Make Your Voice Heard: Learn To Become A Confident Public Speaker.

14/03/2018 08:00 | Start a business

Be a confident speaking for your franchise

Successful franchises are led by confident, experienced and knowledgeable franchisors. The ability to share your qualities and recruit prospective franchisees may rely on your capacity to stand out from the crowd and give compelling reasons why they should join your business. This may take place at Discovery Days or a franchise show, for example.

The problem is, for many entrepreneurs who appear confident on the outside, the thought of public speaking fills them with dread. If this sounds like you, then don't be disheartened. Thankfully, learning to speak with confidence in front of an audience is a skill that can be taught.

You should see learning this skill as an essential part of your franchise development process. Only through practice and experience will you get better and lose your nerves. So, if you want to promote your franchise efficiently, apply these top tips to get your voice heard.

1. Get out there and do it.

Sometimes, the only way to overcome your fears is to face them head-on. Volunteer to give a speech at a franchise show in your area. The very thought of it may seem nerve-wracking, but you'll be talking about something you know and are good at; so, you only have to focus on how you are saying something, rather than what you're saying too.

2. Learn from the best

A franchise show is also an excellent opportunity to watch other people present. When you watch someone that you find engaging, take note of how they deliver their content. Appearing confident in front of an audience is less about what is being said, and more about the body language that is used. It may be very subtle, but emulating specific factors, such as the way to stand and use of hand movement, can make all the difference to your delivery.

3. Don't overcomplicate things.

Very often, when youre speaking in public, youll be addressing an audience who know very little about franchising. By overcomplicating your content, not only will you find it difficult to present, but youll probably bewilder your audience too. Steer clear of jargon and stick to plain and simple language. Also, be aware of the length of time youre speaking. Its better to be concise and get your point across in a short time frame, rather than cloud your message by talking for longer and veering off topic.

4. Make eye contact

There's nothing worse than looking at a sea of faces and being met with blank expressions; even for the most seasoned public speaker. Realising that you're addressing a disinterested audience does nothing to settle the nerves. Don't let this get to you and put you off track. Look harder for people who are nodding in agreement with you. Make regular eye contact with this people and pretend that you're only speaking to them. This will increase your confidence levels, and in turn, the number of nodding heads will also increase.

5. Breathe

When you focus on your breathing your voice will resonate more; increasing your impact. Breathe calmly and concentrate on getting into a rhythm. This public speaking exercise can help in any stressful situation.

6. Smile

It doesnt matter if you have one of the most successful franchises; if you look nervous, the audience will feel uneasy listening to you speak. This isnt great, especially when youre trying to sell your franchise package or convince the audience about how seriously you take franchise development. Instead of looking like a rabbit caught in the headlights, a simple smile can help mask the nerves. Don't be afraid to show your emotions. If you come across as enthusiastic, passionate and authentic, you're much more likely to connect with the audience who will buy into the story you're telling.

7. Rehearse, practice and improve

Before an event take time to rehearse your speech. Use family and friends (or even stuffed toys) as your makeshift audience. If you don't have anyone to practice in front of, then just present to an empty room while recording yourself. You can then listen back and make any improvements that are necessary. The more the run through the presentation in practice, the more familiar it will become. This wont stop your mind going blank, but when you get into your stride your practice time will pay off. The flow of your speech will be more natural, and you'll relax sooner in the knowledge that you're comfortable with the content.

8. Prepare for the worst.

Everyone makes mistakes. Even the public speaking guru, Steve Jobs, is bound to have made a blunder every now and again. The trick is to quickly recover if you make an error when you're speaking in public. A great way to come back from a mistake is to prepare a joke in the event of the worst happening. The audience will appreciate your honesty and your ability to laugh in the face of adversity. It will also give you a chance to recover and get back on track.

Successful franchises arent owned by franchisors that are skilled at everything but being a confident public speaker will help in so many situations. If you dedicate time and effort to overcoming nerves or lack of confidence, you can do your franchise justice when youre promoting it to franchisees at conferences and exhibitions.

No one can give you confidence; you can only build this yourself. And this can only be done by taking action to face your fears. As your confidence increases, you'll feel more comfortable sharing your opportunity. This will make your speeches more engaging, and as a result, you're more likely to attract quality franchisees that will take your business model and make it a success.

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