I want to talk about the importance of relationships, how we show up in them and why it matters when you are a speaker.

Consider you are public speaking all the time – and that includes networking.

I am a big advocate of networking, especially as a newer speaker.

It’s one of the key ways you get to know people and gain visibility for who you are and what you do.

It may or may not include going to networking events, but often does.

Networking is simply connecting with people and building relationships.

And if you think about it, speaking is also connecting with people and building relationships.

What I’m talking about here has to do with how you show up for others.

How do you show up to connect with others?

Are you authentic – or just trying to look good?

Are you genuinely interested in what the other person has to say?

Are you really listening or are you just waiting for them to stop talking so you can talk – which is not listening!

Listening is such a powerful skill worth taking the time to develop.

Just think about it.

How often do YOU feel really listened to?

Listening well promotes your credibility.

One of the first things that happens when you begin a possible business relationship is you find out what the potential client wants and needs.

The same thing is true when you meet a person at a networking event.

You want to find out what’s important to them.

You have to really listen and be interested in the answers, not in telling them how wonderful you are and all the fabulous ways you can help them.

People can’t really “hear” you and “get” you if they don’t respect you and think you are credible.

If you don’t listen to them, they won’t respect you because they will feel you are disrespecting them.

If you don’t listen to them, they won’t want to do business with you.

They won’t promote you or refer you.

They will question if they will actually get what they want if they are not sure you really heard them.

Now, let’s apply this conversation to public speaking.

As a speaker, you need to find out what is important to your audience.

You don’t want to just talk about what you want to talk about and hope the audience likes you and your topic.

You want to find out as much about your audience as possible, then craft what you want to say, driven by your expertise.

You are kind like the emperor with no clothes when you are the speaker – before, during and after you speak.

Maybe that just scared you a little bit – or maybe you were empowered by it.

I actually want to scare you just a little bit because I want you to realize that when you are the speaker people really notice everything about you  – and that’s actually what we are going for.

When they notice you they remember you.

Until you get out there and speak, people may or may not remember you.

Speaking makes you visible, memorable and positions you as an expert in your field.

That’s why I’m a big fan of entrepreneurs speaking to get seen, heard and known for who they are and what they do!