One of the hardest parts about marketing is establishing trust with people who haven’t bought from you before. If you learn how to present at events and conferences, it’s a great way to break the ice in a big way with potential clients and partners.
Getting up in front of a room full of people, talking about subject X and answering a few questions is one way to get customers and feedback in bulk. It sets you up as an expert on the subject and maybe even a few perks like free food, admission, and business contacts with other presenters.
If you feel you’re not successful or established enough to present to others, you’re not alone. This is called ‘imposter syndrome’ and it’s important to recognize. Most people haven’t presented, but many people have valid, helpful things to say. Don’t let that stop you from reaching out to event organizers with a topic you think would be helpful. Get feedback and add to your key points until it’s ready – then just remember, every good presenter has to start somewhere.
Good places to present
- Trade shows
- Local meetups
- Networking events
- Corporate events
- Co-op/association events
Create content out of your presentation
Get the most mileage out of your presentation by having someone record it live and then creating content. You’ve already done the hard part so make it known! Over time you’ll be recognized, making it easier to get your next presentation.
- Facebook Live video
- YouTube video
- Social posts of key takeaways
- Blog post
- Answer related questions on Quora/Reddit
Avoid relying too much on memorization
Memorizing is a common presentation technique, but it may not be the best one. When you memorize a speech, you start from point A and finish at point Z. If you are really good, you know everything in the middle and have a good rhythm when reciting it back. The issue is when you get distracted by something. You lose focus, you miss one word, then another. You try to go back. Um and Err start creeping in. Your words start coming faster and faster because you want to sit down and have everyone stop looking at you.
Know your list of the most important points
Instead of writing out your speech, make a list of the points you want to talk about. Know what you want to say in relation to each of them. Let them flow out naturally. Words that come out of a pen (keyboard) are different than when we talk. There is a different flow to them and we know it. When someone is up reading a paper or a memorized speech, we start to drift off. Let’s be honest, we become bored. Part of going to listen to someone speak is to be entertained as well as informed of something. When speakers show their passion, their conviction to a topic, it reflects on the listener and gets them excited.
Use vocal pauses and inflections
As we speak, we have natural pauses and inflections that allow the audience the think for a second, anticipate what you are going to say, or bring them back to you. How you speak is just as important as what you say.
Practise with people you know
How do you get to the point where you feel like you are ready to do this? Practise. Do it in front of your family and co-workers. Don’t take their critiques personally.
Get feedback online
Your next step is to start posting YouTube videos. Put out the links on LinkedIn and Facebook. As for feedback. You can also use this to show off for conventions you are targeting as well as your blog and potential customers. As you become more comfortable talking in front of the camera, you will become more comfortable talking in front of live people.
Relax and present like you’re talking to your friends
Now when you get on stage, you don’t need to worry about a memorized talk, you know the points you need to make. You can let your mind flow to conversations you had earlier in the day and personalize it to your audience. You can shorten or lengthen your talk without too much worry. You have gone through this talk several times already and are confident you can do this as well.
Reaching a wider audience
If you want to reach a wider audience, start a podcast or YouTube channel and get your knowledge out there for anyone to listen to. How to Grow you cleaning company, The Presentation Japan Series and The Brutal Truth about sales and selling are just a few of the dozen or more podcasts that will help anyone who is trying to sell.
- Ease: Tough
- Cost: Free
- Scope: Small
- Speed: Normal
- Reach: Local