When you want to sell a product or service, one of your best tools is being a compelling speaker. The right words can convince a hesitant buyer to take the plunge and make a purchase. But what if you don’t feel you have the skill or charisma? Don’t worry; good public speaking is a skill that you can learn. Here are some tips you should keep in mind if you want to sound convincing to anyone.
Understand Your Audience
Successful public speaking requires solid preparation. It lays the groundwork for you to connect with your audience. The primary thing you should do is to do some research and understand your audience. The key things that you have to know are what your audience wants, what they know, and what problems they need to solve. Whether you are speaking to a group or a single person, understanding them even a little gives you an advantage. For example, if you are selling a security system to a customer, knowing that they recently signed a big partnership could allow you to focus on that as a way to convince them to make a purchase. You can emphasize that their partner would be happier to know that they are more secure. It is these details that will allow you to relate better with your audience.
Put in the Practice
Besides doing some research on your potential audience, the other half of preparation is practice. While many public speakers feel like they are coming up with their spiel on the fly, that is actually the result of hours of practice. They do more than do mental rehearsals. They read the material and actually do a fake presentation. Good public speakers usually do this in front of a mirror or something similar. It sounds ridiculous, but you can’t argue with the results. With an actual physical practice, the words and movements feel more natural. Additionally, saying things out loud can help you remember things better.
Have a Great Opener
People have short attention spans. If you don’t hook them in the first sentence of your pitch, you likely lost them for the rest of it. What you need is a solid opener. There are various ways you can do it. One is to present them with something interesting and shocking. For example, you can use facts about Mars, the planet, as an opening for your pitch about your solar power company. It may sound far-fetched, but you can talk about Mars being the future of Earth if people don’t start taking care of the planet more. Another way to begin your sales pitch includes throwing out data and statistics. People like to learn new things, and if you present them with interesting numbers, you will likely get their attention.
The key thing is to hook the audience immediately. Once you have them, the rest of the speech is much easier.
Get Some Audience Participation
Your audience will feel better about your pitch when they can participate. This encourages their attention and helps make you be more memorable. There are various ways you can encourage participation. One way is to start asking them questions. For example, you might be making a presentation to another company’s board of directors about why your business would make a good partner. In the middle of your pitch, you ask them what they are looking for in a business partner. This starts a back-and-forth on how your company can meet all of those requirements.
It doesn’t even have to be that complex. Telling a joke or a humorous story is another way to interact with the audience. You made them laugh, and they will remember that. Injecting some humor into your pitch will also make you feel more human and relatable.
Learn to Pause
Another piece of advice when it comes to speaking is to learn when to pause. Delivering constant information to your audience can be exhausting for them. You need to give them time to absorb some of it. Additionally, a well-timed pause can emphasize a particular point you want to make. For example, you are talking about a new product that you are offering. Pausing your delivery right before you unveil the product is a great dramatic use of a pause. Timing your pauses can be an effective way to bring home a point.
Many people are afraid of public speaking. But as the boss of your company, you should go out there and present your pitch without fear. Start now to develop your public speaking skills so that you can sell your product or service well.