Online Gurus - Miriam Otte
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Marketing with Speeches and Seminars: Your Key to More Clients and Referrals by Miriam Otte is about public speaking. It is a detailed manual, which covers all topics of concern in making a good speech from appearing and being confident to preparing the room. Local organizations like service clubs always welcome a new speaker, which might be a great conduit for promoting one’s business.
However, this needs tact. If you happen to be a certified home inspector, you could offer to make a presentation for local realtors on how to inspect a home. If you own a web design firm then a talk on how to build a site and optimize it might interest someone who has his own business and you might even be recruited to work for him if you have provided the necessary client references. However, despite its score, the book priced at $427 is not readily available.
The price is heavy but it is a good read for someone who has never dabbled in public speaking before. Public speaking as an avenue for expanding or promoting sales has not been tapped so far. Of course, it entails a lot of travel once you have ventured into professional level speaking. However, it is worth the investment. Starting small through addressing local groups and then going beyond them will rapidly build up a client base and referral network.
What is unique about Miriam Otte’s work is that unlike other books on public speaking that focus on the act of speaking only (choosing the right topic, research and delivery) she peeks at almost every other area. These range from advice on avoiding smelly felt pens to handling inebriated persons and latecomers. She also reminds one to go to the bathroom and remember to switch off the lapel microphone before unzipping! The attention to detail that makes the book commendable, is borne out by includes a checklist in the appendix with items such as what to carry in an emergency kit and examples of flyers and pamphlets listed.
An interesting point made by Otte is that nervousness is really a sign that you care about how to perform. One may overcome that by finding strength in an audience that really wants the speaker to do a good job-that is why they are here. The only way to overcome nervousness is to prepare to the best of one’s ability.
Practicing the first few lines is important, for a good start ensures that one remains confident through the rest of the speech. The most important section of the speech arrives at the end. This is when the speaker gets to interact with the audience on a one-to-one basis. Here it is vital to make quick notes on the back of business cards and prevent one person from monopolizing attention beyond a time limit, lest the others in queue leave. One can distribute material about one’s enterprise before launching into the speech but it is crucial not to spend all the time talking about one’s own business. Also identifying the right venue is important. On discerning a potential audience, acquiring an invitation is easy enough.
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