Entrepreneur Quinn Conyers may not have won Elevator Pitch Competition at the Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Summit in 2012 but as a top 10 finalist, the CEO of Purse Paparazzi is making a thriving side business as a public speaker. Conyers hosts live workshops such as “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 way to give information on public speaking, entrepreneur Quinn Conyers shares four tips on pitching your business and public speaking in general. Here they are:
Four Tips On Pitching Your Business
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.” says Conyers, “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”
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. According to Conyers,”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.”
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,” she says.
Give Your All
Finally, Conyers advises that you should be confident and own the stage for two minutes. It’s yours and you’ve made it this far. Give the pitch all you have 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.
-Editor’s Note: This article has been updated since it’s original publish date of November 2014