Why do you need to speak in public to promote your business? You've got an interactive website, you can blog in your sleep and keep up with social media with one hand. You've even dropped some copy into traditional advertising media. The idea of speaking in public makes you sweat bullets, keeps you awake nights, upsets your digestion and turns you into that nasty old Grouch you promised yourself you'd never, ever be, so why do it?

      If your product or service is so well known, so good it sells itself, you're off the hook. However, if you want to grow your business or move up several rungs on the corporate ladder, how can you ignore such a valuable marketing tool? Maybe you want to start a whole new company based on that invention your brother-in-law came up with that you think is dynamite. How will you spread the word and attract venture capital? 

      Here are a few excuses to avoid becoming an accomplished, confident public speaker.

      Excuse #1. You don't have time. You're way too busy just keeping track of the day-to-day details of managing your business, taking care of your family and having some kind of a social life.  Who has time to write a speech and then find an audience to present it to?

      Big mistake!  No one can talk about what you do better than you can. You need to focus on what you do best: promoting yourself and your expertise. If you hired some help, say, a Virtual Assistant, a nanny, a good marketing/PR person or a speechwriter, you'd have time in your schedule for those important networking speaking engagements.

      Excuse #2. There are so many other ways to publicize your product or service.  

      Oh, come on! Technology is a wonderful thing, properly used, but it's no match for the personal touch. Especially if you're in a service industry, people want to know you're a real person, not just a cyberspace professional. People trust the one who steps forward and says, "Here I am to help you." Give them lots of reasons to know and trust you.

      Excuse #3. You hate public speaking, always have, always will. 

      Your 6th grade class laughed at your book report on Moby Dick because you expressed compassion for the whale. You've refused to speak in front of people ever since. You're positive no one will take you seriously and you'll feel as ridiculous and stupid as you did when you were 12 years old. The fact that it's now 25 years later and you're running your own business cuts no ice with you.

      You're a grown up now!  Whatever happened to you in your past, when you had little or no power over your own life, is long over and done with. As an adult you are totally in charge. No one can tell you what to do or how to do it unless you choose to let them. You are an expert in your field. Others are looking to you for help. Your audiences won't laugh at you. They're yearning to have what you offer them so they can be successful, too!

      Bottom line, there are no good reasons to avoid public speaking when promoting your business. You are the most important representative of your company. Getting up in front of people is possibly the most valuable tool you have for growth and expansion. Embrace the opportunity to personally make others aware of the value and benefit they'll receive from you! They'll admire and respect you for it.