“All entrepreneurs are great speakers, but not all great speakers are entrepreneurs.”
Think about this sentence and think about successful business people; they all speak engagingly and effectively. Take the late Steve Jobs, for example; when he introduced a new product, his presentation was magnetic. He’d stroll across the stage, showing huge PowerPoints, telling jokes, and chatting to an audience of millions. How did he do it? Brilliantly.
Indeed, what is the connection between entrepreneurship and public speaking? Well, they both have a lot in common. Some of the things one needs to be great at both include confidence, risk-taking, excellent communication ideas, leadership, ability to gain trust, and creativity.
Let’s look at each of these in a bit more detail.
Confidence is both something that comes from self-belief and external success. Judith explains, “If you feel good about yourself and think that you have some presence, you will likely walk into a room confidently and smiling. Most people will want to talk to you, and if you approach strangers, they are likely to listen to you as you exude a feeling of surety. It can also be put on and learned.” So, try it. Walk into the next gathering, saunter up to a stranger and start a conversation.
Risk-taking means that people are willing to go out of their comfort zone and try something different or even, well, risky. Elon Musk did not get to be the billionaire he came to be without risking battery cars and space travel. Judith adds, “Taking risks means that you back yourself up and get others to support you too. Trump made millions out of lending his name to buildings. You may disagree with his politics, but the man knows how to make money and communicate.”
This leads to excellent communication skills. The starting point for this shared skill is listening. “It means listening to your clients or audience carefully. If you do not listen, you will not be a great communicator. Also, it means relating to the audience when you speak, using the word ‘you’ heaps of times, sharing emotions, showing vulnerability when you speak, and painting pictures, using metaphors and other aspects of figurative language like alliteration, simile, and so on. Finally, it means having a sense of humor and being able to laugh at yourself. If you can make your audience laugh, you are almost bound to have them eat out of your hand or buy your product.”
Now leadership is tricky. There are many types of leaders: authoritarian, democratic, charismatic, quiet, and magnetic. One does not have to be charismatic to be a great speaker and entrepreneur. However, they do need to have people listen to them when they talk. There are loads of other things that we could go into here, suffice to say, leadership is a necessary ingredient in getting others to follow and trust you.
Trust? What is it, and how does it connect to speaking and being a successful business person? For Judith, “Trust is gained by not promising more than you can deliver but delivering more than you promise. It’s about being your word. It’s about being reliable, punctual, and not cheating your clients and customers. It takes ages to build trust and minutes to lose it, forever. So, aim to be honest and believe in abundance. Share ideas freely, be prepared to help up-and-coming entrepreneurs, and they will trust you, even love you.”
Finally, creativity is not an artist’s talent. It’s thinking outside the box. Creativity is trying something that no one else has tried. The man who started Selfridges did things others had never done. He let customers come in and touch products. He displayed products beautifully, and he treated his staff with respect and promoted them.
Although, entrepreneurs have things that are beyond speaking skills, like business acumen, ability to delegate, money to make money, or luck! Nevertheless, they absolutely need to be brilliant communicators.
For more information, get in touch with Judith Field at her website.
“If you say what you mean. Mean what you say and never be mean when you say it; you are likely to succeed.” – Judith Field Direct Speech.
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