What's your elevator pitch?
Mine is "We're a personal assistant for your personal life. We give you time back in your day." It succinctly explains what I do and what my business is all about. It gets people interested. There is inevitably a second question along the line, of "so, can you tell me exactly what it is you do?" It's always exciting that someone is intrigued about what we do. However, this can sometimes be where things come undone.
When explaining what we do as a personal concierge, to truly get the message across, we need time. In a previous post on networking I spoke about how to take advantage of your networking, in particular taking the time to ask questions to give the best possible explanation of a personal concierge service. Yet, one-on-one is not always the best way to get your message across. Imagine if you could speak to 20, 200 or even 2,000 people at a time and share that same message. However, there's a problem.
The problem with my technique? It's frequently listed as the general population's biggest fear. What is it?
I have no doubt some of you are shuddering and about to stop reading. Please don't! I know for many of you public speaking is in no way something you want to attempt. But I promise you, it can give you lots of opportunities to promote your business and really put yourself ahead of the pack. Please, just hear me out!
How I Started
I've never been told I was quiet or lacking in speaking skills. However, public speaking was certainly not on my radar. Yet in one week I heard about Toastmasters public speaking clubs twice, something I had never heard of before. As a general rule, if I hear about something twice in a short space of time, I generally take it as a sign that I need to do something about it. I started researching. Then, I was asked to be the MC for my friends wedding, and I knew I had to take steps. Toastmasters are public speaking clubs with chapters throughout the world. It's here I learnt about technique, confidence, speaking off the cuff, as well as leadership and training skills. It was once of the best educational endeavours I have ever undertaken. Plus, I have seen many, many very shy people, with low self esteem, absolutely blossom in the Toastmasters environment. I highly recommend it.
4 Reasons To Start Public Speaking
1. Confidence Building
Public speaking is an enormous confidence building exercise. You are pushing yourself way out of your comfort zone and achieving things you never felt possible. As the majority of people dread public speaking, those in the audience are usually in awe of anyone willing to get up there and do it. That person could be you.
2. You Have A Great Story
I've found public speaking to be a great way to discover your story. Most people don't think they have a story to share, but I guarantee you, everyone has a story. The great thing about our industry is that people are genuinely intrigued by what a personal concierge does, and how we got to where we are. Simply sharing what a concierge is, and some of those quirky stories we all accumulate, will engage your audience and build your credibility. Plus, if are willing to share your personal journey to go along with it, then you have a story everyone will want to listen to.
3. You'll Take Advantage of Opportunities
From standing up in a conference or forum, to saying yes to a media interview request, a willingness to learn public speaking will bring opportunities to you, and the confidence to say yes to them. At different times in my career I've been regularly interviewed on radio, contacted by journalists for comments, and asked to speak at a variety of events. Without my public speaking training, there is no way I would have had the confidence to say yes to these requests.
4. You Can Answer Unexpected Questions
One of the best skills I learnt in Toastmasters is what is called the Impromptu. This is where you are given a topic and have to immediately speak on this topic for 60 seconds. I sure wish I had learnt this skill back in my University days. I froze when being asked questions by a group of Government Directors after I had delivered a presentation. This haunted me for many years until I learnt the techniques to compose myself and deliver a coherent answer.
Public Speaking is Powerful
My Public Speaking ability has been a really powerful tool in growing my business. From taking advantage of opportunities and being paid to speak, to delivering speaking training myself, I have never regretted leaping out of my comfort zone and going to that first Toastmasters meeting. I genuinely encourage you to consider it and take the leap - before you're ready!
Still not sure about public speaking? Looking for some tips or advice? You can arrange a phone coaching session with me via https://clarity.fm/abbieallen Or, if you are one of our members, jump onto our forum and ask a question. Myself and our members would love to assist you!