It is undeniable that there is an art to professional speaking. It requires practice, polish, and purpose. But beyond that, for those wanting to sell their services and products from the stage, that requires another skill set entirely. Although the following focuses on tips for effective selling at live presentations and speaking engagements, we highly recommend you first harness your ability to speak publicly. This skill is a prerequisite to being able to ascend to the next level of speaking, speaking to sell.

To bring context to the power of selling from the stage, allow me to share a quick anecdote. Imagine you’re the CEO of a large consulting firm that specializes in marketing services for small businesses. You have an incredible marketplace to tap into and a slew of tradeshows and conferences that draw in your intended audience. You work for years to finesse your speaking skills and have been a featured speaker at nearly 100 events. In fact, you’ve even been paid for your engagements. That’s incredible, right? Absolutely! But now imagine that even with all of your efforts and all of the education you’ve provided to those audiences over the years, you’ve only landed a handful of new clients as a result. You might be wondering why.

There is an incredible difference between speaking to educate and speaking to sell. If you’re like the CEO of the consulting firm, you’ve been giving away free consulting to audiences, but haven’t given reason for them to take action to enlist your services for their company. That’s all about to change.

Consider the following ingredients to effectively sell your products or services from the stage:

Deliver with Passion. No matter the intent of your presentation, delivering your message with passion is critical to not only capturing your audience’s attention, but also making them believers in the solution you’re providing. A lackluster performance on stage will undoubtedly be the difference between driving sales on-site and not. In order to drive people to take action you have to urge them, encourage them, and guide them through the pain they are experiencing and the relief your product offers. Delivering your message with passion will ignite the emotional connection between you, your company, your product, and your audience.

Authenticity. In business, we know that trust is everything. Why do people choose to work with one company over the other? Trust. Through initial conversations, follow-up, physical materials, your online presence and beyond, at every juncture you are working to build trust with your prospects and clients…And speaking is no different. When speaking at an event, tradeshow, or workshop, you have to work through your presentation with both confidence and clarity. Your audience can sense when they’re being sold to and no one enjoys that. To ensure your audience gets the realest, truest version of you, be candid, share examples and case studies. These elements will bring validity to your presentation and provide a sense of trust to audience members interested in your service.

The Undeniable Offer. Every great sales pitch has to have an undeniable offer, one that no one can turn down or refuse. When speaking at a live event, this becomes all the more critical to deeming the event a success. You have to create a sense of urgency in your audience, to guide them to take action at that very moment, that day only.

An incredible offer must include three key elements. The first element is time sensitivity. There has to be an expiration date on your offer to drive people to purchase that day, otherwise, human nature takes over and your audience will allow themselves to think things through, consult a friend and ultimately, walk away.

The second element is exclusivity. In order to make your offering customized and enhanced for the audience to which you are speaking, package your product or service with an added bonus only available to event attendees. Let me caution that you don’t want to just throw anything away. Just as hard as you worked to build trust and authority with your audience, this bonus has to represent how much you value that customer’s purchase. Reward purchasers with a bonus that provides exclusive access, content, or additional services. Give serious thought to what the bonus is, as it can be the deciding factor for many people to move forward or not.

The third and final element is, of course, the almighty dollar. Incentivize attendees to purchase by incorporating a discount into your offer. To arrive at what your discount should be, consider how much you’d be willing to pay to acquire a new client on-site at the event. This number should help you gauge how much more you’d be willing to spend to add to your client roster immediately. Using this as the basis for your expected costs, combined with any hard and soft costs of your product or service, align this with your anticipated profit and adjust to a number that is both comfortable for you and highly enticing for the prospect.

If you knew you could get the same product or service for a limited time, available to only a set number of customers, and at a discounted price, would you turn that down? I didn’t think so.

Guarantee. This is not the gimmicky guarantee with the super fine print at the bottom of the page. This guarantee should assure your prospects that what you are offering is backed up by the highest level of confidence. Removing someone’s ability to question whether they’re making the right decision to purchase or not is the exact intention of the guarantee. Some things to consider when crafting a guarantee include the language – it has to be short, sweet, and succinct, the conditions – don’t create a laundry list of items and actions the customer has to complete in order to qualify for the guarantee, and the contact method. Be direct in how the customer should reach out regarding the guarantee and with whom they should speak. Take all of the guesswork out of purchasing, and you’re sure to improve sales.

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