While there are many ways to market your personal training business and establish yourself as an expert, public speaking is one of the most effective. But does the thought of public speaking make you want to run for cover? If so, don’t worry – there are many low-risk options to gain practice and allow you to spread your message with clarity and confidence.
Why You Should Try Public Speaking
Public speaking is an incredibly valuable form of marketing because it allows those who are attending to see the real you. Traditional print and media advertising lacks an integral component – your personality! Sure, you can infuse the words with your tone and style, but nothing compares to connecting with your audience and potential clients face-to-face.
It’s also an effective way to grow your audience. Different people like to consume different types of content; some prefer online interactions, whereas others prefer in-person events. While you may find some of your online community attends your local events, you’ll probably also see some new and unfamiliar faces sitting in the audience. Posting flyers in the area and spreading the word amongst your local network is a great way to share your expertise with new people.
Speaking of expertise, as the speaker of an event, you will immediately be seen as an expert in the eyes of the attendees. It’s human nature to assume the person standing in front of us teaching us a concept is an expert within their field – which you are! This is your time to show how much you know, and communicate it in a way that’s aligned with your unique personality.
However, you don’t have to know every single thing about every topic within the domain you’re discussing. Narrowing down your talk to a few key concepts you are comfortable with and passionate about can help alleviate those feelings of Imposter Syndrome.
Public speaking may also end up as another stream of income for you. While most of the speaking opportunities you’ll encounter early on will be without pay, as you build your experience and become well-known in your field, you will be able to charge a premium for speaking at others’ events. You could also organize the events yourself and charge an entrance fee, but keep in mind that revenue you earn will be covering both the time spent organizing the event and hosting it.
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How to Start Speaking at Events
The most important tip is to not give into the fear of public speaking. It’s normal to feel nervous and to have those pre-speech jitters. Even those who are well-versed in the public speaking community still get nervous. What’s essential is that you don’t allow that fear to prevent you from getting started.
Find a local Toastmasters group in your community for a safe space to practice crafting your style. These non-profit groups are supportive and encouraging and will hold you accountable in your pursuit of putting yourself out there. If you can’t find a Toastmasters group, consider starting a small group with your colleagues and practice delivering speeches in front of one another at regular intervals.
You can also use live streaming platforms such as Facebook Live, Instagram Live, or YouTube Live to practice speaking to an audience in a low-stakes format. Some people find it easier to deliver a talk when they don’t have an audience looking back at them, and in the worst case scenario, you can always delete your video later if you were unhappy with it. Instagram doesn’t give you that option but removes the video 24 hours after the broadcast anyway.
When deciding what to talk about, a great starting point is to think about 2-4 topics you’re incredibly passionate about that align with your business. Pick at least three key concepts within each topic, and brainstorm some bullet point notes to go with each concept. This is essentially the outline of your speech. If you create three or four outlines, consider narrowing them down to two, so you’ve got two signature talks you can choose from. These will be talks you can easily deliver to various groups that only require a couple of tweaks made to match the purpose of the group.
The next step is to begin contacting groups! Look on Meetup, search for professional organizations, corporate groups, or even local networking groups that you feel would benefit from what you have to share. Let the group contact know what your talk will be about and why you feel it would benefit the attendees. It may take some time to gain traction, but stay persistent – your efforts will pay off.
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How to Capitalize On Your Efforts
Building your audience and establishing yourself as an expert is great, but how can you turn attendees into clients? Public speaking is an excellent way to bring new leads into your business if you have the right strategy in place. Attendees have already shown an interest in what you have to offer, so now it’s time to entice them to learn about how they could get more support from you.
Make sure your talk is the first and not the last point in your relationship. Consider offering a free document or resource that complements your talk, which attendees can receive in exchange for providing their email address. You could simply subscribe them to your newsletter and sprinkle in the occasional promotional email, or you could craft a follow-up sequence with an offer tailored specifically to the event attendees. Make sure you comply with anti-spam laws, and let attendees know they’ll be subscribed to your mailing list when they give you their information.
You could also offer a complimentary consultation or coaching call to attendees as a thank you for their time. Be ready to book those calls on the spot, because the longer you wait to follow-up, the more time they have to forget about how you made them feel.
In a digital world such as ours, people crave personal connections. What better way to show potential clients and members of your community how you can help them than by telling them face-to-face? The idea of standing and speaking in front of a group might seem scary, but you’ll be setting yourself far ahead of those too afraid to do it themselves.
Make a commitment to yourself this week to begin brainstorming topics you feel comfortable speaking about then find some groups to begin pitching your ideas to.