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How speaking can grow your audience and boost your business

In today’s episode of the podcast I talk all about speaking and the impact it can have on your business. I tell you how I got into speaking and how it has changed me and my business.

 

KEY TAKEAWAYS COVERED IN THE PODCAST

 

  • Start small – this allows you to work out your style and how you like to present. It also helps you to get comfortable with it!
  • The more you do – the better you get!
  • Speaking can put you in front of HUGE audiences which in turn gets your business out there, build your email list and increases your know, like and trust – you are seen as an expert!
  • Speaking allows you to share your story and can inspire others.
  • Speaking also gives you the opportunity to meet and connect with new people.
  • Becoming a confident speaker also helps for online or in person training, interviews, podcasts and working with other businesses.
  • Many speaking gigs are unpaid – especially conferences.
  • The speaking world is not as diverse as it could be.
  • Smaller talks are good for getting business, bugger talks are good for growing your audience.
  • Know your subject and be able to talk about your subject for 20 minutes without notes.
  • Start with practical talks – 5 ways to etc…
  • We are all human – you may mess up, you may not know an answer.
  • Don’t worry about your ‘ums’ and ‘ahs’.
  • Scared? Write down all the possible things that could go wrong and then write down what you would do about it if it did. This helps to get over the fear.
  • Speaking is not for everyone. It is not about how much knowledge you have – it is about how you put it across.
  • You need to engage the audience so they take in what you say.

 

THE ONE THING YOU NEED TO REMEMBER ABOVE ALL ELSE…

Don’t try and be anyone else, they are already taken. You need to be authentically you.

HIGHLIGHTS YOU SIMPLY CAN’T MISS

 

  • How I got into speaking 03:03
  • The impact of speaking on my business 08:15
  • The truths about speaking 11:49
  • How to get started with speaking 12:20

 

Transcript

 

Hello and welcome to this week's episode of the podcast. How are things? So I'm recording this on a weekend. I don't normally work. That's absolute rubbish. I was about to say, I don't normally work weekends.

 

 

I do. I often work on a weekend, but I don't normally do something like this on a weekend, but I have had a slightly unusual weekend and the fact that I've been completely on my own, which is very unusual in a house that's normally quite busy, but my husband is away with work in Seattle. And my lovely daughter was meant to be here with me this weekend for her birthday and her dad's got COVID and I couldn't risk getting it before my in-person event.

 

 

So she's had to stay with him, which is a real gutter, but unfortunately is part of the world we are in today. So, as I just mentioned, I'm recording this the week before I have three events, two online. Well, it's kind of the same one online, but next level get an extra day. So next level get a day of SOAR my online event.

 

 

And then everyone gets the next SOAR day. And then I do my VIP business retreat, which I am so excited about. And it wasn't until I find out that my ex-husband has got COVID that I thought, Oh wow. Now I can't get COVID because if I can't run this event, well, it would spell disaster in many, many ways.

 

 

Financially, emotionally, cause I've been so excited about it. Uh, so I'm heading away in my home on my own. I'm doing a of work on a weekend as there's no one here. So weirdly considering I've got all these events next week and the week before recording this, I did another in-person event, but it wasn't mine. It was someone else's.

 

 

I'm going to talk about speaking, now the reason I'm going to talk about speaking is because it has done so much for me and my business. And you might be sat there thinking maybe, maybe not, you know, I might or might not want to do it, but I just thought let's have a chat about it. Let me tell you and share my story about how I got into it and what it's done for me and that sort of thing.

 

 

So I've all the phobias, you know, that speaking is considered the highest. Seriously. People are very, very fearful of it. In fact, people fear death and end of life less, which is crazy. So why is it that I decided that I wanted to become a speaker and how has that changed me and my business. You obviously know, or you might know by now that I never actually intended on being a business owner at all.

 

 

I was employed and I was very good at what I did. I did marketing, I did it all my life, and I decided that when my life changed a bit and I ended up becoming a single parent that I joke that I have nearly midlife crisis very early. And basically decided I was going to give it my job, but I was going to get another job.

 

 

And I was very good at what I did, who would want to employ me anyway, long story short, uh, cause you've probably heard this before. No job was coming because I realized that I was on quite good money for where I lived. And I had to think again, because I'd already was in my notice and I decided to set up my own business thinking, well, I've just bought in X amount of money for this business I've worked for. Surely I can do that for myself. Not thinking about all the other things that you have to do as a business owner, just thinking, I'm sure I can do that. So I started my business and like, you know, when you, when you start your business, you have this thought in your head. Or I guess if you'd asked me, I would have thought this, that as, you know, being a business owner, you get to manage your own time.

 

 

You're your own boss. Obviously I have a daughter, so, you know, I could manage it around here. I could do the school run and it would just be lovely, obviously, because, you know, I was my own boss. But it doesn't quite work out like that. Does it? You, you go into it thinking that's the case. And then suddenly you end up like finding.

 

 

You work more hours than you've ever worked before. You're juggling more things. Your brain is more distracted. So I probably was a worst parent than I was previously. And also I started building the business, doing an agency. I was an agency. We did stuff for clients and I started putting myself out there as an expert in order to get people for the agency. So I would pitch myself to anyone that would have me. Now, like I said, some people don't want to do this and they might not think, but to even think about doing this, but for me in the early days, it was really, it was really a case of just getting clients.

 

 

Because if you're the person stood at a network breakfast doing a talk on social media or marketing or whatever it is that you're an expert at, then who are they going to come to when they need an expert, they'll come to you. And also it's the fact that you've basically, I was going to say, get to pitch yourself for like an hour.

 

 

You don't really get to pitch yourself, but you are pitching yourself by talking and showing that you know what you're talking about. So, like I said, I started small. I remember speaking to some mums and a play barn, about four of them, I did the tiniest, smallest events you've ever seen. And it was, you know, and it was good because I was getting clients and people coming to me.

 

 

But also the reason you start small is because you can work at what your style is. You can work out how you like to present, and then also start to get comfortable. I've I know people that want to speak and they want to go straight for the big stuff. Well, if I'd gone straight to the big stuff, I would've been absolutely horrendous, like all the mistakes and all the probably terrible ways I was when I just got started, I would have done a big stages.

 

 

Not only what I've done it in front of more people, but out of room of chances, so start small. And like I said, it really worked. I was getting noticed and I was getting business. And then I found the online world, like I said, the whole point of me speaking initially was purely for getting clients. And I started watching the likes of Marie Smith, Amy Poterfield.

 

 

I really liked it. I really liked the fact that they got to sit in their office and they got to speak to people from around the world. I remember being on one of my first webinars and Marie shout my name out, it couldn't be more excited. And although I'd built myself out as knowing what I was talking about, I wanted to take it further.

 

 

And I wanted to see whether there was any chance that I could have a bit of the online thing that they had had. So I decided to step out of my comfort zone and decided to put myself on bigger audiences and bigger stages and decided to start to really take the speaking thing seriously, becoming a speaker rather than just someone who spoke at events.

 

 

And the more I did the better I got, like, I got more confident. I was more willing to put myself out there. I was willing to ask for, to go on bigger stages. So it was like every time someone went ‘Yes Please' or ‘Yes, happy for you to talk.' They then encouraged me to try again and try and go somewhere else and don't get me wrong.

 

 

I got nos. And I remember one of the first no’s I got of someone I knew and they were putting on an event. And at this point I was a speaker. I remember taking that no really personally thinking, why don't they want me? They don't think I'm good enough. And it was nothing of the saw it was to do with the fact that I didn't meet the profile.

 

 

As in you needed to have something specifically or be part of something. Oh, that was it. You had to have a membership and I didn't have a membership. I was able to help set up other people's memberships and market them and launch them. But I hadn't got my own, which is why I wasn't considered for speaking. Anyway.

 

 

So like I said, I started speaking all the time, getting on bigger stages and it did so much for me and my business. More than maybe you might think, well, the first thing I need to say is that I love it. Right. And I remember someone wants telling me that, you know, speaking doesn't make you money. So, you know, they said to me, they're not going to do it anymore.

 

 

And neither should I, and I was like ‘But I love speaking. I love standing on stage.' And it meant that I get in front of big audiences. I did an online event during lockdown that was streamed to 104 countries and had over 500,000 attendees. Like what the hell man. So, yeah, I've got to speak to big audiences. I got to build my email list.

 

 

So I've done lots of summits. I've done lots of standing on stage speaking and people opt into my list. If I offer them something as a lead magnet, which again is really great. It built my know like, and trust factor. I became an expert because of the fact of standing on stage because in people's heads, the people who stand on stages are the experts.

 

 

Now not the only expert, obviously there's lots of them. But they saw me as that, which was great. Uh, it grew my business. So doing, this is one thing that was really interesting, actually. So when I was doing the small talks, it was getting me clients. When I start to step up to the bigger talks, it didn't get me clients.

 

 

And it was almost like. Because you're talking to bigger audiences on bigger stages. It's almost like they expect that you're not, yeah, that maybe you're too expensive or you're not as available. I'm not entirely sure, but yeah, it definitely the biggest stages didn't help me get clients. However, by this point I've gotten online business and it helped huge for that.

 

 

So you might think, well, you know, I don't want to speak on stage though. You know, this isn't something that I want to do. Even knowing that I still think some of these tips and things I've got can actually help in terms of generally or business and why you should at least consider speaking of some sort.

 

 

And I don't mean getting on stages that are big and huge. I might mean just doing a training to a small group of people, or just be willing to do a 20 minute insight thing on a zoom call or whatever. Um, and when I say speaking, that's presenting, that is basically you talking to people. It's gets you seen, it makes you an authority.

 

 

It can build your list. You get to share your story. So people, that's really nice actually, the first lot of talks I used to do was always really practical talks. Like this is how to use Instagram, or this is how to do this thing. And now I get to talk more about my story, which I really like. It inspires others.

 

 

It makes you sought after, like I said, it builds that know like, and trust. And you know what the best thing is, you get to meet different people. Like you get to. Like I, some of the relationships I've built up, I could only have built up by the fact that I was either speaking or the, I was at the actual event, whether I'm speaking or not.

 

 

So, so yeah, so for me it did loads and there are other areas where becoming a confident speaker will help. So when you're doing online training or in-person training, Or if you're asking a business for business, for business, for business, for business, if you're asking someone for business, if you're going on a podcast or getting interviewed.

 

 

So all of these kinds of things will help in terms of developing who you are and, and that sort of thing. So, like I said, when I talk about being a speaker, it's not just about speaking on a stage. So truth though, about being a speaker. If you do want to be a speaker in my world, in the online space and the marketing world and marketing conferences rarely pay.

 

 

So if I go and speak at marketing conference, I rarely get paid. The other truth is speaking. The world is not as diverse as it should be. There are not enough people who are not white males speaking. So often I can find myself on a panel or on a stage like I did just last week where I'm the only female and there is no one of color.

 

 

And like I said, the other truth is that smaller sorts of good for getting business, bigger talks, a good audience. So if you want to get started, if you want to start building your confidence with kind of going out there and speaking to the world, whether it's on a stage or whether it's just to help you with podcast interviews or whatever.

 

 

Start small. Don't go pitching to the big stuff straight away. Cause you'll be sorry that you did because you've missed that one opportunity to be brilliant. So do tiny talks, anyone that will listen, do online events, Facebook groups, schools, small businesses, anywhere that you can speak. Just try, just give it a go.

 

 

Don't try and be someone else they are already taken. So. You need to be completely authentically you. Now, for instance, let's take someone like Jasmine Star. I love how she speaks. She's a great speaker. I love how sassy she is. I love the way she talks. If I was to start talking like that, I would sound prize idiot.

 

 

Literally like a prize idiot. I can't be anybody else, but myself. The thing you have to do is you have to know your subject. Now I was talking to someone weirdly just last week about this, about, you know, you could say to me, right, you've got 10 minutes and he's stand, that stand on that stage and talk for an hour about Burr.

 

 

One of my things I talk about, and I could with ease because I know what I'm talking about. So if it makes you feel more confident, you know, it will make you feel more confident, but it doesn't have to be the be-all and end-all. In terms of like, it's not like you need to know everything about your subjects, but you do need to know that you can talk about your subjects for 20 minutes without notes and nonstop.

 

 

Do you know what I mean? Like if I said to you, tell me about what you do. If you could talk at me for 20 minutes, then that's a good place to start. Start with practical talks. Like I said, in the early days, mine were all practical, it was like five ways to get more followers or things you should be doing on social media now, or how to build a list.

 

 

And the reason I say not to go straight in with like the motivational speaker stuff is cause it's hard. Like practical stuff is far easier trying to be inspirational is, is not easy. If I'm speaking, I use slides to help me stay on track, but I don't put stuff on loads of stuff on them. They tend to literally just be like a few lines and it helps me then think what it is that I've then got to say next.

 

 

But yeah, so I always use slides. And then don't worry about being human. We all are as irritating as it is. We are. So you may mess up, you may get asked a question that you don't know, uh, someone in the audience might know more than you, but you need to remember you're just adding your voice and your thoughts to the subject.

 

 

Also, don't worry about your ‘ummss' and ‘ahhs'. I talk too fast. I get told I talk too fast. It's just the way I speak. Although as Jasmine Star says, I don't talk fast. You listen slow. So you, aren't going to be scared. If you're thinking about putting yourself out there, you are going to be scared and you are going to think what if all the things, so this is what I suggest you do.

 

 

And if you are in my world, you know, I talk about this a lot. Write down everything that you think might go wrong like I will fall over when I get on stage, I'll forget my words. And then write down what would you do about it if you did? Like, if I fell over, what would I do? I'd be really embarrassed, but I'd get up and go, well, that was an entrance.

 

 

You know what I mean? Like I would just make some joke of it. So would these sorts of things is always a case of just getting on with it and trying to get over that fear. So if you're sat there thinking, yeah, I'd quite like to give this a go, I've got a couple of steps for you. The first thing I want you to do is to pick two subject areas that you can talk about because not everyone will want the one subject area, the one talk that you've put together.

 

 

So you could probably do it like two or maybe three different things. So, and it can just be different angles on stuff. So it could be like, How to grow your following on Instagram or how to get sales using Instagram or whatever is your subject areas. So pick two subjects and then think of some small groups that you can speak at, like, you know, think about who you know, who has a small group or a networking group and ask them if you can do that little talk there for them. And as always ask yourself, what's the worst that could happen.

 

 

So. I started speaking. Honestly, I have spoken on some amazing stages. I've spoken for National Association of Estate Agents. I spoke at MarketEd.Live marketing week conferences in Greece and in Cyprus, I spoke at Atomicon every year. I've spoken at the World Marketing Summit and so many other places INBOUND, Hotmail lead pages.

 

 

I spoke for Agorapulse. I spoke for right moon. So many places and I became a TEDx speaker. I got to travel for free, which was amazing. I won an award for being, you know, a speaker and I got to host the podcast because it gave me confidence to do all that. Honestly, even if you're not thinking about speaking, there are some skills and some benefits of you being more confident in speaking.

 

 

Like I said, even if it's just going on a podcast interview, if it's pitching for something, if it's having a conversation with someone, having some of those skills and getting out of your comfort zone is really good. Now, is it for everyone? No. Speaking is not for everyone. There are speakers that I've seen talk that honestly, It's not about, it's not about how much knowledge you have.

 

 

It's about how you can put it across. So you could have someone who's the most smartest person in the world, but has no charisma. And therefore you watch them speak and nothing sinks in and they don't engage the audience. Or you could have someone who knows less than they do, but they have, you know, interests and they're charismatic and they can hold a room and therefore you'll take in every word they say.

 

 

Like I said, it's not that I'm sat here saying everyone go out and be a speaker, because I don't think that's the case. But I do think thinking about some of those skills, you need to be a speaker or some of the things that it can do for your business is, is really helpful. So this was a bit of a, a quick episode this week.

 

 

I hope you've got a few bits from it. And if you need, want to be on a speaker, then let me know. I'd love to, you know, give you some advice if I can. I love it. Like I said, it's something that I'm so glad the world's starting opening up again, because I love nothing more than being standing on a stage.

 

 

It's awesome. Okay. Have a lovely week and I'll be back next week with a really good interview, uh, with my lovely friend Ross, who talks about how to get conversions on your website. So how do you actually get people to buy when they visit your site? It's going to be really good. Okay. Have a lovely week. And I will see you next week.