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How to Give a Speech
About Your Product or Service

by Silvana Clark

As your business gains local visibility, you may be invited to speak about your products or services to business or civic organizations. Here are some tips to help you present a professional speech while increasing your business contacts.

Public speaking is the number one fear of adults, so standing before a group of 50-100 people can be a daunting task. But there are a number of things you can do to ease your stress and present an effective talk.

1. Practice, practice, practice! Never think that you can speak casually off the top of your head. Use a few note cards with the key points written on them. Practice to the point where you can maintain eye contact with the audience.

2. Find out all you can about the audience ahead of time. What is the size of the group? Their ages? Is a microphone available? Can you distribute brochures or business cards?

3. Begin and end your speech with an interesting story, a unique fact, or a question. The worst opening is: "This afternoon I'm going to talk to you about my homebased business." When it is time to conclude your speech, sit down. The person planning the meeting is on a tight schedule and will appreciate you speaking for your exact allotted time.

4. Always ask a friend for an unbiased evaluation of your speech and delivery. Do you mumble, jingle coins in your pocket, or avoid eye contact? Is your speech punctuated with "ahs" and "you knows"? If your speaking ability could use some help, contact a local Toastmaster's group. They teach public speaking skills in a friendly, non-threatening atmosphere.

5. Find some way to add an extra touch to your speech. Bring a sample of your product or a prop to represent your service. I frequently use costumes in my speeches, along with small gifts taped under everyone's chair. I also pass around a hat during my speeches, asking everyone to put in their business card. Then I hold a drawing and award several door prizes such as flowers or gourmet coffee—a small price to pay for getting the names and addresses of everyone in the room.

© by Silvana Clark. Silvana began her professional speaking career in 1990 when people wanted to know how she got her dog to star in commercials for leading companies. Those marketing ideas led to her most popular presentations on marketing and recreation, and the publication of six books, including Taming the Marketing Jungle, (available on SilvanaClark.com. Two of her books are co-authored by her daughter, Sondra (who wrote her first book at the age of 8).

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