How is Professional Speaking and Selling Similar Yet Different?

Patti speaking microphone

How is Professional Speaking and Selling Similar Yet Different?

Patti speaking microphoneKnowing how to sell and market are essential skills for every entrepreneur – NO exceptions!


I consider myself lucky in that I studied Business with an MBA in Marketing and was forced to learn how to sell at IBM.  I also belonged to CAPS – the Canadian Professional Speakers Association – the association of choice for experts who speak for 10+ years where I learned about the business of speaking for a living. 


What is surprising is how many speakers are extroverted on stage but introverted off stage. Many of them also hate having to sell themselves in order to get speaking gigs. They think they need to be more extroverted in order to sell more and that is so far from the truth.


Being introverted and extroverted are the extremes. The majority of us 60-70% are ambiverts. We can be more introverted and extroverted, depending on the situation but generally, we’re not extreme in our personalities or need to shun or shine in the spotlight. AND contrary to what most people think, us Ambiverts make the best #sales people NOT the stereotypical #extroverts who talk too much and make it all about themselves.


So being shy is not a barrier to selling millions of dollars worth of ‘stuff and I’m proof of that. I was a trained shy geek (programmer in the 70s), a female tech pioneer until I found sales and marketing and the fact that I blossomed when talking to people. And when I look at how many of my professional speaking colleagues who self-identify as introverts but are highly engaging on the platform and very successful speakers – that’s where the similarity of speaking and sales showed up to me.


How is speaking and selling similar:


In both – it’s all about your audience. In selling, you typically have a much smaller audience than when speaking but it’s still all about them. NEVER all about you. Speakers do not get paid the big bucks UNTIL they figure out how to take their life lessons and translate that into steps that others can use to make their lives better.


Speakers customize their talks by asking the meeting planner questions, like what outcomes they want from their talk. What do they want their audience to do, feel or think differently after they have spoken?


In selling, you have to figure out why you’re the one to help the client with their pain problem and the way to do that is ONLY by asking great questions.


Think of selling as doing an interactive breakout session, where you’re more of a facilitator than a  speaker. You offer up suggestions to help solve their issues. It’s just a conversation, nothing more. 


When speaking you want to make a difference in people’s lives. You how to figure out what that difference looks like. In selling, it’s the same thing. You have to figure out the client’s pain point and then show them how you’d solve that problem. It’s all about the questions, before AND after you get the gig.


Where speaking and selling are different:Ask Better Questions Close More Sales!

The main difference is in who is speaking and who is asking the questions? The roles are reversed when selling.

You should only be talking – at the most — only 1/3 of the time . By asking deep probing questions and actively listening, that’s how you learn what your prospective client really needs and how you can help them. When you’re on stage, you can be talking up to 100% of the time.



The Speaking and Selling Dilemma – you have to sell your talk in order to speak, so learn how to love selling your talk as much as you love giving it!


You can learn to love to sell your stuff and I can teach you how.

Contact me to book your free, 30-minute Sales Challenge call to see if you’re a match to work together.   416-951-3842




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