PUT ON A HAPPY FACE: Confidence is the Key!Written by Alvin Apple
Every time you turn on a radio or TV these days, you hear doom- and-gloom news about US economy. As a businessperson, it's hard NOT to get discouraged. However, we need to do exactly that if we want to keep our businesses thriving.
Even if you have been hard hit by recent events (and who hasn't, one way or another?), it is still important that you put forth a confident image to your customers. In fact, it is part of our job as business owners to make sure that our customers don't lose hope. If you are confident in your business, your customers will follow suit.
The first step to creating confidence in your customers is to be confident yourself and focus on positive. Don't dwell on problems you might have -- you can talk about your problems, but think of them as obstacles that have been overcome, rather than as disasters. For instance, don't say to your customers, "Slow sales have caused us to discontinue some of our items." Instead, say, "Recent events have given us opportunity to reevaluate our product line and focus on products that are most important to you." Look at opportunities that a situation provides, rather than problems it causes.
You can also help reassure nervous customers by giving them concrete examples of success. For some reason, real-life examples are MUCH more reassuring than just giving hypothetical "here's what you COULD do" examples. That means that you should not skimp on your real-life testimonials. Give your customers plenty of stories of people who love your product or who succeeded after joining your opportunity. If possible, give customers a way of contacting one or two of your satisfied customers -- talking to a real "success story" will do a great job of calming shaky nerves.
Using Public Speaking to Increase your PR NetworkWritten by Ana Ventura
The first time I was assigned an oral presentation as a college freshmen, I figured it would be an easy A. But much to my dismay, as I stood in front of classroom, my palms became drenched with sweat and I couldn't remember a word of material I had so laboriously researched.
You might be wondering, "So what does this have to do with my PR campaign?" Surprisingly, it might be more than you think. Let's say your company had decided to sponsor a charity event, and director of organization asks you to say a few words at event. Whether this invitation is spur of moment or planned, if you don't have a few good public speaking skills under your belt, you could end up doing more harm to your company's face than good.
Public speaking is not an easy task, and one that takes a fair amount of practice and confidence. Many people perceive speakers that give off a certain air of knowledge to be experts on topic being covered. Even if you aren't really an expert, it doesn't hurt to sound like one, right?
The first thing you should take in account when planning a speech is who you will be presenting to. Demographics and psychographics are two things that should be looked at carefully. Demographics deals with such issues as age, sex, socio-economic status and education level, while psychographics leans towards ideologies and beliefs systems of audience. Obviously, presenting to a group of high schoolers will necessitate a different tone and speech type than would a presentation to a group of science junkies at a physics convention.
You also need to look at message that you wish to convey to your audience. This will lead to figuring out what sort of speech you need to work on. There are different types of speeches, including demonstration, informative, or persuasive. If you expect an audience to listen, you have to give them a reason. Play off their motivations-- always remember that humans act and direct their behavior according towards wants and needs.
However, it doesn't matter how much you appeal to someone's emotions if you have no credibility. Establishing credibility is important because it builds trust between you and audience. Some common ways to portray credibility is by use of facts, statistics, narratives, and defining jargon that your audience might not be immediately familiar with.