• Connecting Speakers with Audiences™

connection

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!

Always do this one thing before presenting

Always do this one thing before presenting 2560 1707 I Need A Speaker

Years ago, I was working with someone who had all of the elements of a great presentation: a flawless outline; good, relevant content; a compelling, realistic call to action; active verbs; descriptive language; pauses in all the right places; excellent visual aids; and a passion for his topic. It would have been perfect, but he forgot one critical step: carefully proofread everything.

The speaker’s content, slides and handouts were focused on carbon monoxide and how dangerous it could be if leaked into a building. His call to action was a clear plea to purchase, use, and replace a carbon monoxide detector as needed to stay protected from this invisible, odorless killer. Yet all of his slides referenced CO2, which is carbon dioxide, a molecular compound that is necessary for the maintenance of life.

Instantly, his credibility was greatly diminished. Audience members looked to one another in confusion. He lost the audience’s attention and, to some degree, their respect.

Lesson learned. Always, always proof your materials. And if you’re not good at it, please ask for help from someone who is.

Seven benefits of speaking as a service

Seven benefits of speaking as a service 2560 1495 I Need A Speaker

A previous blog post talked about public speaking as service. Many people want to share their personal story, message, or expertise to benefit audiences, rather than just earn money. When speakers book events with a service-based intent, both the speaker and the audience benefit.

Whether you’re speaking pro bono for the common good or establishing yourself as a professional speaker, service-oriented gigs can help you obtain more bookings.

Seven valuable benefits of service-focused speaking are:

  1. You can practice your presentation skills with an audience. Their verbal and non-verbal feedback will provide valuable direction on how you can improve.
  2. You can promote yourself by sharing contact information, links to your website, and downloads of reference material.
  3. You can request testimonials or referral letters from meeting planners and attendees after the event.
  4. You can request referrals for other speaking engagements from satisfied clients and audience members.
  5. You can use surveys to measure the success of your program, then use that information in promotional content.
  6. You can mention your appearance on your website, blog, or social media feeds.
  7. You can distribute a news release, which may be seen by other meeting planners or organizations who may benefit from your presentation.

Virtual meetings have eliminated the need for travel, meaning your opportunities to reach audiences is unlimited. Consider speaking as service when booking speaking engagements, and everyone will benefit.

“We were missing out”

“We were missing out” 2560 1707 I Need A Speaker

As I Need A Speaker grows, our team members often hear people use the phrase “we were missing out”. That’s often said in reference to disappointment that a committee was unable to identify and book speakers who were not within the committee members’ circle of personal contacts.

I Need A Speaker was created so no one had to miss out on sharing or hearing important messages, learning new things, and making a connection with others. It was created to do exactly what our tagline says – connect speakers with audiences. It was created to solve a problem in the best possible way.

Our goal, above all, is to provide a service that will enrich and delight the people who value sharing information as much as we do.

We are all motivational speakers in one way or another

We are all motivational speakers in one way or another 2560 2214 I Need A Speaker

What comes to mind when you think of a motivational speaker? Maybe you picture a cheering crowd or a presentation that makes you want to take some type of action toward greater self-fulfillment. That’s the definition of motivational for many of us.

I believe that – in some ways – all speakers are motivational speakers. A talk may motivate audiences to:

  • see an issue in a new way
  • learn more about a specific subject
  • try something new
  • consider other people’s perspectives
  • adapt our behaviors or word choices for a desired effect
  • start or stop doing something to improve our productivity, mental health, overall well-being, relationships, etc.
  • gain mutual understanding with others.

Great speakers can motivate in many ways. What speeches have motivated you?

I’m registering! What should I charge?

I’m registering! What should I charge? 2560 1810 I Need A Speaker

I Need A Speaker welcomes speakers of all experience levels, so it’s not uncommon for us to be asked how speakers should set fees. While we know the speakers are hoping for a more specific answer, we give everyone the same response: “Well, it depends on a lot of factors.”

Here are some things to consider when determining your fee:

  • How much preparation time does the presentation involve?
  • Will you be allowed to sell or promote your products or services?
  • How frequently do you present? A speaker who is in demand can reasonably charge more than someone who presents only a few times per year. As you increase the number of presentations you deliver, your skills will continue to improve over time.
  • Are you addressing a for-profit or non-profit group?
  • Is this a topic or cause close to your heart? If you have a personal story or passionate message to share, being paid may not be important to you.
  • Are you sharing printed or tangible materials as part of your presentation? If so, you’ll need to cover the cost of those items.
  • If you are delivering specific value to the audience/event organizers, don’t be afraid to set a fee that is commensurate with your credentials/credibility and value.

It’s a complicated decision, we know. Because situations are different, we’ve included the option of “negotiable” fee in your profile.

Public speaking can be public service, too

Public speaking can be public service, too 2560 1440 I Need A Speaker

A little more than two years ago, I attended a presentation at a science center. The speaker was a man who worked at the center for most of his professional career and had volunteered to greet visitors and share his excitement about the center’s work.

Our host was smiling when he entered the room, and he greeted the crowd by hinting at the wonderful things we would see and learn that day. Throughout the entire session, his smile remained in place, and his enthusiasm never waned. At the conclusion of the event, he said goodbye as though we were cherished visitors in his home, and he thanked everyone for coming.

When I Need A Speaker launched, some people blushed and said, “I’m not a celebrity or a professional speaker.” Neither was our science center tour guide. And he was fantastic.

We celebrate speakers who commit to public speaking as part of their personal mission – it becomes one way that they can celebrate and advance the topics and causes that mean the most to them.

Have you considered public speaking as a public service? Regardless of your areas of expertise … regardless of your motivational message … regardless of your personal story, there are classes, community groups, organizations, and employee groups who would benefit from hearing from you.

Great speakers are defined by these two things

Great speakers are defined by these two things 2560 1707 I Need A Speaker

People hear about I Need A Speaker, and they sometimes say, “I love to talk about [insert your topic here], but I’m not a professional speaker or an expert.” Our response is, “That’s okay!”

Of course we welcome professional speakers. We welcome speakers of all experience levels and subject matter expertise.

So what makes a great speaker? Audiences will tell you it’s a speaker who has passion and purpose. It’s someone who has a story or a message to share. It’s someone who wants to make a connection with others through a common interest. It’s someone who wants to make a difference.

Maybe it’s you. Maybe it’s not.

If you are someone who has passion and purpose, we’d love to hear your message. Better yet, we would be privileged to help you share it with other people.

What is your core idea?

What is your core idea? 2200 1529 I Need A Speaker

Great speakers know that they can inform, persuade, entertain, motivate, and inspire … and they can do it most effectively when they center their remarks on one core idea.

Your audience is expected to absorb a lot of information during your talk. What is the one thing you want them to remember when you’ve finished speaking? That one thing – that core idea – is the center around which every element of your presentation should be focused.

Think about the speeches you’ve heard. What one thing do you recall about each? If you remember it vividly, the speaker was effective.

What’s your core idea?

Know the one tool to master for online meetings

Know the one tool to master for online meetings 2560 1707 I Need A Speaker

Recent events prompted millions of people to work from home, a trend that’s likely to continue indefinitely. We have adapted to conducting business from our homes, rather than our offices. During that time, some standards have relaxed a bit.

As we isolate toward a healthier tomorrow, we’ll be participating in meetings and classes from home. Our setting comes complete with the sounds that accompany the spaces where we live. To minimize disruption from kids, dogs, trains, emergency vehicles, delivery drivers, appliances, lawnmowers, and other household sounds, be sure to enable your “mute” button until you’re ready to speak. Your colleagues will be grateful.

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