Top 3 Benefits of Public Speaking for Your Business or Brand

Top 3 Benefits of Public Speaking for Your Business or Brand

Public speaking is a powerful tool that can make a significant impact on your business or brand. Whether you are presenting online, delivering a speech in person, or participating in a panel discussion, public speaking can provide numerous benefits that can help you grow and succeed. In this article, we will explore the top three benefits of public speaking for your business or brand.

1. Public speaking establishes credibility and expertise. One of the key benefits of public speaking is the opportunity to establish yourself as a credible expert in your industry. When you deliver a well-prepared and insightful presentation, it showcases your knowledge and expertise to the audience. This can help build trust and credibility with potential customers, clients, and referral partners.

By sharing your expertise through public speaking, you position yourself as a thought leader in your field. This can lead to increased visibility and recognition, which can ultimately attract new business opportunities. People are more likely to trust and engage with a brand or business that is seen as an authority in its field.

2. Public speaking builds relationships and networks. Public speaking naturally facilitates networking with other professionals in your industry. When you speak at conferences or events, you have the chance to connect with like-minded individuals, potential clients, and industry influencers. When they hear your stories and relate to your experiences, you begin to build that "know, like, and trust" factor that is crucial to make sales. 

Networking through public speaking can open doors to collaborations, partnerships, and new business opportunities. By sharing your expertise and insights, you can attract the attention of individuals who may be interested in working with you or your business. Building strong relationships with other professionals can also lead to referrals and recommendations, further expanding your network and customer base.

3. Public speaking significantly increases brand exposure and awareness. When you speak at conferences or events, you have the opportunity to reach a large and diverse audience. This exposure can help you attract new customers, clients, and followers.

Additionally, public speaking often involves media coverage and promotion. Conference organizers and event coordinators often promote their speakers through various channels, such as social media, podcasts, websites, and email newsletters. This additional exposure can help increase your brand visibility and reach a wider audience.

Furthermore, when you deliver a memorable and impactful presentation, attendees are more likely to remember your brand and seek out your products or services. Public speaking allows you to showcase your brand's unique value proposition and differentiate yourself from competitors.

Public speaking offers numerous benefits for your business or brand. It allows you to establish credibility and expertise, build valuable relationships, and increase brand exposure and awareness. By leveraging the power of public speaking, you can take your business or brand to new heights and achieve long-term success.


Are you considering utilizing public speaking to maximize your business or brand? Don't waste time wondering where to speak, which topic to speak on, and how to profit from speaking. Click here to sign up for a 60-minute Strategy Session with Carrie to build a framework for your public speaking success! 

Carrie Sharpe is a Communication Consultant, Speaker, and Co-Owner of He says, She says. She is also Co-Host of the Speaking with Ryan & Carrie Sharpe podcast. Carrie earned her degree in Political Science and Psychology from Lake Superior State University. With over twenty-five years of experience and training, Carrie coaches clients in communication and public speaking skills. Carrie is a Huffington Post Contributor and has been quoted in a variety of publications including Forbes, Business Insider, and Bustle. Recently she served as Communications Director for the successful campaign of a candidate for the Michigan House of Representatives. Carrie and her husband, Ryan, reside in northern Michigan and have five children.  

Top 3 Benefits of Public Speaking for Your Business or Brand | He says, She says

9 Ways to Become the Event Planner's Favorite Speaker

9 Ways to Become the Event Planner's Favorite Speaker

You've been selected to speak at a conference. Congratulations! You're wondering how to make sure everything goes smoothly for both you and the planner of the event. Follow these tips to make sure the event planner loves you and wants to hire you to speak again in the future.

1. First and foremost, check your ego at the door. The event is not about you, dear speaker. The event is about the audience. You are there to serve the audience, not to bask in the glow of the spotlight. 

2. Make no demands. Be humble. This is not the time to demand bottled spring water and only green Skittles in the speaker lounge. The event planner does not have time to deal with these requests, and making such requests will make you appear like a diva.

3. Know your audience. Check out the event's website and Facebook group. Get to know the people who will be in attendance. Interact with them before the event. This will help you tailor your presentation to cover exactly what this audience needs. It will also help you make it personal for them as you can add in anecdotes you've picked up from them, avoid particular topics, and mention people in attendance by name. The old saying goes, "People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care." Make sure the audience knows you ahead of time. Show them you care enough to make that happen.

4. Promote the event. If the event is public, promote it to your own audience. Utilize social media, email, and word of mouth. That's a win-win for both you and the planner of the event.

5. Arrive early, and stay late. Be generous with your time. Mingle with audience members. Do some networking. Be part of the group. Don't hide out in the speaker lounge or in your hotel room. Your success depends a lot on the relationships you build before and after your speech.

6. Start and end on time. Respect the event's itinerary. Do not run long on your speech. 

7. When in doubt, check with the event planner. Do not assume anything. Find out what to wear, where to sit, how many handouts to print, taboo topics to avoid, how much you're allowed to promote your services, and every other detail from the event planner. Don't bombard her with a million emails, but get your questions answered. That way you will be prepared.

8. Be prepared. Prep and practice that speech a million times. Be so familiar with it that you could present it in your sleep. Utilize a Communication Consultant to ensure your success. Your audience deserves your best, so prepare more than you think you need to. Have handouts, slides, clothing, and electronic devices prepped and ready, too.

9. Follow up. Keep in contact with the event planner. Send a thank-you note. Also send messages to attendees you connected with. Keep the conversations going. Every speaking engagement can yield you customers, clients, and referrals for years to come. It's also important in follow-up to always be positive. Never bad-mouth an event.

It's vital that you are a productive team member who contributes to the event's success. Being professional, helpful, and courteous will put you head and shoulders above speakers who create drama, put the focus on themselves, or arrive unprepared. You'll be the event planner's favorite speaker, and you'll secure your spot on her speaker roster time after time.


9 Ways to Become the Event Planner's Favorite Speaker | He says, She says

Positively Criticize

Positively Criticize

A chef recently shared that it's difficult to give necessary criticism to other chefs in her kitchen during the dinner rush. She explained that in the moment, it's imperative to point out what's wrong with a dish so it can be immediately corrected before being served to a guest. But because so much criticism takes place, she is concerned about how that affects those she is criticizing. 

Understandably so. No one likes to be on the receiving end of criticism, especially if it needs to happen in front of other people. In many situations we have the luxury of dishing out criticism in private, but that's not the case for all.

How can we give spontaneous criticism in a positive manner?

1. Focus on the good things first. In the kitchen example above, it would be important to point out what is right with the dish before expressing what's wrong. There is always something good to focus on, so start with that.

2. Next, ask a question to prompt the critique to happen naturally. In this instance, something like "The consistency of the sauce on this dish is spot on. (That's the positive.) What do you think could be done to make it look a little prettier on the plate? (That's the question to prompt the natural critique.) Asking the question allows the person being criticized to determine the error himself and to suggest solutions. 

 3. Suggest changes in a positive manner. Once you've listened to the other person's answers to your question, share your thoughts. "In dishes like this, I have found that....." or "I once saw a plate that arranged the sauce like ________, and it was beautiful." Be careful how you word your suggestions. They don't need to sound like demands to be effective. Be aware of your face-- a smile goes a long way.

4. Then, ask for confirmation. After you've hashed out all the possible scenarios and solutions, ask which will work best. "What do you think of that?" and "Do you think that's something we can do here?" are possible ways to word the question. Once you've reached agreement, it's time to move forward.

5. Encourage action. Now that the issue has been raised and addressed, encourage the person to make the necessary changes. Something like "Awesome! Let's do that!" or "Sounds good! Get 'er done!" or "I love your idea. I know you can do it!" are all great ways to compel the change you desire. Demonstrate the desired change if necessary. 

One thing to keep in mind here is that criticism is not a condemnation. Don't make the person feel like they're a failure or in trouble. Instead, see the critique as a non-painful way of helping them do better. Build them up. Be their cheerleader. Be kind. Use the criticism to help them reach their potential. Criticism is a teaching tool if done properly. Real life is not a reality TV show-- making someone cry is great for Gordon Ramsay's ratings but not so helpful in real life. Instead, criticize positively. That way no one will be hurt, and everyone will achieve more. 


Need help giving positive criticism? Click here to chat with Carrie about how she can help.

Positively Criticize | He says, She says | Carrie Sharpe

When Your Speeches are on Autopilot

When Your Speeches are on Autopilot

Good speakers niche down and speak on specific topics in their areas of expertise. Over time that evolves into a few great speeches that are delivered repeatedly to a variety of audiences. These speeches are given so many times that eventually the speeches become second nature. 

Speakers may begin to feel like they're speaking on autopilot.

That feeling of autopilot is wonderful during speeches because it allows less reliance on notes, tweaked and honed stories, and perfect adherence to time constraints. Unfortunately, though, it can lead to boredom and burnout.

A speaker recently told me she's bored by her speeches because she's given the same ones so many times. She also mentioned that sometimes there are repeat audience members who have already heard her deliver the speeches elsewhere.

What can be done?

If you find yourself on autopilot, giving the same speeches over and over, there are a few simple things you can do to shake things up a bit.

First of all, rest assured that you should stick to your niched topics. You're not an expert on all things, so if your niche is marketing you really shouldn't be speaking on the topic of college financial aid. Your audience would not expect that. When an audience attends a Jimmy Buffett concert, they expect to hear him sing Margaritaville at some point. He's known for that song, and he's an expert at it. You're known for something specific, too, and that's your Margaritaville.

Second, just because you have niched topics doesn't mean you have to stick to the same speeches for more than a speaking season. We speak broadly about communication but that doesn't mean we keep the same speeches for decades. Reevaluate each season. Determine which topics in your wheelhouse are needed right now. For example, we did hundreds of Zoom-related trainings during the pandemic to teach audiences how to use Zoom. Zoom was pretty new to a lot of people then. Those trainings aren't as relevant now because people are more familiar with Zoom. Recently we've done trainings on specific aspects of online meetings such as "how not to put your online audience to sleep." It's all about communication, but it's a new and fresh approach.

Third, infuse new stories into your existing speeches. Jimmy Buffett may showcase different instruments during Margaritaville. Same song, fresh sound. Speakers can do the same by telling different stories that are still relevant to the speech but haven't been heard by audiences before.

Finally, take breaks. Stagger your speaking seasons. If you're speaking about goal-setting during Q1, speak about something else during Q2. Then bring goal-setting back as a topic during Q3 or Q4. The break will give you time to reflect and come at it with new perspective when you speak on that topic again.

Overall, speakers need to stay in their areas of expertise, but that doesn't mean you have to speak on autopilot until your speeches become stale. Mix them up, infuse new stories, and take breaks as needed to generate a fresh approach. Your audiences will thank you, and your Margaritaville will be requested for years to come.


Need help refreshing your speeches? Let's talk! Click here to get started.


When Your Speeches are on Autopilot | He says, She says | by Carrie Sharpe 

How to Speak Confidently

How to Speak Confidently

You agreed to give a speech, and now you're kicking yourself for saying yes because every time you think of it your guts churn and your palms sweat.

We've all been there. 

Don't worry. There are two options to get through this:

1. Call the event organizer, and back out. 

Make up any excuse you can think of-- you feel a heart attack coming on, your cat puked on your keyboard, anything. Any excuse will do when you are this panicked. But don't. There are better ways to handle this.

2. Suck it up, and get it done.

This is really your only option because you are a professional, have integrity, and seriously won't die in front of the audience. I've coached thousands of speakers, and not one of them has died while giving a speech. Not a single one.

Now that you've decided to suck it up and get it done, let me share some actual advice for cultivating the confidence you need to do this without dying.

First, do some prep work. That means learning about your audience and finding out what the event organizer wants from you. Give the organizer a call. Ask who will be in attendance, what exactly the topic is, and how much the audience already knows about that topic so you can decide what they need to hear from you.

Then, create your speech outline. Please remember that an outline is not a script. No one wants to hear your read your entire speech. Also resist the urge to put all your notes on slides (for guidelines on proper slide use, click here). Include a few stories to make it memorable and relatable, and put it all in outline form.

Finally, practice that thing until the cows come home (or at least until it sounds so natural that you can do it without relying too heavily on your notes). Practice your speech out loud, while standing, and while wearing the clothes you'll wear that day. Think of it as a dress rehearsal. Do it over and over and over. 

Once you've done the prep, created an outline, and practiced your speech, you'll feel more confident. It's the lack of prep and practice that causes all the anxiety. You owe it to yourself and to your audience to properly prepare and practice. You'll speak more confidently once you do.

Now go get 'er done. And if you find you need help or encouragement, click here to work together. I'm here for you.


How to Speak Confidently | by Carrie Sharpe | He says, She says

Selling with Stories

Selling with Stories

Everyone says to use stories in your marketing. Stories sell.

Stories are necessary because they help us connect with our audiences. Stories make us relatable, and stories are memorable. In fact, Tenfold tell us that "people retain 65 to 70 percent of information shared through stories while only 5 to 10 percent of information is retained through dry presentation of data and statistics."

But not everyone has a huge, life-altering story to share, and not everyone feels comfortable being completely open and vulnerable in their marketing.

Thankfully, you can use stories your way. You don't have to share more than you're comfortable with, you don't have to share your deepest darkest secrets, and you don't need a huge tale to tell.

Your mistakes are stories.

Overcoming challenges are stories.

Things you've learned are stories.

Funny things you've seen are stories.

How you got started is a story.

Your favorite events and conferences are stories.

Anything really can be a story. 

Stories can be long. Stories can be short. Stories can even be pictures or video. 

If you aren't sure where to begin, create a folder on your computer's desktop and label it "story library." Then start adding to it. As you think of stories from your past, and as new things happen to you, write them down and add them to your story library. The story library will be available for you whenever you need a story for a speech, social media post, email newsletter, or podcast episode.

For one example of excellent storytelling in marketing, check out this video from Josh Cellars Wine: 

Your stories don't need to be perfect, elaborate, or earth-shattering. They just need to be authentic and genuine to you. Start telling them today.


Click here to listen in as we discuss utilizing stories in sales. For resources on how to tell stories and how to infuse your stories in your marketing, click here to join the Speaking Society. Your first month of membership is free.

Selling with Stories | Ryan & Carrie Sharpe | He says, She says
Stop Tormenting Your Online Audience with Slides

Stop Tormenting Your Online Audience with Slides

Endless slides during an online presentation are agony. Suffocating. Mind-numbing. Torture.

"Death by PowerPoint" is real. As a speaker, if your online presentations consist of slide after slide full of text and endless bulletpoints, you are killing your audience.

Death by PowerPoint, people.

Slides were created to enhance your presentation. They were not created to be the presentation.

Keep the focus on you... the speaker. Keep your presentation personal and human. Audiences need that human touch, especially right now.

The goal of your online presentation should be to connect with your audience. You won't accomplish that if you're hiding behind slides.

Do your audience a favor, and lighten up on the slides. Use them sparingly and properly by following the guidelines below.


Guidelines for proper utilization of slides in an online presentation:


1. Don't use slides as your notes. If you're relying on the slides for your presentation, you're using the slides wrong. Your tech could fail, leaving you with no notes, but reading notes off a slide is also boring. Your audience deserves better.

2. Keep slides simple and visually appealing. That means go light on text and go heavy on images. It's impossible for your audience to read and listen at the same time. Don't force them to read slides when they should be listening to you. If you do use text, make it huge and use an easy-to-read font. Overall, images are better (if necessary).

3. Charts and graphs, when large and simplistic, display nicely on slides. That's an appropriate use of slides because it's a visual illustration your audience will appreciate (as long as you don't cram too much information or text in).

4. Information you're tempted to put on a slide would make a better worksheet or handout. Read that again.

5. Every moment does not need a slide. Seriously. Your online audience wants to see you and interact with you. When deciding whether to use a slide, ask yourself this question: Does this slide say it better than I can? If so, use the slide. If not, don't. A handful of carefully crafted slides during a presentation beats a thousand wordy slides any day. Ask yourself why you're really using so many slides.


Examples of slides:

See the difference? The second example is preferable. And even the second example is NOT necessary unless the image is necessary. Don't include slides just to have slides. Each slide must have a distinct purpose. Each one must be vital to your talk. Otherwise, just don't.

With online presentations on the rise, and Zoom fatigue also on the rise, we need to do our best as speakers. Inspire your audience with your words, interact with audience members, and allow your message to be enough. Utilize slides only when necessary, following the guidelines above, and your online presentations will be successful.


For presentation strategies, along with communication resources you won't find anywhere else, click here to join the Speaking Society. Your first month of membership is free.

Start the Year with a Networking Plan

Start the Year with a Networking Plan

Ah, 2020... you sure screwed up a lot of things we all had going. We were all moving right along, networking like we should, and then you had to go and disrupt everything.

But a new year is here. 

To make the most of 2021, don't do another thing until you have created a plan, especially for networking. Odds are that this year you won't be networking in quite the same way you're used to. Many in-person events like conferences and "business after hours" have been canceled or modified, so it's time to think out of the box to build your network.

2021 will be full of virtual events. In fact, we'll be inundated with them. It's already happening. In just the first month of this year, I attended an online policy conference, a couple business "meet-ups," and my ongoing mastermind group... all online. If we aren't careful, we'll waste a ton of time with all of these new and exciting events. 

Choose wisely.

That leads us back around to the idea of creating a plan for networking in 2021. Don't fly by the seat of your pants when it comes to networking this year, and don't wait another minute to make a plan.

Here's how:

1. Decide what your overall networking goal is for this year.

Do you need more long-term clients? Looking to make quick sales? Want to build relationships that become referral partners? Figure out what your overall reason is for networking this year, and write that down.

2. Research upcoming events that will help you achieve your goals.

Do a Google search, look around on Facebook, and ask trusted colleagues for recommendations of events, both in-person and online, where you can build your network. Look carefully at each one to make sure each is relevant to your goal.

3. Determine how many of those events you have time for and can afford, and then prioritize them.

No one has time or money to do everything. We can't be at every event, nor do we want to. Decide how many will fit in your schedule and what your budget is. Then decide which events are most important to you.

4. Learn to say NO.

There will be a million and one opportunities this year. That doesn't mean you should jump at them all. Be strategic, and be okay with saying NO to the ones that aren't best for you.

The most important thing is to create a plan now. Don't wait until weeks have slipped by and then months. Take time today to work through steps 1-4 above and develop your networking plan for 2021.


For networking strategies and opportunities, along with communication resources you won't find anywhere else, click here to join the Speaking Society.

Start the Year with a Networking Plan | He says, She says | by Carrie Sharpe

Your Speech Needs a Point

Your Speech Needs a Point

When I work with a public speaking client, the first thing we talk about is their intended audience. We need to know who exactly they're talking to before we plan what to say.

The next thing we do is get to the point. This means we determine what their takeaway is. Yes, we know their topic, but a takeaway goes further. A takeaway answers this question:

Five years from now, what is the one thing you want this audience to remember from your speech?

The answer to that question is the point of the speech. It's the takeaway. It's the one thing we build their presentation around.

Most speeches are 40-60 minutes. As a speaker, you can only share a certain amount of information in that timeframe effectively. You cannot tell the audience every single thing you know about your topic. You wouldn't be able to cram your lifetime of knowledge into that 40-60 minutes, and the audience wouldn't want you to.

Instead, determine your takeaway based on your overall topic. Ask yourself what one thing from your speech you want your audience to remember five years from now, and that's your takeaway. That's the whole point of your speech.

Your overall topic may be "Instagram," but your takeaway may be "Instagram Stories are easily utilized to build the know-like-trust factor with your customers."

See the difference?

Once you know your takeaway, write it down as a statement. Print it at the top of your paper when you begin brainstorming ideas for the content of your speech. For each point you think should be included in the speech, ask yourself if it supports your overall takeaway. It it does, keep it. If it doesn't it, save it for a future speech or dump it altogether.

Less is more in public speaking. Keep your speech simple by making a point-- one point-- and delivering content that supports it.


We talk about this and other public speaking topics in our Speaking Society. Click here to join our community that accelerates your communication, connection, and confidence!

Your Speech Needs a Point | He says, She says | Carrie Sharpe
5 Ways to Ruin Your Next Zoom Call

5 Ways to Ruin Your Next Zoom Call

Zoom is a powerful tool to keep us connected when we can't be together in person. We use it for coaching calls, virtual coffee chats and happy hours, online workshops, and team meetings. The possibilities are endless.

The ways to ruin Zoom calls are endless, too. Want to end up the star of a recorded Zoom call that goes viral on social media? You'll guarantee your total humiliation by doing the following:

1. Don't tell your household you'll be on a call.

No really-- I dare you not to warn members of your household in advance. Just kidding. It's important to warn the other people in your house that you'll be on a Zoom call; otherwise, distractions and embarrassment are virtually guaranteed. Your children will scream and run into the room to play, or your spouse will get out of the shower and walk behind you in only a towel. Warn your household first, and fully explain your expectations. We find it helpful to hang a stop sign on our office door before we get on a call so our family knows not to barge in and to be quiet.

2. Avoid muting your microphone.

Go ahead and leave your microphone on while you chew, yell at your kids, and take a leak. If you don't like that idea, then be sure to mute your microphone when you aren't talking. Zoom users who forget to do this will end up with a barking dog, toilet flush, or other background sounds causing distractions. Zoom has easy-to-use controls right on the screen to mute the mic. While we're at it, we'll mention the ability to shut off your camera in case you need to pick your nose, take a bathroom break, or simply eat your lunch. Be sure your camera is shut off when you don't want to be seen. Check and double-check before proceeding with nose-picking and other private activities.

3. Choose not to use headphones or ear buds.

Everyone loves to hear sound feedback, right? Wrong. To cut down on sound feedback, always use headphones. If you don't, the speaker's voice comes out your computer's speakers and goes right back into your microphone as an echo that will annoy everyone on the call. A simple pair of headphones or ear buds does the trick.

4. Avoid checking your lighting and sound equipment ahead of time.

Getting on Zoom in a dark room and making everyone wait while you plug in your microphone is a joy. Um, no it isn't. Make sure you know how to use Zoom before your call. Practice all the features. Test how far away from your camera you should sit. Check your lighting and sound beforehand, too. Good lighting is essential so everyone on the call can see your face properly. The key here is to try it all out before you get on the call so you can make sure everything works properly, sounds great, and looks right.

5. Don't check your background.

Go ahead and get on Zoom in the most chaotic part of your home or office. Show the world your hot mess. NOT! Let's be real... Dirty laundry, piles of papers, kid toys, and a cat grooming itself probably is not going to be seen as professional by the people on your Zoom call. Do yourself a favor and take a look at your background before your call. Make sure your background represents you well. When in doubt, utilize a plain flat wall as your background. 

A little prep work goes a long way toward ensuring a successful Zoom call. Avoid the mistakes above, and you'll be able to connect with others in a professional and productive way.


To learn more about virtual calls and other forms of speaking, schedule a Strategy Session with us here.

5 Ways to Ruin Your Next Zoom Call | He says, She says | Carrie Sharpe | Carrie Sharpe