A strong and authentic personal brand can be the difference between instantly connecting with your audience and possibly losing their interest. Take a look at these 5 tips to help you boost your speaking career and ultimately, your sales.
- Connect With People Before Your Presentation– This is a BIG one I practice every time I speak. Your presentation begins the moment you step into the conference hall or room. It is an opportune time to make warm connections with audience members before you take the stage. Learn their names and when you speak to them individually during your keynote, each audience member will feel like you have addressed them personally (even if you didn’t speak to her/him directly). It also sends the message that you are approachable and available, which makes you more likable. Another perk, It’s a fantastic opportunity to ask people what they are excited to hear you talk about and priceless market research. Some great questions might be, “What do you hope to learn from my presentation?” or “How do you feel my topic will help you make more sales?” If possible, touch on their responses during your presentation.
- Tell Stories– Storytelling is the “mother” of all communications. Mastering traditional storytelling should be at the top of every speaker’s list of priorities. First, telling stories is an effective way for your audience to get to know you (your personal brand). In addition, stories are valuable examples of your teaching points. Here’s the formula: make your point, share an example, then ask your audience how it relates to them. Humans strive for connection and your audience will be looking for similarities as ways to identify with you. Finally, telling stories allows you to keep your presentation fresh. I’m sure you’ve seen speakers who seem to be rehearsed like they’ve given the exact presentation, word-for-word just one too many times. Sure, your points will stay consistent, but changing your stories gives fresh energy to your presentation.
- Cite Credible Sources– When you cite stats and research from credible sources, it subtly aligns those sources (or brands or individuals) with your personal brand. Be authentic about it, though. Pull these sources from publications, icons, or other professionals you are in alignment with. When you stay true to what sparks your interest, your ideal target market will resonate with it, too. Some of the sources I ‘frequent’ are Barbara Corcoran, Forbes Magazine, Winston Churchill, Entrepreneur Magazine and Richard Branson. Find YOUR go-to sources and use them often.
- Communicate With Your Body– Mastering your non-verbal cues will give you an edge from the moment you step on stage. What you say matters, but studies suggest the words you use are only about 7% of the impact you make. The other 93% is your body language and tone of voice combined. Bottom line, the sound and non-verbal delivery of your content are more important that what you actually say. Smiling and solid eye contact with individuals for 5 to 6 seconds is a fantastic way to connect with your audience. Confident posture makes a powerful impact and reflects your confidence in the content you’re sharing as well as the results your audience will get when they apply it. When I address posture in my presentations, I actually step off stage and re-enter using poor posture, shoulders slouched, head down. Then I adjust to a regal stance and ask the audience, which ‘stance’ they would rather do business with.
- Dress Appropriately– I could go on and on about this one! Bottom line, dress like a leader. Wearing solid, tailored clothing in your best colors is a surefire way to look great and show that you mean business. While it is strategic to keep your audience in mind, don’t fall into the trap of dressing down too much. If you opt for business casual, focus more on the business and less on the casual. Whatever you choose, be sure it fits properly, is neatly pressed and not showing too much skin. Opt for stylish shoes you feel steady in. Those stages can be tricky! Recently I attended a women’s conference and two of the speakers wore gorgeous spike heeled shoes but were notably unstable on their feet. They were more focused on their aching feet (or not falling) than their audience. One even commented on how uncomfortable her shoes were. If you are comfortable and stable in your high heels, more power to you (I’m jealous). Finally, if you’ll be wearing a clip-on mic or headset, be mindful that your jewelry (if any) will not make noise and distract your audience.
Applying these 5 principals will undoubtedly help you connect with your audience and attract respect and prosperity.
Which of these principals do you think is the most important?
21 years ago I founded a company called Your Success Style and during that time I’ve developed successful personal brands for some pretty cool people. I’ve been fortunate to work with some phenomenal organizations like Lexus, Nordstrom, Disney, LAPD, Kaiser Permanente and Caruso Affiliated. I’ve also had the pleasure of working with Oscar and Golden Globe winners, too.
I help successful entrepreneurs, leaders and executives see themselves in their best light and create a personal brand that’s as unique and compelling as they are. I champion their strengths until they see them for themselves and have the confidence to own them. I LOVE stepping on a stage or in a boardroom and inspiring people to claim the best of who they are and take actions to foster who that person is!!
As a 5th generation entrepreneur, I believe in old-fashioned customer service and am deeply invested in the success of each client. Read MORE