Public speaking 101: Using more than construction software to win over clients

Hate public speaking? You’re not alone. Following these tips will make it one of your most successful sales techniques.

Sean Robinson / Buildertrend

What’s scarier than zombies, creepy crawly spiders and even drowning? According to one study, it’s public speaking. That’s right, public speaking is the No. 1 most commonly shared phobia, meaning more people would rather come face-to-face with a ghost than give a presentation.

Perspiring foreheads. Shaky hands. A knot in your stomach. These are natural responses to this big fear – so it’s time to declare nervousness as normal. In fact, some nerves are good. The adrenaline rush that causes these physiological reactions also makes you more alert and ready to give the best speech possible.

That’s good news for construction professionals like you. Because your job is more than just schedule planning or crew managing – much more. You also have to act as the face of your business, which means networking with trade partners, winning over clients and attending industry events or trade shows. All of this translates to lots and lots of public speaking.

Not to fear. With a few tricks, you can make public speaking as successful a sales technique as construction software. Here are five tips to set you on the path of becoming a master orator.

1) Practice makes progress

The best speeches are rarely perfect speeches. Even Martin Luther King Jr. or Winston Churchill would stumble from time to time. Nobody expects you to be flawless – so the first step in delivering an excellent presentation is taking pressure off yourself to be perfect.

However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t prepare, prepare, then prepare some more. Take the time to mentally go over your speech, practice giving it aloud in front of a mirror or even have a coworker watch and give constructive feedback. Giving a speech is a lot like riding bike. Once you nail it, you never forget.

So, get to practicing and let your muscle memory do the rest.

2) Know your audience

The most common reason for construction owners to publicly speak would be a sales pitch. With that in mind, it’s important to mold your message around what potential clients want. Learn as much about your listeners as you can to inform your choice of words and call to action.

For example, when it comes to homeowners, did you know that today’s consumers value digital interactions and ease of communication? That’s according to Buildertrend’s 2020 data report. With that in mind, you can craft your speech around whatever construction software you’re using to help deliver that desired building experience.

The more you speak directly to your audience, the more engaged they’ll be and the more confident you’ll feel.

3) Throw away your wordy notes

Don’t use a script as a crutch. Instead, speak from a brief outline (extra credit if you can do it just from plain memory) to maintain an interpersonal connection and increase credibility.

Keep in mind that good communication is about much more than just the message itself. It’s also about tone, body language and movement. If you’re not shakily holding a script, you can gesture more freely, make eye contact and more confidently own the room.

It’s this confidence that may just be the sales technique that catches that lead – hook, line and sinker.

4) Remember the 5 Ps of presenting   

It’s not just what you say that matters. It’s how you say it, too. To avoid racing through your speech, remember the five Ps of presenting:

  • Pitch: Clients want to work with a contractor, not a robot. Vary your pitch to avoid sounding monotonous or boring.
  • Pronunciation: There’s a reason actors do all those silly vocal exercises before taking to the stage. Be sure not to mumble and slow down on words that are longer and more complicated.
  • Pace: This P goes hand-in-hand with the last one. Take your time and keep things steady. Don’t listen to your nerves and race through to just be done.
  • Pause: Add pausing throughout to help the audience absorb what you’re saying. If it’s a sales pitch, this might help keep things conversational and allow for questions from prospects throughout.
  • Projection: This is especially important if presenting at a trade show or to a larger room. Make sure you’re heard by more than just those in the front row.

5) Give ’em something else to look at

All eyes on you – that’s the reason many fear public speaking so much. Luckily, there’s an easy solution.

Enter visual aids.

Whether a slideshow, whiteboard or charts, these are good for more than averting stares away from you. They can help explain information and keep attention. Consider the fact that 65 percent of the population are visual learners.

Another great visual aid when speaking to potential clients is your trusted tech. If you use construction software, show them how it makes you a better builder than the competition. Demonstrating this superior building experience in real-time can help land very real jobs. That’s something not even the best PowerPoint has the power to do.

Project management master webinar

Something worth talking about: construction software

Let’s face it: Speaking is a great way to connect with others and a skill all business owners should master. It’s a must for professional development. It’s a must for good leadership. It’s a must for growing your business.

Another must for leveling up your company is construction project management software. To get started using the industry leading system, schedule a demo with Buildertrend now.

Let our team do the public speaking this time. All you have to do is kick back, relax and listen to what our game-changing system can do for you.

About the Author

Sean Robinson
Sean Robinson

Sean Robinson is a senior content marketing specialist at Buildertrend

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