Tips from the Top®: Small Business Tips From Business Owners For Business Owners
Tips to be a Better Public Speaker
In addition to countless other responsibilities, many of us serve as the face of our brand. There may be no better opportunity to fulfill this exacting duty than by appearing before audiences as a public speaker. It’’s a powerful way to showcase your business and communicate the depth of your industry expertise.
But the art of public speaking doesn’t come naturally to everyone. Even those who are adept in this field always look for ways to improve their performance. If you regularly receive invitations to address a public forum — or if you’re just starting out — here are tips for becoming a more compelling (and sought-after) public speaker:
View your material through the eyes (and ears) of your audience. Some speakers forget that the people they’re addressing don’t know as much as they do about a given topic. They fall into the habit of speaking "over" their audience — using jargon or technical language, rushing through complex material without offering sufficient explanation, and so on.
One way to overcome this trait is by breaking down your subject matter and finding ways to explain material in brief, easy-to-understand sections. Make sure people understand the first idea you want to convey before moving on to other topics. Use simple language as much as possible to increase the likelihood your audience follows as you progress through your presentation.
Enhance your communications skills. Eye contact and clear enunciation are two of the most valuable skills a public speaker can possess. Rather than reading from a prepared speech, practice looking up at your audience and making eye contact with people in the back of the venue, in the middle and up front. This helps you connect with the audience and enhances their willingness to trust what you have to say.
When speakers get nervous, they often speak faster and lose people due to poor enunciation. Practice speaking slowly and making sure you pronounce clearly (and loud enough for those in the back to hear). This approach will lend greater impact to what you want to convey.
Owner to Customer Visits
Staying connected with your customers and employees is crucial. It is easy to get disconnected from either or both unless you make the effort otherwise. Service companies conduct their business on job sites, or at least outside of the office. Make it a point to visit your company in action – go to where the work is happening...!Read more
How Emotion Affects Your Business Exit
Generally, business owners feel comfortable being owners. They enjoy what they do, but rationally, they know they need to change their roles in their businesses eventually. But most owners don’t resist planning their exits on a rational basis. Instead, they resist Exit Planning at an emotional level.
Consider Clancy, a 50-year-old business owner. He loves working at and owning his 25-person manufacturing company, but he knows that he’ll eventually need to start preparing for retirement. He assumes that if he can sell his business for about $5 million, he and his wife can live comfortably and still help send their grandson, Ralph, to the finest colleges. He gets his business professionally appraised and learns that it’s currently worth $3.5 million.
Clancy talks to his friend, a fellow business owner, about his exit. His friend refers him to an Exit Planning Advisor, who lays out several strategies to get his Exit Plan started, including urging him to train a management team to assure that his business has transferable value. Clancy agrees, but doesn’t act. After leaving his Exit Planner’s office, he begins working on a proposal for what could be the company’s largest contract ever…Read more
Sell Your Team!
Create an information/marketing sheet on your team members and send it to your customers. This educates them on who does what in your company and helps them know who to contact. This is a powerful tool that helps shift the notion that you are the company, helps make your company more valuable to your clients by giving them more access to the experts you have, and cuts down on the number of calls you personally get dramatically!
Terms and Conditions
Put terms and conditions on quotes, orders and invoices.
If you are going into a strong growth phase, check first to see if you are "Thunderbirds are Go" or if you are heading into uncontrolled chaos.
The Importance of Delegation
Delegate yourself out of the business. Start with the little things first. Do the things you enjoy and delegate everything else.
As a manager, your goal is to help your team succeed. Don’t be surprised to find that delegation is a full-time job.
Build reoccurring sales – the foundation of any business.