Organisation : Going Public With Your Work
Carolyn Campbell is a life vision and leadership coach in Portland, OR.
As The Core Source’s founder and director, Carolyn understands that big accomplishments often begin with ideas that don’t make sense on a practical level. She has worked with social entrepreneurs, non-profits, creative leaders, healing professionals and change agents who want to have greater impact with more ease.
Whether you're launching a product, building a practice or gaining recognition as a presenter, it's vital that you build a public presence. To maximize your impact, I suggest you begin by asking:
- Who do I want to connect with?
- What can I offer to improve their business or enrich their life?
- How do others like to learn?
- How can I use my style to engage them?
By taking the time to answer these questions you’ll have greater success engaging your clientele.
Design an event that highlights your strengths in a style others will enjoy.
If you enjoy lecturing, great! If not, create a cyber slideshow. Co-host an event with a complementary business and invite key clients and referral partners. Facilitate interactive, community building events that highlight your work. Offer a class through a community education program. Lead a teleclass. Create a blog. Write articles.
David White, a renowned speaker reads his poetry. Another has corporate leaders dance. The options are endless. What's key is to use your unique approach AND meet the needs of your clientele. And remember, it's not a one-hit deal, but an ongoing approach to exposing others to the power of your work.
Design the content to suit your intended outcome.
How do you want the event to change people's lives? What do you want them to know about you and your work?
I often design my content or experience with one or two specific people in mind. Why? It focuses my attention on their life concerns and pushes me to provide tangible, applicable outcomes.
Set the stage.
This is one of the most overlooked aspects of public outreach. An inviting, stimulating environment creates a context for your work before you even begin.
- Choose visuals, audio or sensory experiences that are inviting and, well, intriguing.
- Bring people in. You need to leave any timidity at the door! If you are using chairs, arrange them to minimize distance and maximize connection. If you are communicating via phone or e-mail, set a welcoming tone by engaging your audience quickly in the purpose of the conversation.
- Have informative materials available on site or via the Internet. Articles by and about you increase your credibility and let people know more about your expertise.
Create materials that support the event.
For interactive seminars or workshops, I create a workbook or journal. For collaborative events, a program with bios of each participant is extremely helpful. If you don't have materials, take a moment to provide an overview. The more unusual your presentation, the more important it is to clarify the parameters.
Give people the assurance that there is a structure so they can relax, enjoy and connect. The added benefit with print materials: people leave with a memorable take-away that they can refer back to or share with others.
Finally – and most importantly – connect!
Be curious and find out about your audience. What are their interests? Why are they listening to you? Tailor your presentation to their life. Share stories that show how you've used these concepts in your own life. Let people see your vulnerabilities, then match it with your expertise. That's how people begin to trust that you are like them and that you have something to enhance their life.
It all comes down to daring to share yourself, your work, your expertise and your desire to pass on something valuable to others. Choosing a format that puts you at ease will allow you to relax and connect in ways that are dynamic and engaging.
Make it fun and meaningful. In the end, you'll increase your public visibility, credibility and, ultimately, the value of your work.
Ó Copyright Carolyn Campbell, 2006