Speaking in public, to a group of potential clients, can be a great way to promote your service business. Here’s how to go about doing it.

Do You Share Your Expertise Through Speaking?

Hi *|FNAME|*,  Over the years, I’ve measured the marketing that we do at Appletree (because measuring your marketing is very important!) and I’ve noticed a trend. Every year, about 40% of our new business comes as a result of me speaking in public about marketing. Speaking also works well for many of our clients, so this issue of Scribbles will show you how you can use it for your service business too.
Best wishes,

01635 578 500


Do You Share Your Expertise Through Speaking?

When you run a service business, you don’t necessarily have a product that you can show to people. Unless you’ve written a book, or produced a mug with your company logo on, you don’t have anything tangible to promote. This means that the marketing you need to do for your service – whether that’s coaching, consulting or training – is very different to how you would promote a product. When you provide a service, your clients are really buying you and your expertise. You need a way of ‘displaying’ your wares, which is where speaking in public comes in. Let me tell you how some of our clients do it and how we do it at Appletree.

How does Speaking work for our clients?

Tom is a very talented and very funny street performer and magician. He’s been wowing audiences with his tricks and humor since he was a teenager. After a number of years of earning a living from performing on the streets of Covent Garden, come rain or shine – and rather of lot of rain through the winter months – Tom decided it was time for a more grown up job. We talked through all the marketing options available to him. Because of his talent to speak to crowds of people, we knew that speaking in public would not be a problem for him. The challenge would be finding him the initial speaking opportunities, as Tom wasn’t well known in his local area for speaking – just for messing around on the top of a uni-cycle.

First we created a simple, professional website at, which prospective clients can look at and that shows Tom’s credibility. Then he started attending networking events, where he could meet potential clients and give short talks. His talks are full of advice and tips – he generously shares much of what he’s learnt as a street performer to help business owners become more resilient. No sales pitch, just advice. After one such event, Tom was approached by someone who runs a large company in Oxford. They asked him to deliver a short talk at the company’s summer BBQ. 10 minutes for which Tom was paid hundreds of pounds! That’s a nice way to earn a living.

Use public speaking, in combination with your other marketing tools, for a really effective way of growing your service business.

How does Speaking work for Appletree?
In September 2014 I was asked to deliver a 90 minute workshop on marketing to a group of HR professionals in Swindon. I’ve given talks to the group a number of times before and I’ve been booked to deliver another workshop for them in January 2016! The audience is made up mainly of independent HR consultants – people running their own businesses. They are all experts in what they do, so they’re not experts in marketing; in fact, some of them don’t even like doing marketing! With this in mind, I ran an interactive workshop where I took the audience through a 9 stage Marketing Planning process that I’ve created. It’s quite simple to follow and makes marketing easy for everyone running their own business. In these workshops, I share all my marketing know-how, answering whatever questions I’m asked. I do whatever I can to help the people in the room to get to grips with their marketing. I share all my marketing expertise and don’t hold anything back.

I wasn’t paid to deliver the Swindon workshop, but I still treat the delegates just as I treat my paying clients. They can pick my brains as much as they like! The same applies when I give talks to networking groups – whether they are 10 minutes long or 2 hours long.

So how does all this generosity bring me business? One of the delegates who heard me speak at the Swindon workshop recommended me to a business colleague. She phoned and asked for my help in promoting her business. She had heard good things about me and at the end of a phone conversation, she booked me to deliver a one-to-one workshop for her business, at a fee of £1000, plus travel expenses – and she’d never even met me! That is the power of public speaking as a marketing tool.

Be generous in your speaking – share your knowledge and expertise and see how it can bring you new clients too.

Never Spoken in Public Before?

If you’d like to give public speaking a go, but you’ve never done it before, then I strongly recommend that you get some professional training. There are companies that provide training and there are also organisations that can help you. Here are some of my favorites:

Toastmasters – this international organization has groups that meet all over the country. You can attend as many times as you need and work through manuals that help you to deliver talks that focus on different aspects of speaking – using your hands, vocal variety and so on. Going to regular meetings also gives you the opportunity to practice speaking in public on a regular basis and practice is essential. Go to to find your local group.

Michael Trigg is the Presentation Maestro. He runs brilliant training courses where he shares his extensive experience with delegates. He videos each talk and gives really solid feedback. I’ve attended a couple of his courses now and think they’re great. He’s at

The Professional Speaking Association – once you’ve learnt the basics, the PSA can help you to move to the next level of speaking in public. As with Toastmasters, there are groups around the country that you attend and practice at. Go to