By Ron Tsang
How many of you showcase your expertise as an advisor and attract new clients through public speaking? One of the most efficient lead generation activities is speaking at seminars, conferences, and to the media. However, poorly executed talks can lead to embarrassment, wasted time, and the loss of prospective clients.
Are you familiar with the three biggest speaking mistakes that advisors can make?
No Clear Message
The first deadly speaking sin is not knowing what to say, yet attempting to ramble on.
For example, in August 2007, Miss Teen USA Contestant Caite Upton became notorious for her highly convoluted answer to a question during the pageant.
When asked why 20 percent of Americans couldn’t find the U.S. on a map, her response included the lines, “I believe that our education, like, such as in South Africa and… uh… the Iraq, everywhere, like, such as…”
The lesson is that if you don’t want to lose your credibility and prospective clients, it’s crucial to have a clear message in mind before you speak.
In addition to not having a clear message, another deadly speaking sin is a lack of preparation.
Like Miss South Carolina 2007, veteran actress Jacqueline Bisset went viral on the Internet after her very disjointed acceptance speech at the 2014 Golden Globe Awards.
While nominees typically prepare award speeches in case they win, this Best Supporting Television Actress was clearly caught off guard. She swore, ignored the orchestra cue to wrap up, and went off on many tangents.
What’s the lesson for advisors?
If there is a chance you might be asked to speak in front of potential clients, rehearsing your remarks beforehand could help you avoid disaster.
Not Expecting the Worst
The third deadly speaking sin is failing to prepare for what could go wrong.
At the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show, movie director Michael Bay began speaking to a large audience as part of a Samsung TV presentation. Unfortunately, he had a technical problem with his teleprompter, stammered uncomfortably, and surprisingly, walked off the stage.
It’s important for advisors to consider potential problems before speaking and to be prepared with a backup plan.
For example, how well do you know your material? In case you have technical difficulties with your slide show, do you carry extra batteries for your clicker or hard copies of your presentation?
To avoid losing credibility and potential clients, have a clear message before you speak, make time to rehearse, and try to spot potential problems beforehand.
Be prepared before you speak, and you’ll attract new business by being a trusted source of expertise!
About Ron Tsang
Ron Tsang is Principal at R.H.Tsang Consulting, a leading provider of consulting services for financial services professionals. For more tips on how to polish your public speaking skills and build your executive presence, visit rhtsang.com and follow Ron on Twitter at @rhtsang.