There is nothing like an inspiring speech to help you market your brand.
With the ease of posting to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram,
it is easy to forget the power of live events to market your personal brand,
your small business and your expertise.
Every city has local clubs and organization who seek out speakers who
can tell a fresh and interesting story to an audience. Whatever business you are in, there is an
industry trade group, association or organization who would love to hear an
engaging story from a member.
How can speaking be a part of your marketing mix?
Whether you are marketing
a product or service, building a brand requires story telling that
connects with people. Stories can illustrate in 15 minutes beyond what any
brochure or ad can do. It’s a powerful
way of putting a potential customer into the reference frame of how your small
business solves a problem.
Having won the Rachael Ray Great American Cookbook Competition, it was inevitable that my daughter Fanny would get some requests
to speak at various events. Although she has never given a speech before an
audience, she was recently invited to give several speeches this month. She was invited to speak at the Rotary Club and at a Red Dress Fundraiser in Wilmington, NC where she lives. Later this month, Fanny was also invited to speak in Raleigh, at her alma mater college (Peace
University) and High School (Ravenscroft).
Having been fortunate to give many speeches in my career, I
offered her a few pieces of fatherly/marketing advice that I’d like to share with you.
GET RIGHT INTO THE
SPEECH: Don’t start a speech by
saying I’d like to thank the Rotary Club for inviting me to speak today. I’m
here today to tell you about my journey. Instead, like writing a blog post or a
short story, come up with a punchy opening line that grabs the listener’s
attention. For example, I'd like to tell you about the day I had lunch with Ronald Reagan". Or, "the first time I ate sushi was with Ben & Jerry".
FIND 10 PHOTOS THAT
TELL THE STORY: Where possible, pictures can help punctuate the journey you
are discussing in your speech. Don’t use words on the screen – or if you do,
keep it to one or two words at most. Let the images be like a soundtrack that helps brings your journey to life. Be funny, self-deprecating and painfully authentic.
DON’T HAVE A SCRIPT: You aren’t in front of people to read. You
are in front of people to speak. Don’t be afraid of stumbling and being human –
sounding less than polished. People want to hear about a real person and their
path and the hurdles they had to overcome.
KEEP IT SHORT: Ted Talks work because they can’t go beyond
18 minutes. I think that is a magic number that it the perfect goal to achieve.
A short speech is like a well-planned meal. It gives you all the nourishment
you need and doesn’t make you full – or worse, bored.
REMEMBER TO PAUSE AND
USE SILENCE: There is nothing more
powerful than a well-placed pause in a speech.
Before you tell them the results of something important, a little
silence goes a long way to building
PUT THE AUDIENCE IN
YOUR STORY: Make sure you find places to let the audience member see
themselves in what you achieved, what you overcame or the approach to solving
the problem that you discovered. Let them in so that they are invested
emotionally in the outcome. Ask a question like, "can I see a show of hands of how many people in the audience text with their Grandmas"?
DON’T BE COMMERCIAL
ABOUT YOUR BRAND: Don’t try and sell anyone or anything in the speech.
Instead, be inspiring, be funny, be yourself.
Awareness and interest will come after the fact. The speech isn't a
commercial. It is a platform to engage and to help connect an emotion with your message.
END STRONG: The end of the story can be a powerful
message about the journey and the path ahead.
Leave on an upbeat and entertaining note so that they want to know more,
they want to find out about you and your business or brand. If this were a meal, let them leave the table
a little bit hungry.
Small business owners from accountants to start ups in
software should be reaching out to local organizations to speak in public. It
helps you refine your story and to perfect your pitch. It spreads the word
about you and your brand but it also can help you build your confidence in your
own path. Every day, at every hotel and conference room venue, there are groups of people getting together for a meeting. Connect through LinkedIn local groups to meet up with people with common interests. Call the Chamber of Commerce, reach out to non-profits or small business associations to see if they have any upcoming events and are interested in a short speech with a surprising twist. Go to local networking meetups to connect and offer your time to speak at upcoming events.
It helps to develop a pitch that in a few sentences
summarizes what you will talk about and how you will educate and entertain an
audience. Perhaps you were a D student in
math in high school but you found a passion for numbers and got your CPA and
have a successful financial planning firm. Or you have found a software solution to a
common business problem that can save the average company 5,000 hours a year of
wasteful work – and you created it with the help of people from around the
world. Or maybe you'd like to share with the audience how you found yourself on The Phil Donahue Show with your wife and the owners of Haagen Dasz.
If you are a brand manager, you too should be seeking out
speaking opportunities. Maybe you can pitch an industry group or trade association
that you could speak at an upcoming conference. Don’t talk about your product
or brand – but find a topic where you have expertise and can share and
enlighten the audience. The same basic
guidelines apply and it is a great way to build your confidence and personal
Finally, to give a great speech, you need to hear and see
some great speeches. Listen to The Moth podcast or watch some Ted Talks for
inspiration. Follow how they deliver and grab your attention.
Now, go get up to the podium and tell us your story.
Are you ready to speak up and share your story? Need a little help? Give me a call through Clarity and let's talk.
Labels: brand speeches, Marketing Moments, marketing speeches, public speaking, speeches, TED talks, The Moth, tips on speaking