The reasons for public speaking are many and varied. Valedictorians deliver graduation speeches. Politicians address audiences for their votes. Best men toast grooms. College students are required to give speeches as part of their communications courses. The list goes on and on. Some of these types of speaking engagements are informative; others are persuasive in nature. |
Those who seek a career in public speaking give presentations in order to sell something. These types of presentations are most definitely persuasive.
So how do you move your audience to take action without being overbearing?
The answer is actually quite simple: provide proof of what you say. It is actually one of the easier types of persuasive presentations to give because of the proof. Political candidates will promise change, for example, but once elected, they may fail to fulfill on that promise. In the public speaking profession, your proof is in your experience, your expertise, and your client testimonials. Add integrity and a passion to solve your audience’s problem, and you have a recipe that sells.
As a public speaker, you are always selling yourself and your services even if you are not being paid in the beginning of your career. Once established, however, you will most likely have a book, a CD, DVD, or some other type of product. You will find that ‘product’ much easier to sell if you can satisfy the needs of your audience.
As a voice coach, I talk to numerous groups about the benefits of voice training. I first explain the need and then I provide the solution. By giving anecdotes about the success of my clients, by describing the additional benefits to be gained, and, by explaining how training will solve their ‘voice’ problems, I am providing the answers they are seeking without being aggressive or overbearing.
When I speak, I do not talk about my workshops or DVDs until I am finished presenting. Because I have discussed the problem and demonstrated the answer, I am much more likely to sell following the presentation than if I talk about my products throughout my delivery. This is so important. Your audience does not want to ‘be sold’ – they want you to solve their problem. Then they will be more likely to buy.
It is also important to recognize that you will not sell to everyone. No matter how great your material, your product, and your delivery skills, no matter how sincere and dedicated you are, there are only so many people who will buy on the spot. Be realistic in your goals. Solve their problems and they will solve yours.
The Voice Lady Nancy Daniels offers private, corporate and group workshops in voice and presentation skills as well as Voicing It!, the only video training program on voice improvement. To get started improving your presentation skills, click Voice Training and Presentation Skills for Nancy's free ebook.
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