First, you need to understand your audience. If you’re speaking to everyone, nobody will actually hear you. With a reported 65% of marketers rarely or never doing audience research, don’t skip this essential step. The more you know about your customer, the better you can customize your presentations. It’s your job to make
First, you need to understand your audience. If you’re speaking to everyone, nobody will actually hear you. With a reported 65% of marketers rarely or never doing audience research, don’t skip this essential step. The more you know about your customer, the better you can customize your presentations. It’s your job to make sure your customers are hooked from the first second you step on stage.
Audience Research Graphic for Sell From The Stage How To Turn Gigs Into Spin-Off Business – SpeakerFlow
How can you research your audience? One of the best ways to start is by creating a customer persona. This is a representation of who your ideal customer is. It outlines their demographics, their needs, and their challenges. Better yet, it identifies why you’re best-suited to deliver their solution. Nobody wants to feel sold to in an abrupt way. They want to be understood as individuals, and this is why you need to know your audience.
To see this in action, look at the public speaker and content marketing extraordinaire Valeria Lipvetsky. This blogger, model, and social media superstar was recently featured at LaterCon, a social media conference for marketing managers, influencers, and brands.
While she shared real-world expertise in her presentation, she also focused on the success of her own company, Valeria Inc. Because she knew she was speaking to her target audience (brand managers), she promoted her in-house creative production company.
Next, don’t just share a parade of facts, figures, and statistics. Instead, build your presentation around narratives and stores. As humans, we connect through stories. If you tell a story within a presentation, it increases retention by up to 75%. Your goal when selling from the stage is to connect with others, not just spout out facts.
Narrative Presentation Graphic for Sell From The Stage How To Turn Gigs Into Spin-Off Business – SpeakerFlow
Since ancient times, humans have used narratives to understand their community and the role we all play in it. Stories increase people’s sense of feeling understood and ‘heard.’ They build trust in the speaker, and it creates the right environment for decision-making based on empathy. In sales, it’s all about connecting with others. If your audience doesn’t trust you, they won’t buy from you.
Our brains are hardwired to process information in the form of stories. Think of the magic behind “once upon a time.” There’s a reason that phrase immediately brings us to a far-off, imaginary scene. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel when it comes to storytelling. In fact, it’s best to stick with the tried-and-the-true. Here are some storytelling techniques used by the top speakers:
Use immersive details: If you’re describing something that might be hard for the average person to understand, be clear with your details. Consider this like a mental movie you’re setting for your audience, using strong descriptive language that sets the scene.
Make it personal: It’s okay to be vulnerable with your audience. Though it might be scary, sharing a personal story has universal appeal. Consider some of the classic story tropes like the winning underdog, the inspired hero, or a rags-to-riches tale.
Build suspense: The best stories have conflict. They’re not all sunshine and rainbows—this doesn’t capture anyone’s attention. Instead, build real suspense to make the audience wonder what happens next.
Show don’t tell: Transport your audience into a scene instead of simply telling them something. You can use a scene-by-scene construction or descriptive words to paint a picture.
End with a takeaway: Lastly, always end with a takeaway or call to action. This is a memorable, bite-size thing your audience can bring with them even if they forget the rest.
Third, use examples throughout your stories to build credibility. It’s not enough to sell from the stage without the expertise and real-world know-how to back it up. This makes it look like your sales proposition is leaning on a house of cards. Instead, make it clear you’re credible by showing examples of your experience.
Examples of Credibility Graphic for Sell From The Stage How To Turn Gigs Into Spin-Off Business – SpeakerFlow
However, when doing this, avoid falling into the trap of ego. Bragging and self-promotion have the opposite effect on audiences. It can be a big turn-off, and it sends the message that you’re looking to one-up the audience. Rather, your stories should make you relatable to your audience. You’ve been through the things they’ve experienced. Because of this, you’re a trustworthy source of advice.
An example of credibility through storytelling in action is the work of Molly Fletcher. Fletcher specializes in talking about negotiation mistakes, women in business, and unleashing your career potential. Though she shares real-life stories of her own ups and downs, it’s her credibility that really makes an impact.
With two decades of experience as one of the world’s only female sports agents, she knows what it means to stand out in a crowded industry. The author of four books about career success, she’s successfully proven that she knows how to negotiate her way to the top. This expertise and credibility builds strong trust with each audience, creating an optimal environment for selling her training, books, and more with each speech.
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