I’m sure you’ve heard the saying “Perception is Reality” – and for the most part it’s true. People believe what they perceive to be truth. When it comes to personal branding – nothing is farther from the truth.
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One of the first things I coach people on when they are trying to build out their personal brand is to hop on the speaking gig roller coaster. Yes, that means you will have to speak in public. If you need help with that take a class with Dale Carnegie or join the Toastmasters gang – but public speaking and effective communication is a must have if you want to be successful.
You know what I always say – “People buy from people they KNOW, LIKE and TRUST”.
More often than not, when you see someone speak at an event or you watch a TED Talk you ASSUME they are experts, if not at least extremely knowledgeable in their field. Your perception of them is that they know what they are talking about and are sharing it with you to help you gain that same knowledge.
Now, don’t get me wrong there are folks out there who spout off words that have no truth or sustenance, but trust me, someone perceived it as truthful.
So, what does this all mean?
One of the quickest ways to build your brand, gain brand evangelists and to heck – sell more of whatever it is your company does – is to grab a microphone and share a story.
Here are some tips:
- Don’t sell during your presentations. No one wants to be sold to – they want to learn and be entertained.
- Pick topics that are relevant to your audience and will give some immediate results – meaning when they finish listening they can take some type of action that will benefit them.
- Don’t read a script. It’s ok to write a speech or have speaking notes – but don’t get up there and read word for word.
- Practice and ad lib
Don’t be a PowerPoint BORE! Use PowerPoint for visuals – but don’t use tons of words. You want people to focus on you, not the screen.
- Be engaging. Make sure you don’t have a monotone voice – practice and record yourself speaking OR take a class like I mentioned above.
- Watch your non-verbal communication. Be a bit animated – but not a circus clown
Public speaking is a great way to boost your credibility and get you in front of people who are interested in your expertise. If you want to increase your personal brand, increase your revenue and have some fun – grab a microphone and tell the world your stories!