By Stephen Tweed, CSP
According to the 2014 Private Duty Benchmarking Study from Home Care Pulse and the Home Care Association of America, the number 5 most effective method for marketing your home care business to referral sources is “Speaking at Educational Events for Referral Sources”.
We’ve also discovered that speaking at informational events for consumers is an effective method of direct to consumer marketing. So whether your focus is consumer marketing or referral marketing, public speaking for continuing education is a highly effective tool.
Seven Tips To Improve Your Public Speaking
1. Develop a Powerful Persuasive Presentation
To be effective as a marketing tool, your presentation must be focused on the needs and interests of your audience. You don’t want to stand up in front of a group and present a 30 minute info-mercial. You want to prepare and deliver a presentation that is interesting, useful, and persuasive.
You do that when you know your audience, when you understand their needs for information about senior in-home care, and when you have a unique message that will be of value to them.
2. Polish Your Delivery
Once you have developed your message and prepared your presentation, then practice. Look for every opportunity to speak. Repetition and consistency are the keys. Over the past 30 years, I’ve probably delivered 4,000 presentations to health care executives and leaders all across the country. I find that I’m the best on the platform after I’ve delivered a presentation at least ten times. I also find I get better when I get feedback from someone I know and trust – my wife and business partner, and when I see myself on video.
Rather than developing several different presentations, create one powerful presentation and deliver it over and over again. Record the program on video and watch yourself. Ask someone for feedback.
3. Select Audiences that Have the Greatest Potential to Grow Your Business
You’ve probably heard me talk about consumer marketing versus referral marketing. No one does both well. So decide whether you will use public speaking for marketing directly to consumers or for marketing to referral sources.
The number one consumer you want to reach is the “oldest daughter” of potential clients. We know from our research that 60% of the time when your phone rings it is the oldest daughter inquiring about care for Mom or Dad. Find the opportunity to speak to groups of “oldest daughters”, present a powerful message that resonates with them, and follow up. Your phone will ring.
Or, find groups of trusted advisors where you can speak and talk to their hearts about how home care can benefit their clients. Again, you want referral sources who are in contact with the client and with the oldest daughter
4. Support Your Speech With Unique, Innovative Visuals
In today’s world of computers and technology, it’s very easy to carry a lap top and a projector so you can use PowerPoint to reinforce your presentation. Used well, PowerPoint can be a very effective tool. Used badly, PowerPoint can ruin your presentation and make you look foolish. Here are a couple of tips:
- Use large type and few words on your slides
- Use photos or graphics on every slide
- Use your own photos or graphics. You can get great photos from Google Images, but be careful that you don’t violate someone’s copyright
- More slides with fewer words and larger photos are much better that a presentation with a few slides with too many words that are too small to see while in the audience
- Emphasize your company’s logo and graphics to help etch your brand into the minds of the audience
I’ll write another article for this series on making your PowerPoint more effective.
5. Craft “Keeper” Audience Materials
My rule of thumb is, “Never speak to an audience without leaving behind a piece of paper that reinforces your message and has your name and contact information.” The more valuable the piece that you leave behind, the more likely the audience members are to keep it and call you back at some later date.
6. Follow Up With Your Audiences
Find a way to capture the names and contact information of as many people in your audience as possible. If it is an audience of professional referral sources, find ways to get them to give you their business card. Offer something of value for FREE if they give you a card. With consumers, have a sign up card for them to fill out and drop in your box. Again, offer them something for FREE.
7. Track the Results of Your Speaking Engagements
You’ve heard me say it a hundred times. “What gets measured gets managed”. Keep track of your presentations, the number of folks in your audiences, and the numbers who contact you for information on your home care services. If you are selecting the right audiences and presenting a powerful program, your phone will ring. Track every call. Find out where the caller heard about your company. Then find out “where else” they heard about your company. Track the calls to see how effectively your public speaking is working as a marketing tool.
If you would like to master this high impact, low cost method for communicating your marketing message to consumers and referral sources, then join us on Thursday, April 24, 2014 at 4:00 pm eastern time for the live web conference “Public Speaking as a Marketing Strategy to Reach Home Care Consumers and Referral Sources”.