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Speak up

Public speaking? Are you kidding? While few people will admit they love to speak in public, those who do it regularly get used to it, get good at it, and even enjoy it. Public speaking is probably the best way to present yourself as an expert and resource.

The most important question is "Who do I want to reach?" When you figure that out, find out how to reach your target audience and get in front of them. Your local Chamber of Commerce or other business associations welcome speakers. You can also speak as part of an adult education program, typically offered through vocational schools and local libraries. You can even host a talk at your place of business and invite customers and prospects. Including other business people on a panel increases your credibility. Serve light refreshments and offer free admission -- your guests will love it. Here are some examples.

  • A liquor shop owner can give a talk on safe alcohol consumption and the dangers of drinking and driving during the holidays.
  • A nail salon owner, hairdresser, and clothing boutique owner can join forces and host an "Evening About Image." They can offer tips to improve the way customers look and dress, using their services as examples.
  • A bookstore, toy shop, and childcare service can give a presentation about low-cost ways to keep children entertained during the holidays.
  • A pizza shop owner can offer a two-hour course in pizza making for a local club or school.
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