This modern business world has created a little bit of a conundrum. Many companies have a team was so skilled at engaging clients through social media that they have let their skills at face to face communications slip. If you are brave enough to put your skilled employees to work representing you on Facebook and such, be sure to check out their confidence and basic skills in a public speaking scenario, also. Don’t make the mistake of assuming their comfort and savvy in communicating online will automatically translate to offline environments.
Public speaking is hard but a little training can go a long way. Being prepared can take a lot of the fear away. With that in mind, here are a few pointers to help you and your team be ready when that prospective investor asks you to provide a panel at their next event.
Make sure to assess your team’s skills before you have to use the skills. Create chances with your team to discuss, audit, and practice public speaking, like in assessment and goal setting situations.Talk to them about how much they have publicly spoken, what type of audiences, with or without co-presenters, in versus outside of your industry. Build off that subject matter and try to develope a plan to refine their speaking ability.
Show your employees the schedule of events that you have determined are important to your business and the reasons why it is hurting your bottom line to miss them. When they realize it is also hurting them they will feel more like an insider. There is nothing that builds confidence more than the feeling that you really do have something important to say.
Teach your key employees that they should always be ready to speak. Maybe not an hour-long keynote, but the basic facts about the company and why they are the best should always be at the front of their business mind. Your employee’s ability to represent you well even in the most impromptu speaking environment makes an impact.
It’s always a good idea to craft a mini, ongoing archive of key messages that reflect your business values, service, and industry relevance. These can be on-hand for future fleshing out for speeches or even networking events. If possible have them videotape their talk and be conscious of how many times they say Um, how fidgety they are and what their body language is saying.
The more your team speaks publicly, the more comfortable they will become. Just make sure they know that in their business they are an expert and having the ability to speak about their business in many situations can only help you succeed. Your company may need to speak to a group for funding, professional associations that you are a member of and also customers, suppliers or distributors. The more often you do it the better the results will be in getting what you want.