While there is no singular “CPA personality”, in my experience most CPAs shy away from public speaking. And that’s actually good news for you, even if you’re one of the introverted ones.
Think about it: if few CPAs are willing to address an audience, that opens up a huge range of opportunities to any CPA who’s willing to overcome their fear and stand up and talk. And in fact, because so many CPAs tend to be the “strong, silent” type, there’s a huge demand for speakers who can deliver valuable CPA expertise in talks, seminars, at conferences and elsewhere.
Public speaking is a great way to position yourself as an expert. Not only are you sharing information, but you’re simultaneously generating interest in the services you offer.
Even if you’re immune to stage fright, you may be thinking that speaking publicly is just too complicated to be worth it. However, you can make the process easy by creating one short presentation and delivering it over and over again, with slight variations to different audiences.
The key to speaking successfully is ensuring you have a way to turn your audience’s interest into follow-up meetings with targeted potential clients. The solution for nervous public speakers is twofold:
- Prepare. Take steps to carefully plan what you’re going to say, and know your subject well. Then, there’s absolutely no reason to hold back.
- Practice. The more often you give your presentation, the more confident you’ll become. Guaranteed!
Many CPAs find it helpful to join speakers’ clubs and organizations, such as Toastmasters – just like I did, many moons ago – in order to build experience in a more comfortable environment.
When you have spoken to a group on a particular topic, they will automatically see you as an expert – and there’s an excellent change that a number of them will want to follow up with you. Be sure your audience knows how to reach you, and if appropriate, collect their contact information, particularly e-mail addresses and phone numbers.
By the way, are you on Facebook? So are we! Stop by and say hi.