How would you like to present to 20, 30 or 40 prospects per day?

What if I said it would only take 20 minutes of your time--and it included a free lunch? What if this 20-minute presentation gave you a chance to practice your public speaking skills at the same time? Sound like a pretty good deal?

How can you set this up? By delivering 20-minute speeches to local service and civic clubs. Groups like Kiwanis, Rotary, Elks, Moose and Jaycees are always looking for speakers to present at their weekly meetings. Other groups, such as the Men's Club, Women's Club, and Chambers of Commerce, are also looking for good presenters to speak at their breakfast, lunch and dinner meetings. All you have to do is contact them and get on the program.

These presentations have three major benefits for your business--and one minor one:

Benefit #1: you get to speak to potential distributors.

Benefit #2: you get to speak to potential retail customers.

Benefit #3: you get to practice, hone and refine your public speaking skills.

The minor benefit? A free rubber-chicken breakfast, lunch, or dinner. (Sometimes the food at these events is better off being doggy-bagged--for the family fact, the family animal might reject it. I did say this benefit was "minor.")


The Magic of Credibility

Imagine the contacts you can make simply by collecting business cards from audiences after your presentations. If you spoke once a week for the next 12 months, with an average of 30 people in each group, you could build a customer/distributor prospect database of 1560 people. You could then create an e-mail or traditional post-based newsletter to send to this group once a month, talking about your product line and the benefits your customers receive.

Smart marketers are always building and expanding their personal and professional network; that's what the networking profession is all about. Public speaking to these community groups is one of the fastest, most cost-effective ways of building your database. Not only do you build your prospect list; even better, the positioning that public speaking gives you is incredible. People might forget you if you met them on an airplane, or in the mall, or at a restaurant...but people tend to remember powerful public speakers. Since the majority of people are terrified of public speaking, it positions you as a leader and gives you tremendous credibility.

This credibility is essential when it comes time to present your product, service or business. The golden rule of sales and marketing is, credibility sells. Most people don't have it--but public speakers do.


"So How Do I Become A Public Speaker?"

All you have to do is build an effective 20-minute presentation! Once you have it written and rehearsed, you can deliver the same speech to every group. It's a one-time investment that yields a residual return. Besides that, if you're going to be a leader in network marketing, you're going to have to learn how to speak in public. Many professional networkers at the top of their companies speak upwards of 200 times per year, in front of audiences as large as 50,000 people. It pays to get good!

Here's how to build a 20-minute speech based around your business:

Let's say you're a distributor for a company that sells world-class nutritional products. Since everyone in your audience is interested in greater health, energy, and vitality, open your speech with some little-known, eye-opening statistic or statement that will grab your audience's attention from the start.

Now that you've shocked them a little, tell them your personal story and how these products have changed your life, or the life of someone you know. Tell them about your commitment to spread the word about these products, and the benefits to be gained by using them. Add a humorous, personal, self-effacing story to the mix that involves your company and products to lighten the group up and keep their attention.

Close the speech with a call to action, such as offering them a free 30-minute nutritional analysis, or anything else that's applicable to your company, product line or service. Your objective is to continue to build a relationship with as many audience members as possible.

Above all, remember that your ultimate goal is to connect with your audience as deeply as possible. It's an oldie but a goodie: People do business with people they know, like and trust. Keep this in mind as you're writing your speech.


"How Do I Get Myself Booked Into These Clubs?"

Go to your local chamber of commerce and ask for the membership directory. This directory will have names and phone numbers of all the different types of clubs in your area. You can also find most of this information online.

Call the number listed and ask how to get in touch with the program chairman. Call the program chairman and tell him or her that you would like to be considered to address their club in the near future.

That's all there is to it! Be sure that he or she knows you won't be trying to sell anything to the group. That's the one thing they will not tolerate. Which is fine--because you don't need to sell them at this point. All you want to do is practice your speaking skills and build your database. Once they're in your database, you can begin to build a relationship that will lead to sales and sponsoring success.


is co-founder of the Gove-Siebold Group (, a training organization that helps networkers develop world-class communication skills.