Of the many reasons for learning to be a great public speaker, here are three that will encourage Virtual Assistants to improve or add to their skill set.
- Digital Magnetism (Attracting the right people)
In the digital world, we must work harder to stand out in a crowd… a big, huge, global crowd! Like magnets, we humans have the ability to attract or repel others. As Virtual Assistants (VA), we want to have the kind of digital magnetism that attracts the right clientele. We strive to communicate our abilities in unique ways that draw other like minds near for their support. And if you’re anything like me, you’re working creatively to educate the public about the VA industry. When you have skill in public speaking, you are able to draw upon the quick wit and wisdom used in verbal delivery of speeches. VAs then go on to demonstrate the ability to “think on your feet” and present “off the cuff” through video, forum interactions, blogging, social media, webinars and more.
When you hold the attention of others in your favorite playground (the internet), you have the kind of digital magnetism that might otherwise be referred to as “charisma” (if you were complemented in person).
Remember that good rule of thumb,”don’t put anything on the internet you don’t want others to see”? If you put it on the internet, it might as well be public. Well, when you’re sharing… you might as well be speaking to a room full of people. You can be deliberate about your digital message, and a great way to practice that skill of putting all the right comments in all the right places, is to get really good at public speaking.
- Referrals (Gain Clients and Loyal Supporters)
VAs can build their book of business through local networking organizations.
It’s okay to be shy. Even shy people can learn the skill of speaking in public. The VA Industry attracts many people, some who would rather talk to a computer and laugh at a cat meme before ever saying “good morning” to an actual person. Guilty. You get no judgement from me… I’ve experienced days when I would have rather seen the back side of an Apple II PC after reaching “dinosaur” status, long before greeting the world. The thing is, growing/starting a VA business can be tricky. Sometimes you have to find it within yourself to be a people person, even on the days when you’re really not.
Thriving VAs and multi-VA practices are already leveraging skills in public speaking. Those VAs know that representing their business in local networks, helps to generate fabulous clients/team members through word of mouth referrals. Online networks a fantastic too, but keep in mind that people tend to be even more assured you are honest and trustworthy (not an internet scammer), when they’ve met you in person or know someone personally who has worked with you. Those same people will be even more convinced of your professionalism when you’re articulate. Why not wow them through all forms of communication, written or verbal? If you’ve ever felt like you’ve fumbled an introduction to your business, and didn’t accurately describe the amazing assistance you’re able to provide, then you’re in good company.
Everyone can get better at public speaking.
You can get the ball rolling… build referral relationships and at the same time practice public speaking, by joining a local speech and debate Meetup, or Toastmasters club.
- Grace Under Pressure (plus a job well done)
We VAs often work as trusted advisors to our clientele. This means that we’re expected to have answers to many questions, sometimes in one fell swoop. Believe it or not, getting good at public speaking helps with having “grace under pressure” when it’s needed. We learn through the development of public speaking, that it’s not necessary to have all the answers (a good point for anyone in business). You’re a VA, but as awesome as that is… you don’t have to know everything, and you certainly don’t have to give advice just because you were asked, or put in the so-called “hot seat”.
In the world of public speaking you become aware of giving a “prepared speech” vs giving an “impromptu speech”. You also learn that it isn’t always necessary to “stay on topic”. Here’s how it applies when working with clients; you may choose to give an impromptu speech however long or short, if it helps to direct the conversation in a more productive manner. Your technique will help you communicate the answers you do have, and gracefully address the need for answers that you don’t have. You’ll also know when clients have traversed a topic for too long, or when time is spent digressing over irrelevant subject matter. VAs can use “segways” (changing the topic) to make conversations/meetings most productive. Everyone, including professional public speakers, should practice and work on their technique. Segways, among other public speaking skills, can be disruptive at times and may be interpreted as disrespectful. Talented public speakers are graceful about changing the subject, and clients feel a higher level of productivity. Additionally, people in your sphere of influence appreciate how things can be accomplished in a lot less time.
Fear and Anxiety (a final note of encouragement)
Don’t let fear stand in the way of self-development. We’ve all felt anxiety, and having these emotions around public speaking is nothing new. There are studies that reflect on people fearing public speaking MORE THAN DEATH. If this is the case for you too, then remind yourself that others are more worried about themselves and their own mistakes. It’s highly unlikely they will remember what you think you did wrong last time you engaged in the activity. You may also choose to work closely with a mentor or tapping practitioner, who can help you get out of your own head and navigate emotions. After all, we’re here to learn. Additionally, the more you practice something the better you’ll get.
“Don’t be afraid of your fears. They’re not there to scare you.
They’re there to let you know that something is worth it.” ~ C. JoyBell C.
Hi, I’m Audrey Isbell, Virtual Assistant and Owner of AVA Virtual Assistance, LLC. I play with people who despise general office admin “busy-work”, but still know how important it is for a healthy business model! I’ve built a team of Virtual Assistants who get a kick out of helping other small businesses succeed. I’m a Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor, Certified in Social Marketing, and have a powerful Network of People who are all about taking business to their next best level. When I’m not helping the team powerhouse through the tasks you’ve assigned us, I’m working as a creative advisor and consultant to you and your firm. I’ve ranked as a high visionary in business, but I also enjoy singing and playing ukulele, hiking trails, or wrestling with my dogs. If you’re tempted to work with me and the rest of the AVA team we’d love to hear about it: www.AVAPowerUp.com