I was speaking with one of my mentors this spring on networking in London, and his number one advice to me was: “Do more public speaking.”
Now I have done public speaking in the past, at conferences, schools and companies in Sweden, including Nordic eCommerce Summit, Webbdagarna, Stockholm University and Nackademin, but I’m still fairly new to London. And what better of a city to do more public speaking and host events on branding and digital marketing than in London – the European hub for startups and innovation?
Why you need to do more public speaking
1. It’s a great way to network!
We all know the importance of networking, both online and offline. But often times when attending an event, we are limited in time to having just quick chats with a lot of people, or in-depth talks with a few people. Not that any of those options are bad, you are still meeting new people and getting new perspectives, but, there are also a lot of other people in that room who you will never get a chance to speak with. Who share a common interest with you (because basically, for some reason, you’ve both ended up attending the same event). And who might just be a potential new business partner, client or even friend of yours.
But, if you are the one up on stage, you will actually get the chance to speak with a lot of people at the same time. To share your thoughts and who you are.
And if people think you are interesting and that you share some common ground, chances are, they will come up and speak with you afterwards.
So, in that way, public speaking is actually a more effective way to network. And also to get your name out there (to find new clients, land a new job, get media coverage, or whatever your goal may be).
2. Learn to clarify your core message
It is also a great way to challenge yourself. To put down in a presentation and summarize in an hour what you are really about, and what you expertise is about. When you have to sit down and summarize the things you do in a way that others will be able to grasp it quickly, it also makes you think more about what you are really doing. Maybe question some parts or realize that others are even stronger than you had earlier anticipated. It helps make you sharper, more concrete, and also, more interesting. On a professional, but maybe also on a personal level.
3. Brand yourself, or amplify brand
If you are a passionate public speaker, people will remember you. And they will also remember the brand you are speaking about, if that is core in your presentation. So make your mark! And if you are an employer, and you have great, passionate people in your team, why not give them to opportunity to pursue a public speaking career of their own? Where they can represent your brand and at the same time build their own expertise and confident. A great asset to have on board! And of course, as a manager or a start up founder, you should be doing public speaking yourself as well.
4. Thought leadership through spoken words
I love to write, and I do it quite a lot. But to be honest, there are tons of great writers publishing their insights and knowledge all over the internet. Getting noticed can sometimes be hard, and keeping someone’s attention for a whole story might be even harder. Now, if you speak in front of people, they will be looking at and listening to you in that moment. And if what you say and do makes sense, they will start thinking of you as an expert on your area, a thought leader.
5. Build yourself a name when you are new
I’ve lived in several cities during the past few years, and while I’ve spent years getting to know people in my industry in Stockholm and Sweden, I often have to start over when I come to a new city. Putting yourself up on stage is one way of getting people to know what you are about, regardless of if you’ve been somewhere for 1 week or 3 years.