Marketing Expert: Lori Lyons
For many of us, just the very thought of getting on a stage can make the butterflies start and our throats close.
It’s so scary that over 47% of people IN THE WORLD would rather literally die than speak in public! In addition, if you are one of these people and you are a business owner, is it worth the time, patience and butterflies to learn to speak in public?
“Speaking opportunities can be found across the globe or right in your own backyard.”
Absolutely, The Power Of Your Voice!
Event planners tell us that there are over 7000 stages that need speakers every day and that number is growing. As the world shrunk and went virtual – well – virtually overnight, the opportunities for speakers became even greater. Similarly, speaking opportunities can be found across the globe or right in your own backyard.
There’s Always A First Time:
My first time in front of an audience was in front of my Junior high school class. I was running for Senior Class President and had the advantage of being the incumbent. (In full transparency – I was the incumbent because no one else ran for President of our Junior year – no one else wanted to plan the Junior-Senior Prom!)
This year, my opponent was the star of the football team, voted most handsome, and the Mr. Junior Year of our class- you get the picture – Mr Dreamy! I was doomed – or so I thought. However, Mr. Star Football player had failed to take into account some basic principles of speaking.
1 – Brand Yourself With Your Voice:
To this day I still cringe, but my brand was “Let Lori.” My mom and I spent hours cutting out hundreds of buttons from yellow poster boards to hand out to classmates – all saying “Let Lori.” If I recall correctly, I even wore a yellow dress for the class meeting where we presented our speeches. So I had the visual part of the brand down! (Plus a straw hat with a band around the brim that said Let Lori… I cringe to this day!)
2 – What Is Your Message?
Even though we were high schoolers my classmates still knew a good message when they heard it! They knew when one of us had prepared and practiced and didn’t just “wing it.” They knew which one of us was offering solutions that made sense to the earth-shattering problems we all thought we had at sixteen. In conclusion, my message included the organization of the activities that came with a senior year including the importance of planning our graduation. The message was focused and the promise of communication and a great year was highlighted. My football star opponent was confident he’d win on his very good-looking looks and impromptu speech. That’s the power of my voice.
I won by a landslide.
“Remember – social media is the soundbite but your website tells the full story.”
3 – How Do You Present Online?
The first thing those in charge of hiring will do is google you. Ideally, your website and your social media profiles – particularly your LinkedIn profile will show well. Do you have a website or a speaker page on your website you can send people to? Does your social media support your speaking business and message? Does your LinkedIn profile present you as a speaker and talk about your speaking business? Is your brand consistent across all the mediums?
Remember – social media is the soundbite but your website tells the full story. Moreover, social media should drive prospects – or in this case event planners – to your website. (You can read more about this strategy in my social media article.)
“In this case, experience is speaking experience.”
A Perfect Place:
Social media is the perfect place to hit some of your talking points and expand on them. Your website or speaker page on your website is the perfect repository for your promotional material, your speaking topics and your testimonials.
Make sure your tools are solid – primarily your speaker one sheet and your sizzle reel (video segments of yourself speaking put together to showcase yourself, your message and your speaking ability. Google speaker sizzle reel for examples.)
You know the old dilemma “how can I get experience if everyone wants experience?” In this case, experience is speaking experience. If you are a new speaker starting out, look for opportunities to speak in front of people and have someone record this. This is the power of your voice. There are several simple ways to make this happen:
- Networking Events – At many networking events, participants are invited to present a 1 minute pitch – have someone record this for you on your phone.
- Zoom meetings – if you are presenting, arrange ahead of time to ask the host if you may record your segment. As so many events are now virtual – this is a great opportunity to record yourself speaking. As you prepare, think in soundbites.
- Podcast interviews – you can actually record yourself being interviewed on a podcast, or if the host is recording, ask for a copy. Many podcasts are now doing audio and video.
- Virtual Summits – these are typically “pay to play” meaning there is a cost to being on a summit, however, these are great ways to get experience and the bonus is you can build your “list” while you are at it.
- Real stages – yes – they are coming back and they are out there! Googling speaking opportunities and the location will provide a place to start.
Showcase Your Skills:
Once you have samples of yourself speaking, snippets of these can be edited into a video that showcases your skills. They only have to be 60-90 seconds long if you are just starting out and can be expanded later as you have more video.
I challenge you to incorporate speaking into your marketing strategy. I’m offering all Kuellife readers my Ultimate Speaker Checklist – 3 Keys to Getting Bigger Stages and Make More Money. If you would like a copy, feel free to click here!
About the Author:
Lori is America’s Midlife Marketing Maven helping GenXBoomers take the frustration and mystery out of marketing their businesses. She owns a digital marketing agency, Igniting Your Business and specializes in website design, branding and marketing strategy. She loves teaching Encore Entrepreneurs how to grow their businesses so they can concentrate on following THEIR passions and THEIR clients. Lori thinks there is nothing better than seeing someone’s eyes light up when they “get it” and then they take it and make money, easily and simply and without the stress they had before.
Lori will be launching her podcast, The Encore Entrepreneur Podcast this summer where she will be interviewing entrepreneurs and talking about how they market their businesses and the tools and techniques they use. She lives in Atlanta with her husband of almost 30 years and helps her 22-year-old entrepreneur son with his marketing. She is a sports fanatic and loves her Atlanta Braves baseball!