4 Tips on Pitching Your Business in Public

A 2012 Entrepreneurs Conference Elevator Pitch finalist, shares advice

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Entrepreneur Quinn Myers may not have won Black Enterprise’s Elevator Pitch Competition at the 2012 Entrepreneur’s Conference, but as a top 10 finalist she was able to turn her selection as the CEO of Purse Paparazzi into a thriving business as a public speaker. Today, Quinn makes thousands hosting live workshops like “How to Become a Power Speaker.” And she was recently named Executive Director of the Baltimore Chapter of the Public Speakers Association. Using the Facebook group, Speak to Society, as a means to give information on how to speak in public, Quinn shares 4 tips with Black Enterprise on how to effectively speak and pitch yourself and your business in public.

1. Dress the part. People judge you first by the way you look and second by the way you speak. Be sure you as the presenter look the part.  Although I didn’t win, I received great feedback on how amazing my public speaking skills were. Before the competition, I really underestimated how powerful public speaking was, even though I was a Speech Communication Professor at Coppin State University for four years

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2. Get the attention of the audience. Get the attention of the audience by asking a question or stating a quote before you say what your name is.  I learned to take every opportunity you have to share your message with an audience or individual. You never know who in the crowd can need or use what you have to offer.

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3.  Talk about yourself. Practice your pitch and make sure it includes who you are, an overview of your business, why your business is unique, and how you will use the money if you win.  By making speaking a strategy to promote and publicize my business, I now average about $20k a year selling my purses while I’m still working full time. I’m also creating a brand for myself as a Public Speaking Strategist. I believe every time you speak, there should be a strategy in place to accomplish a goal. That goal can be personal or professional.

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4. Give your all. Be confident and own the stage for two minutes. It’s yours and you’ve made it this far. Give the pitch all you got. Even if you don’t win, be proud you were selected as a finalist. Join the competition to expose your business to a crowd that can invest in your idea. Also it’s a great way to network with other entrepreneurs from different locations and business backgrounds. The people you meet are incredible. You could find a mentor, future business partnership, and so much more!

The 2015 Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Conference + Expo hosted by Nationwide, May 13-16, at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta. Expect innovative sessions, high-powered speakers, and an early peek at the products, trends, and services you’ll need to stay ahead of the curve. Be sure to enter our Elevator Pitch Competition to qualify for the $10,000 grand prize. To register and find out more, visit dev.blackenterprise.com/ec/.