When interpersonal communication consists primarily of text messaging, Twitter, and email, honing your public speaking skills might not seem particularly important. However, your small business needs representatives who are capable of making presentations to potential customers at meetings, large conferences, and in booths at trade shows. Consider the advantages of providing your company’s representatives with organization memberships and training opportunities to help them to improve their communication and networking skills.
Public Speaking Skills Provide a Competitive Edge
The ability to speak well before groups of people is a talent that most people do not share. Surveys indicate that fear of public speaking, known as glossophobia, is the greatest fear a person can experience and that it is more significant than the fear of death. When one of your companys representatives can overcome that fear and confidently present your products or services, potential customers are likely to feel confident in your representative. This skill can help your company’s sales staff establish business leads in a manner unavailable to your competitors. Business and community groups regularly seek speakers to address their meetings; such an invitation can provide your representative an opportunity to market your business to a captive audience.
Organizations and Firms for Public Speaking Skills
There are several businesses and organizations offering opportunities for developing public speaking skills. Some of these firms focus exclusively on public speaking for business needs.
- The Toronto-based Speaker Skills Institute offers a number of services, including corporate public speaking workshops and individualized training for public speaking.
- Toastmasters International is a nonprofit educational organization that teaches public speaking skills through a worldwide network of clubs. Canada’s Speaker of the House of Commons Geoff Regan credits Toastmasters International for helping him improve his public speaking abilities.
- The Ivey Business Schools in Toronto and London, Ontario offer an influence and persuasion program for those interested in learning how to master the skills to deliver high-impact communication.
- Toronto-based McLuhan & Davies offers business communication skills workshops at its Toronto and Ottawa locations. The firm has an impressive list of corporate clients.
Small Business Networking
Your staff can improve business networking skills and contacts through membership in Canada’s many small business organizations.
- The Canadian Council for Small Business and Entrepreneurship maintains a network of academics, practitioners, and policy influencers who discuss best practices and research in the field. The CCSBE holds annual conferences, which offer each attendee an opportunity to participate by sharing experiences and providing insights for small business development. This experience helps contribute to the participants own growth and development.
- Small Business Association Canada is a nonprofit organization of small businesses that help each other achieve success through networking, collaboration, and skills development.
- Small Business BC offers a wide variety of seminars in Vancouver, British Columbia, such as Networking for Success and Communicate with Confidence.
The investment you make in helping your representatives cultivate their skills of communication, persuasion, and networking can help expand your company’s client base and boost sales.