As the Summer kicks off in the franchise recruitment world and with an event taking place nearly every week, I frequently hear from clients, and even Coconuts, about how much they dread and hate public speaking. I have also felt the same in the past and can sympathise with those of you who are now dreading the busy Summer period!

Remember that public speaking is an important element of business ownership but, if you get it wrong, it can also be detrimental for your business. Whether it’s customers or prospective franchisees, no one wants to buy from the bumbling mess they’ve just seen up on stage! Although you may hate public speaking, like it or not, it does help you to grow and develop your business. It lets even more people know who you are and what you do to really give you that competitive edge. If you can get up on stage to give your expert advice or opinion and your competitor avoids it at all costs, who is more likely to gain new customers or franchisees? So, next time you decide to dodge a public speaking slot, think again! Don’t get left behind whilst your competitors go flying ahead, just because you were too frightened to get up and talk about what you do best!

Being confident on stage has really helped me to improve my public speaking skills. Although you may not feel confident, you need to look it! ACTING confident when speaking to an audience has helped me, gradually, to FEEL confident whilst speaking to a room full of people to try and sell my services. Public speaking helps you to build trust with whoever you’re trying to sell to and really does help you to bring in new leads for your business.

Although you may not be confident in getting up in front of people to speak, I can guarantee that you’re confident about what you know about your industry and your business. Use this confidence to outweigh the fact that you’re talking to a room full of strangers. If you’re good at what you do and have won awards and accolades for it, you should be confident in shouting about it and giving people your expert advice and opinions.

I often find that many business owners are extremely modest about their achievements. The EWIF (Encouraging Women into Franchising) awards are a prime example of when I have seen this. Although I wasn’t in attendance this year (as I was doing my current demanding new job of being a mum), in the past, I have seen so many of the women who have won an award shy away from being in the limelight but you should be proud of your achievements and be happy to share your knowledge. You wouldn’t be a business owner if you weren’t passionate about what you do so make sure everyone else knows how much you know and how passionate you are. As I have found throughout my career, giving your business a human touch really helps you to grow and develop your business. Humans buy from humans so the more you can inject your personality into the business, the better. From our name to our company ethos and the way we work, I have always strived to make sure that Coconut Creatives remains as personal as possible. By injecting my own and all the Coconut’s personality into everything we do, we have managed to remain at the top of our game for the last decade! (In later blog posts, I may even explain the reason why we’re called Coconut Creatives!).

So, before you think about dodging that public speaking event next week, stop, take a breath and think seriously about whether your fear of an audience really outweighs the benefits of the event. I can bet you that it doesn’t! Get used to public speaking and feel comfortable with it and I can guarantee that you will start to see results, quickly.