Why improve your speaking skills when you can sit behind a computer?
Have you ever promised yourself “this is the year I become more visible”, to get out there etc. (if you’re in business or wanting to be for yourself) or even “We need more brand awareness”. Any of those questions tend to spark a flurry of activity. However, most of that is on social media these days. We begin to blog more (ahem… me too) or attend a few networking events to see how the land lies out there. Most of the activity though can be misplaced if your skills at conveying your message are lacking, confusing or you find you even bore yourself or waffle saying the same thing over and over.
Without a shadow of doubt any sales at the start of your business journey or as you sell higher end will involve a conversation either on the phone or in front of people. Even emails back and forth will need to at some point converge in a call.
If you are considering pitching for tenders or networking in any way, then the ability to confidently speak in front of a group of people could be your fastest path to cash, because with a clear message and stage presence you will be noticed and that often then leads to those all important conversations.
What about all of those Facebook lives you’ve promised you would do? Video is completely different to live presenting if you haven’t discovered that yet.
So in the first blog of January 18, here are 3 big “why’s” as well as some action steps (so simple they make breathing look complicated) to do this month and most important. Monitor the results so you know what works.
The first and bar far the most immediate stumbling block for people is a concise and clear message. That goes even more more the online world where we don’t know you unless you already have a good track record (online of course). Now just because I say clear and concise doesn’t mean you can come up with it in 2 mins. Getting to the heart of your message is like refining pure gold; one has to sift through all the muck and impurities before the real thing starts to get revealed.
Your immediate problem is the age old metaphor “A confused mind never buys”. Given waffle, a vague outcome, (like more happiness) and confusion or a shopping list of your process you will have to talk a more convincing talk around the houses (i’ve been there) to finally reach the gold that ignites the spark in someone else to find out more. People buy people, but they buy into results more.
Ask yourself and your customers afresh what results they want and begin to define your language around that, not what you think they want.
Make sure you also define your own personal mission statement and include it into the mix. When people don’t sense a link of purpose in what they are doing they simply don’t feel authentic. What is your personal stand in life? What’s important to you? What’s important then to your business in line with this? What’s important to your potential customers?
Play the “Is that true, is that really true?” game. Call a number on yourself. Don’t accept waffle or “corporate” speak. Be truthful in what you are saying because standing out from the crowd truthfully is the only game in town.
Credibility equals influence. Well, it actually equals the right to influence. Someone has trusted you enough to speak into their world in some capacity. If you are reading this far, thank you as you have been influenced somehow enough to get to this point.
Credibility means that you stay top of mind in referrals and acts like a magnet drawing opportunities to you. Interestingly speaking with passion and purpose (that’s why the above actions are more important than many people realise) adds to your credibility. We are all drawn towards a beacon of light shining and speaking out leading the way. Saying the same thing in the same way will bore you as much as others.
We all want someone with passion, presence and purpose on our team or in our corner or delivering a service to them because passion is an indicator (a KPI) of how much pride and effort you put into your work.
Relight your fire (Take That!) and look with fresh eyes at how you can serve your existing customers better. What about your work are you most passionate about? What results have most surprised you and your customers? Where are you not taking pride in your work?
Ask a few of your loyal customers what they find credible about you and where you could do better? I know that’s what Talking Skills are about, conversations that count. We all have blind spots and it’s easier to get some feedback than it is you stumble on turning the world off to you than on.
Take on a new opportunity to increase your influence. Credibility follows that kind of visibility. Yes you will have to show up (that’s why I say just 1 at a time) but you will be in better position to engage with the world in a new way than before.
Did you know that the world of the generous gets larger? If you come from the position that the generous get trod on, that it’s a dog eat dog world out there and that you don’t mind contributing as long as you can ensure you get something back, then you will get back from others exactly the same as the eyes you see with. “You are what you see” (Syd Banks).
There is much self- help talk/ books etc ranging from the law of attraction to business books like “go-givver”. Much of that actually still comes from a give-to-get mentality, just flowered up under another name. Contribution comes from a different space entirely.
Contribution gives because it’s a part of who you are, your core stand in life and your work, your soap-box of meaning and it has its own reward. If your heart just sank at the thought of contribution without gain, then that’s ok, you are operating under a simple misunderstanding of how Life works. If you have ever had a bit of serendipity occur in your life, and as Steve Jobs said, joined the dots backwards (we can’t join them forwards, that’s called worry, over planning and anxiety) then you will have noticed that Life itself opened up to you in strange and unique ways.
For example, I ended up with a contract to work with a government body of civil servants that first began with a innocuous post on a small women’s forum offering a 90 minute vocal makeover to work on someone’s speaking voice – (That’s still available by the way:) I could never have seen from my contribution to that Facebook group of local women where it would lead. It might have only led to working with that woman, but the contribution I made to her, led onto an ever-giving opportunity currently.
Know that those bigger opportunities to contribute start with the small ones? What’s been bugging you to contribute to that you have been sitting on the sidelines of?
Whenever we land a job, a client or a contract that “sale” is an opportunity to contribute to the life and work of another. Value it and your world will get larger.
Contribution is the secret sauce that keeps you fulfilled in your life and work as well. What contribution (no strings attached) are you willing to take on this month. I wonder what that opens up for you that you could not know about until you do it?
Work with us:
For more Info on 90 min Vocal Makeovers and speaker training
To get on the waiting list for our Master the Message or Stage skills for the presenter workshop days email firstname.lastname@example.org
To talk to us about a free Lunch ‘n’ Learn for your organisation
By working with us to find your voice and master your message you create conversations that count and engage fully with the world around you.