I love attending live events. I get a thrill every time I finally get to meet someone I have followed and admired online, in the flesh. This is especially true if we have been virtual friends for a while and it feels completely natural to immediately hug. However, the idea of actually being a speaker at one of those events has always filled me with the kind of dread that makes me think of this Seinfeld joke:

“According to most studies, people’s number one fear is public speaking. Number two is death. Death is number two. Does that sound right? This means to the average person, if you go to a funeral, you’re better off in the casket than doing the eulogy.” -Jerry Seinfeld

Yeah, that’s pretty much how I’ve always felt about getting up on a stage in front of a room full of strangers, or heck, even a room full of friends, and trying to tell them about anything. One-on-one or in small groups, I can talk to friends or even brand new acquaintances for hours. I love to give and take, I love to debate, but the fear of getting up and being looked to as the expert on even my most knowledgeable and favorite subjects sends a spasm of fear through my gut.

But these days the online space is so saturated with content, so saturated with people wanting to become an instant expert and find some megaphone to shout through, that it is hard to stand out in so much noise. And let’s be honest, when people show up at their computer with credit card in hand to buy something, they usually go to sites like Amazon, eBay, or other retail sites. Trying to make sales through social media is still possible of course, but most of us don’t get on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or even open our email inbox with the intention of finding something new to buy. Most of us want to catch up with friends, current events, or see what fires need to be put out today. Setting up a quick and easy sales funnel that starts with social media is not quite as quick or easy as it once was.

So what’s an online entrepreneur to do? Well, according to Pete Vargus from Advance Your Reach, speaking from the stage at live events just might be the best and fastest way to reach the people you most want to reach.

“When you speak at an event where leaders in your industry are speaking, you get to speak to their audience. You become associated with those leaders in your customers’ minds. It is an instant authority boost,” Pete said.

I have to agree. When I see someone up on stage, especially if it is the same stage that I see someone well known speaking from later in the day, I instantly put that person in a different category than I would if they were not a public speaker. To me, being a public speaker means that they know what they are talking about, they have a solid background, career success, and they are eloquent and good at organizing their ideas. If they knock their speech out of the park by moving me emotionally, inspiring me to do something positive like making changes in my life, or if they offer me a solution to a serious problem that I can immediately implement after their talk, I will probably be their fan for life. Sitting in the audience, listening to an inspiring speaker, I have often gone onto Amazon on my phone during the talk and bought the speaker’s latest book, or immediately signed up for a training, retreat or program they were offering after the talk was over. And here is one of my other favorite things about being in the audience at live events: I usually get the chance to find the speaker later on during the event and let them know how much I appreciated their talk. We can meet in person, make a personal connection, and maybe even have a meaningful conversation.

“There are thousands of different stages in the United States. There are stages of all shapes and sizes for people at different phases of their speaking career. There are hometown stages, industry event stages, small retreat setting stages, and massive stadium-sized stages. If you have a message to share with the world, there is a stage for you.”

Pete knows this well because he has helped hundreds of entrepreneurs, speakers, and organizations identify and reach their audiences through live stages. Do you have a message that you want to share with the world? Want to hear more about how Pete helps individuals and organizations reach the right audiences with well structured, effective speeches even if they have never spoken publicly before? You can learn more about Advance Your Reach here.