Did you know that you work in sales? It turns out that if you are giving speeches, you do. For you see, in every speech that you give you are trying to sell something. It may not be a used car or a dishwasher, but it certainly is an idea or a way of looking at the world. What this means is that if you want to be an effective speaker, then you’re going to have to work on your sales skills.
You Need To Learn To Persevere
Let’s think for just a moment about how things are going to go the next time you give a speech. You know about the importance of public speaking and so you’ll open your mouth, the words will come tumbling out, and the way the audience thinks about the ideas that you are expressing will be forever changed. Umm, probably not. Instead, you’re going to have to get used to being rejected a lot.
Now that you understand that you are really a salesperson, I think that we can have this discussion. Audiences are not going to automatically change their way of thinking just because you give a speech – no matter how good a job you do. Instead, you’re going to get a lot of push-back to your ideas. This is just a fact of life and you’re going to have to get used to it.
What you need to do is to learn to persevere. You need to keep getting up there and giving your speech. What you need to understand is that even when things seem their bleakest – you think that you’ll never be able to change the way that an audience thinks, this is when the breakthrough generally happens. Keep giving your speech and you’ll find that over time your audiences open up to your message and you’ll be able to accomplish your goal of changing the way that they see their world.
Make A Connection In Every Speech
If during a speech you just stand on a stage, deliver a speech, and then get off the stage and leave then you’ll never be able to accomplish your goal. The reason that you’re going to fail is because you have not been able to make a connection with your audience. It’s this connection that really allows you to get your message across.
As a speaker you are selling ideas. You are not trying to sell an idea to an entire audience all at once. Instead, what you are trying to do is to sell your idea to each person in that audience one at a time. In order to make this happen you are going to have to find a way to make a connection with them while you are giving your speech.
You’re probably not going to be able to make this connection during your speech. Instead, you’re going to have to arrive early for your speech and shake hands with the people who will be in your audience. That way, when you’re speaking they will feel like they know you. After your speech is over, stick around and shake more hands. This will allow what you said to sink in and you’ll once again have another chance to make a connection with your audience and have a better chance of “selling” your ideas.
What All Of This Means For You
If you want your next audience to “buy” the ideas that you will be “selling” to them in your next speech, then you are going to have to get busy and work on developing your selling skills. The ability to sell your ideas to an audience during a speech is one of the benefits of public speaking. The good news is that this can be done.
Sales is not something that is easy to do. Not every audience is going to accept what you tell them. Make sure that you persevere and keep at it. You’ll eventually be successful. Making a connection with your audience always helps. Take the time to connect with the people in your audience and your audience will be more willing to buy what you are selling.
All too often the sales profession gets a bad rap. It turns out that every time we stand up to give a speech, we are playing the role of a salesperson. Take the time to develop your sales skills and you’ll be able to close the deal every time!
Question For You: Do you think that you should ask your audience after your speech if they “bought” what you were selling?
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Note: What we talked about are advanced speaking skills. If you are just starting out I highly recommend joining Toastmasters in order to get the benefits of public speaking. Look for a Toastmasters club to join in your home town by visiting the web site www.Toastmasters.org. Toastmasters is dedicated to helping their members to understand the importance of public speaking by developing listening skills and getting presentation tips. Toastmasters is how I got started speaking and it can help you also!
What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time
Let’s face it: we all want to talk about politics, religion, and sex. The TV shows that we watch, what our politicians seem to spend their time doing, and what we read about in the paper all clearly show us these are the three topics that interest people the most. However, if we don’t go about doing it correctly, we can cause some serious problems…