In a world where personal branding and online marketing go hand in hand, public speaking is one of the most effective ways to grow your business. According to the America Marketing Association, public speaking is one of the key ways to present yourself as a thought leader and add value to the listener's experience. Read on to find out how public speaking can grow your business -- and how to get started. 

How Public Speaking Grows Your Business

As you become a compelling public speaker, you'll develop your company’s exposure at local and industry events. But don’t mistake public speaking engagements as opportunities for just another sales pitch - they are an opportunity to give your audience valuable information that builds their trust and establishes them as prospects for your business.

As Artem Welker  from HubSpot points out, “think of your speaking sessions as a way to initiate a new relationship. You then have to nurture that relationship by giving, giving, and giving some more.”  

As you continue to take on talks, you’re opening yourself to the following three opportunities to boost your business: 

A. Building a body of knowledge

From the time you develop a speaking topic to the moment you deliver your speech, you are growing your body of knowledge and your personal and professional brand. Every speech is another blog for your website, another line for your resume, and another opportunity for your audience members to recommend you on social media. You’ll show mastery within your field when you speak, and people will notice.

B. Establishing credibility

Every time you speak at an event and are engaging and helpful to your audience, you gain credibility as an industry thought leader and grow your audience of consumers that are confident in your services. And the more you present at public events, the more opportunities you'll have to build your credibility as an expert.

C. Closing the deal

When someone shows up to hear speak, they have already decided to give you their time and hear what they have to say – that’s huge! These people have agreed to be a captive audience. Make sure your public speaking event is one that will really "wow" your audience with high-value content. This way you’ll win them over without giving them a hard sell. 

Planning Your Talk

Now you see how public speaking could take your business to the next level. But where do you start? How do you successfully use public speaking to grow your business and set up your company as a thought leader? Well, it breaks down to five basic principles for planning your talk.

A. Find the right opportunities

Picking the right opportunities for your business is just as important as the content you present. If your venue’s interests don’t match your business’ expertise, you will have a harder time reaching your audience. Make sure to contact organizations that will benefit from what you have to say.

 If you aren’t sure where to start, think local. Neil Patel of Quicksprout recommends starting at industry-based conferences, and then expanding to other sectors that can be more lucrative. Staying in your industry to start allows you to network and create presentation ideas base on what your competitors are doing. So, start looking at professional organizations within your industry that hold conferences. Attend and plan to increase your network while you're there!

B. Understand your audience

If you had to boil a talk down to its key components – audience would be one of the most important. Knowing your audience is crucial to understanding what you will say and how you will say it. Research your audience and determine their interests, needs, and expectations, so you can adapt your content to fit their needs.

C. Decide on the topic

After you know your venue and your audience, you need to choose your topic and the message you want your audience to take away. Here are some suggested steps which will help you decide on your message:

  1. Select a topic with a message that your audience needs to hear.

 According to Papersmaster’s awesome speechwriting infographic, your topic should be debatable, emotionally engaging, thought provoking, and relatable. That sounds like a lot, but some simple brainstorming can create topics that have all four of these key elements. To start, make a list of topics for your audience that are relevant to their needs.

Ask yourself the following questions. What information is most important to this audience? What do they know about the insurance industry? What might they not know about insurance that could help them? When you have a list of a few good topics, select the one that you feel relates most to you and your company. It is that easy!

  1. Add value through a combination of research and personal ideas.

After you have your topic, make sure you don’t make the mistake of summarizing information which is already out there. Bring your own ideas, personality, and research to the information you’re presenting. This way you are illustrating value in both your information, and your company by offering your audience something fresh.

  1. Make the message simple.

Finally, present your points in a straightforward way.  We have all heard the adage “Keep It Simple, Stupid,” or KISS for short, and HubSpot and The London Speaking Bureau are still championing this advice. Minimizing your points allows you to maximize your audience’s takeaways – and prevent information overload.

D. Create a solid presentation

Now that you are confident in your topic and message, it’s time to build your presentation. Just like choosing a topic, creating your presentation boils down to three straightforward steps.

  1. Have a strong introduction 

Make it brief, but clear. Let the audience know what you're going to talk about and capture their attention from the start. Don’t be afraid to start with a relevant anecdote to grab their interest – maybe about why you picked this topic to speak on.

  1. Show and tell. Use pictures, infographics, and other visuals

Your presentation isn’t just what you say – but also what you show your audience. People learn just as much from what they see as they do from what they hear you say. So be sure to develop helpful, attractive visuals that support your points and are easy to follow. There are tons of tools online to make infographics or animations for your presentation – use them!

  1. Let your audience know the takeaway

The importance of the takeaway in public speaking goes all the way back to Ancient Greece. The philosopher Aristotle laid out the framework for all speeches and presentations – tell them what you are going to say, say it, and tell them what you just said. This advice is so important because when you follow it, you are ensuring that your audience is engaging with your takeaway in every part of your speech. With this framework your audience will always leave knowing your intended message -- and that they'll have learned something new which they can apply to their work or to their lives.

E. Hone skills

Since you are going to be speaking publicly, you will want to take advantage of every opportunity you have to grow your public speaking and presentation skills. Practice is by far the best teacher, but if you are looking for pointers, there are tons of online resources available including videos, webinars, blogs, and other online content! Here are a few useful platforms you can find courses online: 

       Udemy LinkMOOC Link
Coursera Link

How to Become an Engaging Speaker

We’ve given you the keys on how to prepare for a talk – but you still may lack confidence in your public speaking abilities. Here are a few tips to help you practice your speaking skills and be ready when it’s your time to take the stage!

A. Stories and quotes

Storytelling sells. It’s important to deliver each audience member a memorable experience they can connect to – this allows them to connect to you, your content, and your products. One of the best ways to do that is weave impactful stories throughout your narrative. Another method is to use powerful quotes at the beginning of your talk or in each section. Connecting your speeches to your company’s story creates a bridge for your audience to easily connect to you and your products. For more on how storytelling can be a benefit to your company’s brand, check out HubSpot’s guide to storytelling here.

B. Improve your speaking skills with the help of local organizations

If you are interested in finding some practice in building your skills, there are plenty of local and national organizations that are either dedicated to helping you hone your public speaking skills or have opportunities for you to speak to your local community. Some notable examples are:

  1. Dale Carnegie's Toastmasters: Toastmasters is a national club with local chapters that hold meetings every one or two weeks to give local speakers the opportunity to grow.
  2. Charities, drives, and causes: Look around your community for local opportunities to speak for events that have a cause which interests you. Find ways in which your area of expertise relates to that cause and be prepared to offer your audience a unique take. 
  3. Local churches: Most churches have groups that invite special guests to speak about topics of interest. Since church groups can vary widely on their focus and expectations, this can be a good opportunity to study that market segment and prepare a talk customized just for them.
  4. Family and community events: From summer camps to the local YMCA or YWCA, scouting events, and more, you'll find local venues with audiences that are interested in your topics. 

C. Designate time just to practice your pitch

After you’re comfortable with your skills, it is time to practice and refine your speech. Set aside a block of time to write your draft, and then another block to go through it and correct it. Finally, practice the final version of your speech. Take as much time as you need and be sure to practice until your talk is second nature to you. Do some dry runs in the venue where you will be presenting, pulling up any slides and checking audio-visual equipment as you go along.

Your Talks and YouTube

Long after your speech is over, it can still be working to build your business. Record your talk and post it on YouTube and your website! Videos are one of the best ways to bring traffic onto your site. According to, as of January of 2018, 85% of internet users in the US were watching videos. You can record and repurpose your talks to create video content that will reach exponentially more people and even bring new leads to your website.

If you don’t have a website, start by posting your content on YouTube. Not on YouTube either? Join easily! Just create an account (it’s free), create and post quality content, and make sure to promote your content on your other social media channels! Here is a quick guide to help you start.

A. Set up a Gmail account and a YouTube Channel

Before you can host your video content on YouTube, you need an account. Creating your account is easy. Since YouTube is Google’s official video service, if you have a Gmail account – your YouTube account is already ready to go! But if your business doesn’t have a Gmail account, you just need to sign up and start creating content!.

For additional information on setting up your YouTube business account, see Leslie Walker's "YouTube Brand Account Setup Instructions" on 

B. Translating your speeches into quality videos

Whether you want to record your talks and post them to YouTube, or you want to create new video content based on your talks, your video should be engaging, relevant, and fit into common YouTube video types. Here are different types of videos that your talk will more than likely fit into:

  1. General Introduction 101: This type of video introduces a specific subject within your area of expertise. (e.g. “Everything you need to know about health plans in 2019”)
  2. How-to videos: These are some of the most popular videos on the net and are a great way to demonstrate your expertise in a specific area. (e.g. “How to choose the dental plan that is right for you!”)
  3. Other educational videos: Break down the information of a more detailed topic in an engaging way. (e.g. “What is an HMO plan?”).
  4. Background or informational videos: This video type is helpful when you have a brief topic of key interest that relates to your expertise. (e.g. “Five pain points your insurance broker might experience this open enrollment.”)

C. Where to put videos

After you have created your videos, you should make them available on YouTube as well as your website or blog. Your videos will most likely receive far more hits than blogs or other content. Adding videos will likely also increase traffic to the blogs and other website content they are connected to.

You also should add your videos to your active social media accounts and/or embed them in your posts. If you are unsure what Social Media your business should be using, check out our blog on the Top 4 Social Media Channels every broker should use.

Now that you know the value of public speaking and how to grow your skills as a speaker, there’s only one thing left to do – get out there and start speaking! If you are looking to increase your business’ online growth, check out our guide on Online Business Tools for Insurance Brokers!

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