If you follow me on social media, you’ve probably seen me quote sales legends, such as Zig Ziglar, David Ogilvy, and Dale Carnegie. As a professional speaker, I’m inspired by the standards they set for communicating with their customers. These industry leaders knew that communication is at the core of successful selling.
A great salesperson knows how to talk and listen in a way that makes people not only take notice but also take action.
In her article, 13 Communication Skills That are Crucial to Sales Success, HubSpot’s Leslie Ye explores this topic in detail, writing that “the root of sales success is the ability to gather and provide information in a way that makes a prospect want to do business with you.”
That sounds a lot like what a great public speaker does!
When I teach a seminar or give a keynote speech, my goal is to provide actionable information. To do that, I have to make sure I’m not just talking to the room but that my message is being received. Communication isn’t effective unless it makes that connection.
So how do professional speakers like me make that connection?
We craft carefully thought out and practiced communications. Through seminars, speakers forums, and practice, speakers develop the skills that allow them to connect with their audiences.
That’s why studying professional speaking can make a good salesperson even better. A salesperson who knows the product and customer becomes a triple-threat once he or she also knows how to communicate like a pro.
Here are a some of the speaking talents that will up anyone’s sales game:
Confidence and authenticity -- Imagine how easy it will be to speak to a single customer or prospect once you’ve mastered sharing your story with a whole group of strangers. Improving your speaking skills can help you overcome the natural nervousness most people feel when asked to make a presentation before strangers. As you become a better speaker, you’ll also become a more authentic communicator.
Body language and situational awareness -- An important part of learning to speak in front of an audience is self-awareness. A speaker needs to be able to use motions and gestures to complement their speech, not distract from it. To be truly comfortable onstage, you have to be in control but not self-conscious. That skill takes a little practice.
Voice modulation and control -- When you speak, your voice becomes an instrument that communicates not just the spoken words but also emotion and emphasis. Like an instrument, you can adjust your rhythm and tone to enhance your presentation. Learning to recognize your off-notes is another one of the skills professional speaking develops.
Story crafting -- Talking is an ability, storytelling is an art. Professional speakers learn to encourage and inspire by telling a great story. Sales professionals who can tell a compelling story with their customer as the star have the map to success.
If you’d like to learn some of these pro speaker skills, I have a great offer for you. Every month, BostonSpeaks offers a free online master class. Yup, go pro for free. You can find all the details at BostonSpeaks.com. See you there!