Make points, friends and profits with this often forgotten tool
You have been invited to speak at an industry or community event and you are declining the invitation … again. Well, you might change your mind once you understand how public speaking can build your company’s brand, credibility and sales.
Perhaps you aren’t comfortable addressing large groups or maybe you view these events as a waste of time. If so, you are missing out on profitable opportunities to network and grow your business. With help from PR, you can learn why they are important and how to use them to your advantage.
How public speaking can affect your brand
Your brand consists of those elements of your business that set you apart from the rest. Having a strong brand management strategy can give your company direction and build consumer loyalty. Public speaking should be one component of your strategy. It can:
Get you in front of your target audiences. Whether your goal is to affect change in your industry, attract the best talent or boost your market share, those you need to reach must see and hear you. Speaking at public events can get you the undivided attention of job prospects, customers and other leaders in your field.
Keep your brand in the spotlight. Studies show that it now takes more than 20 touch points to move consumers through the sales funnel. Seeing your CEO speak at events or reading news stories about your company can keep you front and center in their minds. Then, when they reach the decision stage, your company will be at the top of their list.
Help spread your message. These days, it’s easy for consumers, journalists and industry stakeholders to miss your messages. Now that people can choose exactly what they want to see and hear (and skip over), it’s more difficult than ever to capture their attention. The more communication vehicles you use – like appearances in the news, public speaking, a strong social media presence, etc. – the better your chances that your target audiences will hear your messages. Additionally, research proves that most people process visuals (like seeing you standing at a podium) faster than text (such as advertisements).
Maximize your outreach efforts. You can use a single speech in numerous ways. For example, you could put an inspiring speech on your website as a video, break it up into chunks for a series of posts on your social media channels, invite feedback, publicize it before and after and upload it to YouTube.
Promote your company as a leader in your field. Giving speeches where you share your expertise and vision can help your company and/or CEO earn positioning as an industry leader. When consumers and key decision makers see that you have knowledge to share beyond just your product features, it will help you demonstrate value and encourage trust.
If it’s your first time at the mic, you may want to start small. Look for community groups and schools or volunteer to moderate a panel instead of serving as an actual speaker.
Of course, you could always create your own event. Determine what your company does better than others and design an event around it. This doesn’t have to be a huge, multi-day exhibition; you can start with a small workshop or even an online gathering.
Hire the right PR firm to help you. At Axia Public Relations, we will help you get booked for public speaking events that will bring you profits. Contact us today or download our free Maximizing Your Public Relations Investment e-book for more information on how we can help you use public speaking to increase your visibility and profits.
Lisa Goldsberry is a writer for Axia Public Relations with more than 15 years of public relations experience. She specializes in business, higher education and technology PR. Connect with Axia Public Relations on Twitter @axiapr.
Featured image credit: Creative Commons