Magazine article Black Enterprise

Speaking of Success: Introduce Your Business to a New Audience-Literally

Magazine article Black Enterprise

Speaking of Success: Introduce Your Business to a New Audience-Literally

Article excerpt

For business owners, public speaking can provide a boost to their image, their company's brand, and potentially, their revenues. But the trick is making sure such a strategic opportunity carries the power to bolster your business rather than bust it.

Janet Cormier, a registered representative for the World Financial Group, a Duluth, Georgia-based financial planning firm, was looking for a way to grow her business. After ample practice and training with an experienced mentor, the 43-year-old says she now tackles business-related speaking engagements with ease and was surprised to see her speaking efforts translate into nearly 75% revenue growth from the extra customers it brought her way. Cormier says business owners and entrepreneurs must think beyond turning a sales pitch into a speech or delivering a tutorial on a product or service, but rather delivering a presentation that offers added value and speaks directly to that specific audience.

"You have to be passionate about your subject, so they feel passionate about you," says Cormier, who has spoken in front of a crowd as large as 300. "It's about having knowledge and how well you can share it."

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WHO CAN HELP AND HOW?

Looking to expand your business repertoire with speaking engagements? Rene Godefroy, founder of Village Hero, an Atlanta-based motivational speaking company, offers some inexpensive ways to prepare.

* Family and friends

Ask them to listen to you practice, but make sure they are brutally honest about your technique, flow, and presentation. …

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