• Connecting Speakers with Audiences™

Promoting Yourself as a Speaker

Add this to your social media posts to increase booking requests.

Add this to your social media posts to increase booking requests. 2560 1857 I Need A Speaker

Self-promotion helps speakers increase booking requests. It’s helpful to publicly remind your followers when you’ve presented a keynote, published a paper, appeared on the news, authored a book, or completed another achievement.

The next step is helping event planners find you. Include a line on your social media profiles and posts that says, “Find me on I Need A Speaker!” On our directory, event planners can learn more about your qualifications, find links to several of your social media accounts, and obtain details about your speaking requirements.

Observe. Learn. Evaluate. Observe again.

Observe. Learn. Evaluate. Observe again. 2560 1709 I Need A Speaker

Regardless of your level of speaking expertise, there is always some room to learn and improve.

Watching other people’s presentations is one way to self-evaluate, compare, and learn. Great speakers are literally at your fingertips. Type and search for names you know, or browse TED talks to seek inspiration.

When watching the presentation, consider these questions;

  • How does this speaker interact with his/her audience? How does the audience respond?
  • What resonates with you about the speaker’s appearance, style, and tone?
  • What would you do the same? What might you do differently?
  • How did he or she use visual aids, if at all?
  • If controversial topics or statements were included, how were they handled?
  • How were the speaker’s word choices, pace, and tone?
  • Did pauses add dramatic effect?
  • How, if at all, did the speaker use storytelling to make a point?
  • What are people saying in the online chat for the presentation?
  • Did the speaker have a powerful, memorable ending?
  • If you saw a panel presentation, did he or she interact with respect and diplomacy with others?
  • Did the speaker stay within the prescribed timeframe?
  • If you were an audience member, would you want to see this presenter again?

While constant comparison may not be necessary (and in some cases is advised against, allowing you to develop your own style), the practice of observation and evaluation is especially helpful for novice speakers.

When one area of expertise becomes two (Part 2 of 2)

When one area of expertise becomes two (Part 2 of 2) 2560 1707 I Need A Speaker

In the last blog post, we talked about the benefits of identifying yourself as a subject matter expert in one particular area. Today, let’s talk about what happens when that topic becomes a “been there, done that” topic for you and your audiences.

By the time this occurs, you’ll have established yourself as a reputable source for information. A good way to maintain that reputation is to select a related topic and let your audiences, clients, and contacts know that you’ve got something new to offer.

While the two areas of expertise don’t have to be related, it makes sense to stay on a similar track, because you already know the public or client interest is there. Consider examples like this: a real estate development expert adds a talk on investing, a leadership expert creates presentations or programs on employee engagement, or an artist talks about selling his or her products online.

You have a lot to share, and so many topics to explore! Our best advice: start with one.

How one topic may lead to several bookings (Part 1 of 2)

How one topic may lead to several bookings (Part 1 of 2) 2560 1707 I Need A Speaker

When completing your directory profile on I Need A Speaker, you have hundreds of choices in terms of subject matter expertise. We offer this many choices for a reason – we want to create a way for event organizers to find speakers on a very broad range of topics. But that doesn’t mean each speaker should offer talks on a broad range of topics.

Say you’re a marine biologist who has enjoyed developing unique, successful fundraisers for years. You’re definitely qualified to speak on both marine biology and fundraising. Or you’re a museum curator who has a strong following as a yoga teacher … a judge with a compelling personal story. You get the idea.

Today we’re offering a suggestion to the speaker who selects multiple, related topics in the hopes of being booked more often. This may be someone who has been in a managerial role for some time, and he or she selects marketing, management, employee relations, leadership, strategy, and sales. While you may be very competent in all of those areas, event planners are typically seeking someone who stands out as a subject matter expert on one particular subject.

When you specialize in one area, people associate you with that topic, and your reputation builds. By choosing fewer areas of expertise – ideally, one – you may be requested for more events. As a benefit, you’ll likely need less preparation time and can continue to deeply study that one topic.

In the next post, we’ll talk about what to do when you (and your audiences) are hungry for fresh content.

Know the importance of the debrief

Know the importance of the debrief 2560 1707 I Need A Speaker

We’ve become accustomed to requesting and giving feedback all the time. Order a meal in a restaurant, and one of the wait staff will ask if everything was to your satisfaction. Walk to a register, and a clerk will ask if you found everything you wanted. Purchase something online and … you know what’s next … you’re asked to review the purchase.

Many speakers miss one of the most important parts of their presentation – the debrief. I’m referring to that quick, 15- to 30-minute meeting with the folks who booked you, usually conducted a day or two after your presentation. The debrief is important for a number of reasons:

  1. You’ll have another chance to personally thank the event planner for hiring you, and you have another opportunity to build and maintain a positive relationship with him or her.
  2. You’ll receive important feedback on your presentation that you can use to make the next one even better.
  3. You’ll obtain more insight into what’s most important to the event planner. Use that information to promote your services for future events, highlighting the priority areas.
  4. You’ll learn if anyone has requested follow-up information about you or your topic, which can lead to additional networking and possible future bookings.
  5. You’ll have a conversation which may reveal other goals the event planner or company would like to achieve.

I recently heard about one speaker who used a debrief successfully to learn more about the client company’s vision and next steps. The speaker, who also had expertise that could be helpful in the client’s progress, was approached about returning to the company for another speech.

The speaker asked a series of well-phrased questions, which determined that only one more presentation wouldn’t be in the client’s best interest. Rather, the speaker suggested three shorter sessions with “homework” assigned in between planned speaking dates. Those three sessions led to much stronger results for the company, and the speaker was booked for additional work whenever possible.

A great presentation will please your client. A great presentation with a thoughtful debrief may delight you and your client.

Refreshments for your online meeting? It’s a (virtual) piece of cake!

Refreshments for your online meeting? It’s a (virtual) piece of cake! 2560 1708 I Need A Speaker

Serving food and beverages virtually is a trend that’s been welcomed in the online meeting/event/speaking world. Attendees love the surprise of receiving refreshments, as it helps to re-create some of the in-person meeting experience.

While you can’t network at a communal table, the availability of online gift cards, food delivery, and quick-ship retailers means you can “serve” everything from a plain cup of coffee to an entire meal.

If you’re sending electronic gift cards for coffee or tea, be sure to choose a national brand, so your attendees will find it convenient to use the gift card. If you’re sending coffee or tea to be made at home, your options are limitless. For something more substantial, conduct an online search for businesses that ship or deliver food. There’s something for every taste and budget, ranging from bagged snacks to sandwiches to full meals.

Now, all you’re missing is a lanyard with your name on it – but that can be arranged, too!

What speaker testimonials and product reviews have in common

What speaker testimonials and product reviews have in common 2560 1707 I Need A Speaker

I’m one of those people who shop for the holidays early, and packages have already been arriving on my front porch. While browsing, I’ve made it a habit to check product reviews before clicking on “add to cart” and completing my purchases.

Reviews tell us what people liked and what people would change about their product or service experience. Customer feedback, whether positive or negative, helps businesses adjust products, prices, policies, and practices to satisfy customers.

Speakers can also benefit from requesting testimonials from satisfied event organizers and audience members. Most attendees are happy to complete a quick online survey following a presentation.

To encourage future bookings, speakers can post testimonials on their website, social media accounts, informational materials, and other customer-facing materials. Event organizers will benefit from knowing about speakers’ past successes as they plan future ones.

Can I interest you in some related material?

Can I interest you in some related material? 1707 2560 I Need A Speaker

When you complete your I Need A Speaker profile, you’ll be asked to choose a fee range. We’ve included “negotiable” as a response, because many speakers may choose to offer a somewhat lower fee – or even charge no fee at all – if they are allowed to sell services and products after their presentation. In an ideal situation, you’ll receive your full speaking fee and be allowed to promote your goods and services.

If you are in a position to offer paid consulting services or hope to sell a book, for example, check with your event organizer about sales and solicitation policies for the event in question. If the event budget is lower than expected, you may be able to use sales as a negotiation point. Engaging your audience and selling your products or services will likely increase your popularity as an expert and position you for top rates in the future.

Clarify and fulfill your value proposition

Clarify and fulfill your value proposition 1707 2560 I Need A Speaker

When event organizers contact potential speakers, they’re trying to determine if the speaker is a good fit. They want to be sure the speaker is affordable. They want to check availability and work out booking details. Although those are all important to learn, perhaps what matters most to the event organizer is the speaker’s value proposition.

As a speaker, what will you do for my organization and this audience?

That question is a critical one. Seasoned event organizers have specific goals in mind. Examples might be: teach new hires effective ways to close a sale; guide my organization through the process of improving our diversity and inclusion efforts; demonstrate good manufacturing processes for quality control; instruct the audience on ways to practice mindfulness. In other words, those planners know what results they are working to achieve. For best results, both the event organizer and speaker should in agreement about organizational objectives for the event.

If you’re a speaker with a strong value proposition, make it clear in your communications. In social media, on your website, and during personal conversations, don’t just list your areas of expertise or your credentials. Rather, state what value you’ll bring to audiences, and highlight past successes to reinforce your value. That’s what builds a positive reputation.

How speakers can use social media to increase bookings

How speakers can use social media to increase bookings 2560 1707 I Need A Speaker

Managed properly, your social media presence can help you increase your bookings. If you’re a speaker who is seeking connections with new event planners and audiences, follow these steps:

  • Keep your profile updated in the I Need A Speaker directory. Upload a current resume/CV or list of speaking engagements, and add information as needed.
  • Post samples of your work on YouTube, your personal website, SlideShare, Vimeo, or other platforms, so you can share a link with interested people.
  • Join and/or follow groups of speakers on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook. Be sure to comment on their posts and engage with them, so they become familiar with you.
  • Follow the groups and individuals who may be interested in the topics you discuss.
  • Keep your personal brand consistent across all platforms, using the same background/profile images, typeface (where possible), summaries, tag lines, etc. on each one.
  • Share images of yourself presenting to audiences.
  • Include client/audience testimonials in your social media content to demonstrate that you’ve had past success.
  • Mention upcoming events, tagging the organizations that booked you and promoting their work.
  • Direct people to your website or work samples with a URL.
  • Ask trusted friends, family, and colleagues to live tweet/post when you’re speaking.
  • Conduct pre- and post-surveys to measure audience satisfaction, and share the results online.
  • Write a white paper on your area(s) of expertise, and publish it on LinkedIn and your website.
  • Network virtually, expanding your scope of connections regularly.

Good luck with your promotional efforts!

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