Speaking At Local Events and Clubs
Another great way to get noticed in your community is to volunteer to speak at community clubs, schools, and other events. Every community has Rotary club meetings, square dance clubs, local colleges, seniors groups and retirement homes. You can find potential clients at these events and establish yourself as an expert in your field. These organizations look for new speakers to educate their members during their weekly or monthly meetings.
Your prepared words should never exceed two-thirds of your time slot. Never go over your time limit and always allow time for questions and answers. So a lunch meeting might require 15 to 20 minutes of prepared words plus some time for questions and and answers.
You can choose either a timeless topic or a timely topic. Timely topics include what’s happening on Wall Street, the latest tax law passed and what the impact might be on the folks in the audience, or the outlook on the economy. Timeless topics include providing for long-term care expenses, saving enough for retirement, and an introduction to financial planning.
These informal talks are great preparation for doing a radio show because you get your comfortable taking questions from the audience and talking in front of a live audience. What happens if someone asks a question you can’t answer? No problem. Just ask them for their name and number and promise to call them that afternoon with an answer. You’ll make points for honesty and get a chance to add that person to your mailing list. And you’ll be ready to answer that question at your next presentation.
You can get lots of names by having a drawing for a door prize. A $25 gift certificate to a local restaurant would be a nice prize. Another way to get names is to mention a free report in your talk. Perhaps your report is entitled, “The 7 Most Common Retirement Mistakes” and your talk only has time for the first 3. Just ask folks to take your card and call your office for a copy of the report.
What if you can’t fathom the thought of speaking in public? I recommend joining a local Toastmasters group.
At Toastmasters, you’ll improve your public speaking with good coaching and purposeful practice in a low-pressure setting. You’ll get the confidence needed to begin doing community talks at clubs, community seminars, and some day a radio show. You’ll improve how you communicate with a couple sitting in your conference room.
You’ll also meet other high achieving business owners, salespersons, and professionals at your Toastmasters meetings. These folks want to be more effective on the job and more successful in life. You’ll get to know these people as you work together to learn an important, and to many folks, terrorizing skill: Public speaking.