentor, Dr. Robert Cialdini, has a book called, Pre-Suasion: A Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persuade . If you’re a speaker, this book is a must read because he describes lots of strategies to use while speaking.
One of these is called privileged moments. A privileged moment is the moment just before seeding your CTA or offer. We call that a pre-suasive moment. It’s the moment before seeding and it’s very powerful for an audience. If you don’t take advantage of that moment or you don’t recognize it, then you miss an opportunity to enhance your offer What Dr. Cialdini teaches is how to recognize these moments when you are speaking. These are moments of power where you can pre-suade and seed your audience into buying. If you speak at trade associations (or any stage where you’re allowed to present an offer) recognizing these pre-suasive moments will create greater profit along with greater visibility.
2. You’re Only Using One Type of Stage
Another big mistake entrepreneurs make is they don’t aspire to more than one stage. That’s the mistake I made. I would only get on the speak-to-sell stage or sometimes I would Emcee. People get comfortable in their ruts. But when you limit yourself you limit your business’s potential for growth.
If you decide to make speaking your #1 growth strategy and look for every stage you speak on think of the possibilities for getting your message out in the marketplace?
You need several things to feel confident enough to do this:
- A great speech
- A great offer
- Knowing how to seed
- Speaking to your target market or niche
If you have those elements in place then you can do the hard work of getting on stage. It takes legwork to find meetings that are right for your business. Then you have to find the meeting planners and stay in contact with them until they ask you to their stage. Sometimes you have to be a pest.
You have to stick with it. But once you break onto the right stages you can command high revenues that will only go up the more you speak.
Russell Brunson made three and a half million dollars from one stage. Imagine making $50,000. Imagine making $10,000. How about $5,000 for the day? Wouldn’t that be cool? You can do that if you have a great offer.
3. Not Asking To Be An Emcee
The third mistake is not aiming for being an Emcee if you’re not a speaker. You can do this even if it’s not in your industry or your niche market. Many people see Emceeing as being beneath them but this is a mistake. Emceeing can be great exposure to people who’ve never heard of you.
I can’t get any higher in some senses in the industry I’m in: digital marketing. I know the top people. I’m respected by the top people. I’m blessed that that’s the case. I’ve had ups and downs like anybody but I’ve been speaking to my niche since 1995.
Now Personal Development is not my area of expertise. And recently I wrote a book, Alexisms: Useful Life Lessons from A Recovering Serial Entrepreneur . So I decided to start emceeing for my good friend Jack Canfield and it exposed me to a whole new audience. I could have said, “I’m not going to emcee to get my book out there. I can’t be seen on a stage introducing someone else !”
That would’ve been a huge mistake. So consider Emceeing as part of your growth strategy.
Right now I’m reading another book called The CEO’s Mindset by Vinnie Fisher. I’ll probably read it 3 or 4 times. Why am I doing that? Because I want to get on the stages that those CEOs in the book are on. I want to learn about their missions so I can reach out and ask them for their assistance to get on their stages. I want to be an emcee for these people and by knowing their work I’ll make these people look good.
I like to call the emcee the Energy Manager. You can meet a lot of influential people and thought leaders through emceeing. You also get the opportunity to expose your message to different audiences and markets. So be open to speaking on all kinds of stages in every capacity. The payoff will be lucrative.
So What Are You Afraid Of?
Yes you have to have a signature speech. Yes you have to have a great offer. And yes you have to know how seed an audience no matter what kind of stage you’re on. That’s the easy part.
The hard part is having the courage and persistence to get on stage. So let me ask you point blank:
Are you afraid of public speaking?
Many people are and you might be one of them. Barring any phobia-driven issues let me share with you a fact about your business:
A website will attract 1 in 100 people to your opt-in page. A stage will attract 2 out of 10 people to buy something from you and 5 out of 10 people will opt-in to your list.
By not taking advantage of public speaking you’re leaving thousands, potentially millions, of dollars on the table. By not making public speaking a part of your growth strategy you’re not really running your business properly.
The only reason you’re in business is to make money. If it’s for any other reason then shut down your business and continue your hobby. But if you have the courage to make speaking your #1 growth strategy…
Do It Now.
If you don’t have the courage, if you’re letting fear hold you back from the life and financial freedom you deserve check out my post How To Overcome Fear: Why Scary Work Pays Well. In that post I teach you a wonderful technique for overcoming any fear standing in the way of your dreams.
If you’re ready to get serious about public speaking, These persuasive sentences will help you plant seeds, and close even more sales from your speaking engagements. Knowing how to seed an audience is one of the qualities of a lucrative stage. Use the resources in this post, Toastmasters, Dr. Cialdini’s book Pre-Suasion and the set of seeding templates I use every time I’m on stage.
These resources will help you create and hone your signature speech and a great offer and teach you how to seed an audience properly.
The Wrap Up
Don’t sell yourself or your business short. Don’t let fear stand in the way of your success and financial freedom. If you’ve never thought about it before, think about it now. Speaking from the stage is lucrative, empowering and fulfilling. And it will take your business to the levels it needs to go to grow and thrive. Every business needs this chance and you deserve this opportunity.
Have you sold from stage even though you’ve been afraid? Good, bad, or ugly… let us know what happened by leaving a comment below.