What does a Chairman, an Olympian, a Dragon….and Pie all Have in Common?

Something really cool happened.

Two months ago, I was approached by the organizers of a women’s leadership conference – targeted to women working in the automotive industry – to give a ‘mainstage’ presentation. The conference planners noticed that many of these women, working as body shop owners, collision specialists, mechanics, and in all other manner of automotive-related careers (I know, isn’t that totally awesome??) – shy away from public speaking, giving presentations to clients, and sharing their expertise with groups. They ask others to give presentations in their place. They don’t want to speak up and take their place as experts in the industry.

Oh, and the other speakers would be: the Chairman (Chairperson?) of the Board of Canadian Tire, a top Olympic hockey athlete, and Arlene Dickinson, one of Canada’s most powerful businesswomen and one of the brilliant “dragons” on Dragon’s Den.

Oh. My. Goodness.


Yum….pie in the sky!

Throughout my career of corporate training, executive speech coaching, and workshop-giving, ‘mainstage’ conference speaking has always been one of my career goals. My little “pie in the sky,” if you will. So at first I thought: “What EXACTLY brought this opportunity to me? Was it the vision boards? My New Years resolution? Did I manifest it and ask the universe to send this opportunity to me, along with calorie-free chocolate cake? Yes, yes, yes and no (but still working on it).

Sure, I got the attention of the conference organizers. But once I had their attention, I still had to make sure that my sales pitch rocked. So I positioned myself as the right person for the spot. I talked about the benefits that the attendees would receive from the session. I used stories, examples and an easy-to-follow, value-based structure, and a call-to-action in my sales pitch. To get my pie in the sky, I had to sell myself – and my product – in the most engaging, powerful and persuasive way.

Most of us know that public speaking is one of the best ways to build your business. Adding structured, engaging and powerful public speaking to your marketing mix not only enhances your visibility, makes you be seen as an expert and brings amazing new clients your way. But it’s not always about being on a stage, or in front of a group. Being a powerful presenter also means that when you’re in front of the client, you’ll pitch yourself more clearly and more powerfully….and exponentially increase your chances of making the sale.

The next time you’re in front of a client and you REALLY want to make that sale, or you’re in front of a group and REALLY want to share your message — and even make some sales to your audience — remember these three key points:

value1. Create a structure. If there’s no structure, the message isn’t clear. If it’s not clear, the audience won’t follow, and if the audience doesn’t follow, there’s no value.

2. Don’t miss an opportunity to engage and connect with the audience. Show them that you truly understand their issue….share your own personal stories….and be your authentic self.

3. Get excited about sharing the expertise that YOU have spent your lifetime creating!

When I take the stage this June, I’ve got to leave my audience engaged, excited, and seeing the value and benefit of public speaking. But this whole opportunity would never have happened without using the same basic principles of public speaking to help my audience of ONE get engaged, excited and see the value and benefit of hiring me.

Madame Chairman, Olympian, Ms. Dickinson, and pie in the sky, here I come!


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