Why Every New Entrepreneur Should Start Speaking

Guest Article By the Queen of Sales Conversion
Lisa Sasevich

As a heart-centered entrepreneur, whether you are launching a new business, or trying to make the quantum leap you know you are capable of, you have an incredibly powerful tool at your disposal that costs you nothing and is uniquely yours: your voice.

By using your experience, your expertise, and your voice to speak to groups, either large or small, you can build a solid foundation and kick-start your growth.

What Is Speaking?
Let’s get rid of a few misconceptions first.

First, we aren’t talking about The State of the Union or a Commencement Address here. Speaking does not have to be done in a formal or lavish setting for it to be effective. In fact, as an entrepreneur, expert, or business owner, you use your speaking skills in multiple contexts every day.

The same speaking skills you use to convey your message to a small group gathered in your living room are the same ones you use in a conference room, creating a webinar, participating in a conference call, or up on stage in front of hundreds of attendees who have paid to hear your message.

Second, contrary to what your fears are telling you, you don’t have to be an extrovert or love getting up in front of a crowd to speak. There are a lot of tools you can use to make you feel more comfortable. You can effectively deliver your message in a video, a webinar, or over the phone. (Ladies, you don’t even have to do your hair for these ones!)

Remember, whenever you are talking about your business or your passion to a group that wants to hear what you have to say, you are SPEAKING.

Why speak?
You have something to say that no one else can.

The combination of your experience, knowledge, and perspective is unique to you and the world is clamoring for people who can speak authentically to those experiences.

Boost your visibility
By speaking you make yourself more visible to the world in a way that is more personal, accessible, and impactful than any writing or social media following you can create.

Boost your credibility
When you are just starting out, you have the expertise to help your clients, but you lack the track record of successes and overjoyed customer testimonials that help convince people that you are the solution to their problems. When they see you speak they see you for who you are, an expert.

Boost your profitability
Speaking is one of the cost effective ways you can add new business. You already have your ideas, experience, and voice. And for those of us who sometimes struggle with the technology side of thing (guilty!), speaking is perfect. You just need you, them, and a room.

Propel growth
One of the quickest and best ways to grow your business quickly is to speak to as many potential customers as possible. By speaking you can turn audience members into customers and into referrals for other speaking engagements where you can turn more audience members into more customers and more referrals. Oh, Imagine the growth!

Leverage time
The one thing you never have enough of as an entrepreneur is time. Speaking allows you to tell your story once and have it heard by as many people as can fit in the room. And if you’ve recorded your message, that same message can be seen and heard by the whole world.

But the best part of speaking is that you don’t have to go out looking for prospective customers, because they are already there.

In that 30 minutes or 1 hour, you have spoken directly to a group of people who wanted to hear what you have to say and are now ready to act. What’s a better use of your time than that?

Make Your Irresistible Offer
What separates a conversation about your passion into an opportunity to sell your services to your engaged and interested audience is your offer. Your presentation should be a gateway to your offer. When people hear your message and the passion you have for what you are offering right from your mouth, you can make your offer irresistible.

Make a Great Speech
How can you ensure that you’ve put together a great speech that is going to not only get people in the door, but have them leaving excited by your message?

1. Create a Great Talk Title
Your ability to deliver a great speech that turns into a sale starts with a Great Talk Title. Let your audience know not only what the talk is about, but how it will benefit them. The magic doesn’t happen at the end, but at the beginning and your Talk title begins to plant the seeds for your eventual success.

2. Create a Speaker Summary Sheet
Your summary sheet is a short biography of you, a summary of your talk (250 words, max! Keep it short), and your picture. This can be sent to organizations you want to speak to. You should also include a speaker introduction that the host can read when they are introducing you to the room.

3. Sizzle Reel
Your sizzle reel is a short video introducing yourself to your audience. It’s your trailer, press kit, speaker one-sheet, and bio … all wrapped into one powerful video. This is not something you need right away but keep your eye out for opportunities to catch this footage when you can.
Speaking from your heart always feels amazing. Speaking from your heart and actually turning that into sales feels even more amazing.

4. And finally, follow my Five-Step Formula SPEAK

-> S – stands for Speak. You must learn to speak in a clear and concise way to convey the unique value that only you provide. For example, I help entrepreneurs sell without being salesy. Pretty clear, right?
-> P – stands for Position yourself as the expert. You know more about your subject matter than anyone in the room. Own that! You are the expert in your category.
-> E- stands for Expect Resistance from the outside as well as the inside. When you’re moving forward, you are going to experience resistance. And that’s a good thing! Resist the urge to stop or slow down. Lean into the resistance!
-> A – stands for Authority. No one grants you the authority to be who you are! No one knocked on my door and said, “Hey, Lisa, here’s the crown. You’re the Queen of Sales Conversion.” That is who I am. I crowned myself!
-> K – stands for Knowing. Your intuition is strong and accurate. You already know. Stop second guessing yourself. You know what to do at any given moment.

If you enjoyed this content, Lisa Sasevich is releasing a complimentary online training series chocked full of resources like this designed to support you on your business building journey. Check it out here.

108 Places to Speak Directory
108 Places to Speak Resource

Exciting Interview on the Nikki Clarke Show!

I was interviewed by the amazing Nikki Clarke for the Nikki Clarke Network on June 12th. Our engaging interview discussed everything from coaching to how to overcome blocks to success and how people can step into their authentic power as leaders and as speakers. The first part of our interview will be broadcast through her online radio station.

The Nikki Clarke Network was founded by Nikki Clarke in May 2014. The network is a 24 hour inspirational online tv network. The network offers unique programming with informative and entertaining segments in the areas of business, lifestyle, health, wellness, beauty, music and food among many topics.

The Nikki Clarke Show is also broadcast on two television networks: Rogers and Bell Fibe. Stay tuned for Part 2 of my interview!

Insights from Visionary Leader Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Dr. Mohammad Yunus

Here is a flashback to one of my most popular posts.

The world needs visionary leaders more than ever. One visionary leader who has changed the world through microfinance is Dr. Muhammad Yunus. Dr. Yunus from Bangladesh is a banker, economist, social entrepreneur and the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize Winner. He is the author of several books including, Banker to the Poor.

Recently, I had the opportunity to hear Dr. Yunus speak as part of a panel at a microfinance and microcredit summit. Dr. Yunus founded the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh in the 1980s. Grameen means village bank. Since that time the Grameen Bank has loaned out over 1.5 billion (USD) in microloans mainly to women who are 97 percent of the loan recipients.

In Bangladesh, these microloans are often between $30.00 (USD) to $35.00 (USD) and have helped women start microenterprises. These loans enable women in Bangladesh to change their entire life’s trajectory. When they start businesses, the women who are loan recipients are able to pay for their children’s education and give back to their local community. Entire villages are improved because of these microloans. The loans also have a high repayment rate of 97 percent.

Since the Grameen Bank started in Bangladesh more than 9 million women have received microloans. These loans have in turn impacted between 40 – 45 million people which includes the women’s families and local communities which is remarkable. The Grameen Bank model is now operating outside of Bangladesh in several cities, including New York City. In the various locations, the model is similar in providing microloans to the poor and people who traditionally would not be able to qualify for a loan to start a business.

There were several major takeaways from the summit. Dr. Yunus spoke about the “three zeros,” which are the targets that the world should be aiming for in order to improve the quality of life for everyone. They include: zero poverty, zero unemployment and zero net carbon emissions. Now these targets may seem like an impossible dream. If we work together as a global community on initiatives to improve the quality of life for every human on the planet who is to say that one day these targets might come true. That is what true visionaries do. They envision possibility for a better world despite what currently exists. Visionaries also take action to make their visions a reality. For the zero poverty target, we all know that there are more than enough resources to go around world wide for everyone. According to Dr. Yunus, people don’t choose to be poor. It is the prevailing economic systems that keep people in poverty even when they are willing, have the skills and want to work. That is why entrepreneurship is so powerful. Starting a business can help lift people out of poverty through their own ingenuity, skills and talents.

One of the major takeaways from the summit was that entrepreneurship is not the purview or the domain of a select few. Another target the world should be aiming for is zero unemployment. Again this is linked back to entrepreneurship. According to Dr. Yunus, “human beings by birth are entrepreneurs.” There is a prevailing myth that only certain people can be entrepreneurs. Dr. Yunus believes that each one of us has the capacity to use our skills and talents to create a business.

In other words, we were not designed for drudgery in a job or career that we don’t love or are not passionate about where we can’t make a difference. In Bangladesh, when women were advanced loans they were able to start businesses with no or minimal business training. They used their creativity, ingenuity, skills and leveraged their village network in order to create profitable microbusinesses. In addition to zero poverty and zero unemployment, zero carbon emissions was also a target discussed in order to make our planet a healthier place to live.

The panel was excellent and included leaders from the Aboriginal Community who reinforced the fact that there are so many talented and skilled Aboriginal people, especially youth who are doing amazing things in the community. Microcredit will continue to help revolutionize the developing world and help marginalized people in the developed world. By providing access to smaller amounts of capital, the poor and marginalized communities can start businesses to elevate their circumstances. It was an excellent summit and a true honour to listen to Dr. Yunus and other visionary leaders who are helping to change the world.

Interviewed on the Silver Linings Storycast

I was recently interviewed by Debbie Horovitch who is the Publisher and Editor of The Silver Linings Storybook series. The interview was for the Silver Linings Storycast podcast. In the interview we talk about business, the creative struggle, making an impact in the community and everything in between! The interview is for the Toronto edition of The Silver Linings Storybook series in which I will be a featured contributor. It is a very exciting project as the proceeds will benefit a local charity or non-profit organization. You can listen to the podcast interview here! Silver Linings Storycast Interview

Lessons Learned from Sandra Yancey eWomen Network CEO & Founder

An amazing time was had by members and guests at the eWomen Network Success Summit on Thursday, May 26, 2016. Many new connections were made and attendees had the opportunity to learn from Sandra Yancey, the Founder and CEO of the eWomen Network. It was an honour to meet and learn from her. Through the eWomen Network she has created an empowering environment where women entrepreneurs and professionals can grow their businesses, learn valuable information and make new connections. ‪There were many brilliant takeaways from Sandra Yancey’s talk and here are some of the highlights. They are:

– Nothing happens to me, it happens for me.
– When you are doubting yourself, remember that “every master was once a disaster.”
– It’s not working out because you are aiming too low.
– You were born a winner.
– Success is hard, so is being broke.
– Really evaluate the people you have around you to ensure they are committed to your success because, “Not everyone is designed to travel to your future.”
– Stop spending time with people who misunderstand you.
– You can’t build a million dollar dream with a minimum wage mindset.
– Have your point of differentiation and own it.
– The answer is always no if you don’t ask.
– Give yourself permission to succeed!
– Success is giving yourself goosebumps!

It was amazing to be a part of the leadership team as an eWomen Network Ambassador. Congratulations to the leadership team for organizing a wonderful event. The other members of the team are: Managing Director, Daniela Spirlac, Patti Pokorchak, Duygu Nangir, Kathy Barthel, Nicky Yiannakis, Heather Chernofsky, Debra Wilson and Beatrice Ten-Thye. Bravo!

It was my first eWomen Network Success ‪Summit‬ and I’m counting down for 2017! If you would like information about the eWomen Network, please contact me at deb@deborahangelaustin.com.

Appointed as an eWomen Network Ambassador

I am pleased to announce that I have been appointed to the leadership team as an eWomen Network Ambassador for the Toronto Chapter. I will be working with a talented leadership team to support women entrepreneurs and corporate professionals in the Greater Toronto Area. The eWomen Network is one of North America’s premier women’s business and professional organizations.

If you are an entrepreneur (or corporate professional) who is looking for opportunities to grow your business and network, look no further than the eWomen Network. The eWomen Network has many benefits that can support you as you grow your business. The organization consists of women who support each other while growing their businesses and giving back to the community. If you are interested in joining the eWomen Network, please contact me for further information at deborah@deborahangelaustin.com

Five Tips for Effective Networking

Do you know how to network effectively? If yes, bravo for you. If not, don’t be discouraged as this is a skill that can be learned. The reality is if you are an entrepreneur, professional or anyone really who is looking for clients, new business contacts and opportunities, you have to “put yourself out there.” There meaning different types of business and professional events. Regardless of what type of business you have or are in, you are in the sales and marketing business. Networking can play a role when it comes to promoting and making sales for your business.

Networking to me is about building a relationship with someone to see how you can mutually help or benefit each other. It is not a one way dialogue, there is reciprocity involved. Here are five networking tips that I’ve learned through my entrepreneurial journey. They are:

1. Effective Networking is About Reciprocity
When you first meet someone at an event rather than going straight into a promotional spiel about your program, product and service, think reciprocity. How can you mutually benefit from knowing each other? Is there a resource, book, website or referral that you can recommend or make to the other person. Once you nurture that relationship, then it is possible that the person you met at the event could become your client, business associate or even over the long term friend.

2. Tools of the Trade
If you are going to an event, ensure that you have the tools that you need so that people can contact you. These tools are at a minimum your business card and perhaps a promotional brochure. Even if you don’t have a website, it is fine to have cards printed with just your name, your title, your phone number and email address. Also make sure that your business cards present the type of image you want to convey. They don’t have to be fancy, just professional. I have been handed business cards that had liquid paper on them, with the phone number whited out and a new number written on top. This does not leave a professional image in your potential business associate’s or client’s mind. A professional business card is an essential tool.

3. Be a Good Listener
I’ve been told that I deliver excellent feedback. The feedback could be for colleagues at work, for my coaching clients or for colleagues in my volunteer work. One of the reasons that I am able to deliver excellent feedback is because I am a good listener. When you are at a networking event use your listening skills to the full capacity. Be genuinely interested in the person you are speaking with at the event. Ask questions in a non-intrusive manner. For example, what is their professional background? Why did they start their business? How does their product or service help or benefit people? Truly listen to what the other person has to say.

4. Use Positive, Rapport Building Nonverbal Communication
When you meet a person at an event, make sure that you use positive, rapport building non-verbal communication. What does that mean? For example, when you first meet someone when you greet them make sure that you smile, look at the person directly, deliver a firm handshake and say your full name. Before you describe what you do, let the other person introduce themselves. In general, remember to smile, have good eye contact, nod from time to time (so that the person knows that you are listening) and have relaxed body language. You want your body language to convey that you are confident and attentive to the other person.

5. Go to the Event Early.
Even though it may be fashionable to arrive late, when you attend networking events, arrive early. When you go to networking events you can make some of your best connections early on at the event. Also at the earlier stage of the event, it is not as noisy as there are less people so you can have longer conversations.


Follow Up
When you meet someone new at an event that you are interested in keeping in contact with, follow up. Whether it is for a potential client, business associate or potential friend, make contact with the person as soon as you can. In an ideal world, follow up should happen the next day. Sometimes though that is not possible, try to make contact as soon as you can. You can send an email or call to follow-up on the interaction that you had at the event where you met.

For the more introverted among us, while networking is not the easiest skill to master, it can be learned. Networking effectively can help you promote your business, makes sales and gain new clients. Happy Networking!

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Join Associations Like eWomen Network

When you are embarking on a new endeavour in life, it makes sense for you to join groups, associations and organizations to learn from people who are further along the path in terms of where you ultimately want to be. In my life, I’ve been blessed to have mentors who have shared their time, wisdom and experience with me to help me grow in different areas. In turn, I’ve mentored and coached people along their life’s journey in specific areas.

I recently joined the eWomen Network (Toronto Chapter) an organization that supports women entrepreneurs through events, networking, and other resources. The eWomen Network was started by Sandra and Kym Yancey over 15 years ago and has chapters across North America. Each chapter is unique and the members come together to network, learn, support and make business connections with each other.

I’m inspired by the members that I’ve met at the Toronto Chapter who have encouraged me. Thank you especially to Daniela, the Managing Director of the eWomen Network (Toronto Chapter) who is inspirational, has encouraged me with words of wisdom and has been supportive as I move forward along the path of my entrepreneurial journey.

If you are interested in learning more about the eWomen Network please feel free to email me at deborah@deborahangelaustin.com.

Are You Ready to Pay the Price for High Level Results?

When it comes to achieving success, do you truly believe that successful people are just lucky, rich, had the right breaks, are attractive, or have a great network to leverage? All of which may or may not be true. There may be a percentage of people who have achieved success the so called easy way (what way that is, I don’t know).

The reality is that the majority of successful people have worked hard to attain success.  And yes, they may have leveraged their personal and professional connections, their education, financial resources and “lucky breaks” (also known as opportunities) that came along to achieve their success.  They also would have worked hard, set goals, overcome obstacles and pursued their goals with  tenacity.

Think about yourself for a moment and the skills that you’ve developed throughout your life.  Whether it was for a new venture,  learning a new language or instrument, or learning how to parent, wasn’t there hard work involved to be successful in that specific area. There was a major commitment of time, energy and money to study, train  and gain the required experience and skills necessary to be successful. You may have “failed” or have been unsuccessful several times before mastering the skill you needed to learn. If learning the skill or achieving the goal was important enough to you, I bet you did the required work to learn the skill or achieve the goal. In other words you “paid the price.”

The truth is some people just aren’t willing to do the hard work required to achieve high level results. For example, if you want to have a bikini ready body, that would mean that you would have to workout consistently (at least one hour per day, maybe more),  eat a healthy diet on a regular basis and forgo many high calorie treats. Some people are just not willing to do that type of work to obtain that type of body. Which is perfectly fine. What about being an entrepreneur?

Being an entrepreneur involves long work hours, reduced family time, and unpredictable income with no guarantee of success. All of which are totally reasonable in the entrepreneur’s mind (at least in the short term) because having a successful business will eventually lead to (in the future) more financial freedom, more family time and possibly living a location independent lifestyle. With up to 80 percent of small businesses failing within 18 months (according to Bloomberg), the majority of people aren’t willing to do the hard work required to become a successful entrepreneur. They don’t want to gamble with their time, family or financial resources, which is perfectly understandable. The rewards though for the successful entrepreneur can be substantial so the work involved to achieve that success is more than justified.

The next time you encounter successful people who you believe have obtained success (or a specific result that you want) the so called easy way or “overnight,” reflect and think about what really went into building that success. The answers you come up with will be very illuminating. As an exercise, creatively reverse engineer how the successful person achieved that high level result by working backwards. For example, if an actor you like won an Academy Award and you have acting aspirations, what are the steps that would have led him or her to that stage? If someone you know just launched a tech start-up, what are the steps required to launch a tech business? If you know someone who is an outstanding parent who has raised children who are now wonderful adults, what are some parenting strategies you could adopt that can help you with your young children.  When you do an exercise like this you soon realize that behind any successful person there are many factors that contribute to their success. It was rarely “easy.”

Success is not achieved in a vacuum. There are many factors that contribute to being successful in life. Many successful people had to study, train, gain experience and fail many times before achieving their definition of success. In fact, failing numerous times is a common trait among successful people. The difference is successful people do not allow their failures to define them or allow failures to distract them from achieving their ultimate goals and dreams. People who are successful and achieve high level results think and act differently when it comes to commitment, discipline, focus, surmounting obstacles and pursuing their goals with determination. The so called, “Overnight Success” rarely is and has worked for years (often decades) setting the foundation for the success that they end up bringing to fruition.

In a future post, I look forward  to examining  the mindset of  successful people and high achievers. I look forward to sharing tips with you on how you can learn to develop that mindset.

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