Thursday, April 18, 2013

The Most Inspiring Marketing Medium

"A speech is a solemn responsibility.  The man who makes a bad thirty-minute speech to two hundred people wastes only a half-hour of his own time.  But he wastes one hundred hours of the audience's time - more than four days - which should be a hanging offense."
                                                                                                       - Jenkin Lloyd Jones
Steve Jobs - A man who understood the power of
public speaking for business better than most.
We all have to speak in public at sometime in our lives.  Most of us have to do it almost every day in the form of sales calls, staff meetings, and presentations.  As someone who has studied and taught public speaking for many years, I cringe whenever I listen to a speaker who has not prepared for and practiced the skill of public speaking before they stand in front of an audience.  Not only does it show a lack of respect for the audience, it exhibits a complete loss of opportunity.

More than every other form of marketing or sales, the opportunity to prepare and deliver a speech for a specific audience gives you the chance to share your idea and your perspective in a way that is specifically tailored for the people receiving it (e.g. customers, potential donors, board of directors, etc.).  It is not just a captive audience, it is an engaged audience that is in the room specifically to hear what you have to say.  Magazines, newspapers, radio, internet, and social media all rely on chance that a viewer is interested in your message at the exact time that they see or hear it.  Public speaking audiences typically know the topic of a presentation and have committed to listening prior to hearing even the first word.  Furthermore, with traditional marketing your audience must become immediately engaged with your message, or they will turn the page, change the station, or click another link.  Nearly 100% of a public speaking audience stays listening attentively to the speaker for the entire speech.