Why Speaking Is Excellent For Entrepreneurs

psdc women forum 2014
I was the moderator for the 2014 Penang Skills Development Centre Women’s Forum. This forum included Datin Paduka Marina Mahathir, TV celeb Low Ngai Yuen and more.

If you’re thinking of speaking publicly, here are some tangible benefits:

1) it helps you clarify your thoughts because your speech or presentation has to make sense
When you’re speaking onstage, you can’t shoot your mouth off. You need to think clearly what your core message is and how to present it logically so that your audience understands. Remember, your audience is made up of all types of people. Some may be savvy with your topic but most aren’t.

2) it helps you become a better communicator and language user
While you’re putting your thoughts down on paper, you start seeing the words you use. Are they too technical and too difficult to understand? When we’re aware of the language we use, we are more open to simplifying our language so that everyone gets our message. There’s no point being verbose and dramatic if your audience goes home confused!

3) it helps you learn the many ways HOW NOT TO make mistakes while onstage
Do you know it’s rude to turn your back to your audience? Most people make this mistake because they’re reading their slides! Do you also know that you shouldn’t put too many words on your slides? In fact, 6 words are supposed to be the maximum, says some folks though it’s not really a hard and fast rule. Your slides aren’t supposed to lead the presentation; you’re supposed to use the slides to guide you in your presentation. Also, if you should always have someone (most likely the host or event organiser) to introduce you before you get onstage to speak. Nothing speaks of your credibility more than to be introduced by someone else.

sembang-sembang-penang
I was one of the panellists at this US Embassy sponsored event called Sembang Sembang in USM (2011). The lady in green who moderated us is the sister of a famous TV personality.

4) it helps you learn a new skill (presentation is a skill and the more you do it, the better you are at it)
It’s easy to shy away from skills we’re not comfortable with but if you want to stand out and be truly visible, speaking is the way to go. Learning any new skill is hard at the beginning but if your business means that much to you, you’d grit your teeth and do it and you do get better at it as you go. Learning how to speak and present well is a much sought-after skill and everyone is looking for a capable speaker for their events. If you do it well, you can be sure you’d be invited to many events and onto many stages!

5) it helps boost confidence (great for people who consider themselves shy and introverted)
If you met me now, you’d never believe it if I told you I was a terribly shy child. I was shy and introverted while growing up but I managed to overcome my shyness by pushing myself forward and putting myself in uncomfortable situations. I took up debating in school despite being shy! I forced myself to be the limelight. As in #4 above, the more I spoke, the less shy I felt and the more confident I became.

6) it helps attract new business leads and clients
If you’re an entrepreneur and you want new business, speaking the one of the fastest ways to get you visible and in front of your prospects. People in the audience will often admire the fact that you’re presenting – simply by presenting, you’re perceived as an expert in your field. You dared to stand up in front of crowd of strangers and speak your convictions.

Speaking opportunities have allowed me to make new friends and gain new clients simply by presenting our uniqueness and capabilities in ways that the audience can remember. When I speak, I realize I get more opportunities to speak because somehow, someone in the audience is always in search of a speaker for her event. When I spoke onstage at the Lean In workshop at Hard Rock Hotel back in 2013, I was memorable enough that someone referred me to be a moderator for a forum that involved some truly high profile women (see the first photo above).

Useful Presentation Links

If you’re interested in presenting and presenting well, here are some links you should check out:

http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/science-public-speaking-tips
http://www.toastmasters.org/~/media/B7D5C3F93FC3439589BCBF5DBF521132.ashx
http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/powerpoint-presentation-guide

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