The Secret Behind “Speak To Sell”

It’s no secret that public speaking is a powerful way to promote a small business, especially a service business. After all, people see you as an authority figure. You’re up front. You’re dispensing wisdom.

You can do the same. But, if you want to maximize the amount of business that you get from presentations, there are two things that you can share from the podium.

Of course, we all know that shameless self-promotion never goes over well with audiences, especially if it is a paid presentation. But that is not what I am suggesting. Rather, I am going to propose more of a stealth mission for you…

1. A story that shows you are in business and you actually have clients.

It’s easy to get so caught up in content that we fail to let the audience know we’re in business to serve clients. I’m not talking about a blatant commercial, which almost always will turn off your audience. And it’s rarely a good idea to hand out brochures, flyers or business cards. People won’t keep them.

The key is to include at least one story that shows who you serve and what you do. For instance, when you want to illustrate a point you’ve made, share a story about a client you’ve worked with.

“One reason people get stuck on developing a personal brand is they’re going in too many directions. For instance, I’ve been working with a client who wants to sell real estate, make jewelry and also do some coaching on the side…”

When you’re answering a question during a Q&A, you can open with, “One of my clients asked this question just a few weeks ago. And here’s what I recommended.”

Of course, it’s critical to …

… change the details of your story to protect your client, unless you have specific permission. Let your audience see that you protect your clients and you’ll do the same for anyone who works with you .

… show only deep respect for your clients. I’m always shocked when a speaker seems to ridicule a client or even present her in a negative light. “Is that how they’ll treat me?” I wonder.

2. A story that shows how you work with clients and how they benefit.

Go deeper with a story that shows how clients achieved success. For instance, “My client was deeply in debt and didn’t think he’d ever be able to buy a tiny condo, let alone a home. After we worked together [add details about how you worked together] a few months he began to feel closer to that goal. Last week he closed on a four-bedroom house in [nice part of the city].

Talking about benefits in this way makes it clear to your audience that you make an impact, get results, and create some kind of transformation in the clients or their businesses.

I’m Cathy Goodwin, Ph.D., a copywriter, storyteller, and small business branding strategist. I would love to connect with you. If you are a service-based business seeking to differentiate yourself in the marketplace, check out my free comprehensive workbook From Story To Standout Brand: Your 3-Step Blueprint.” Discover how your personal brand helps you create compelling copy, strengthen your message and establishes your consistent, memorable presence online.

Need help with your copywriting? My most popular offer is the Story Consultation. It’s designed to free up time for you to work directly with clients, get offers out faster, and earn more revenue in a shorter time period.

*** “Everything’s easier when you do it with stories.”***Originally published at on June 10, 2019.

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