• Connecting Speakers with Audiences™

presentation

What if I become emotional during my presentation?

What if I become emotional during my presentation? 1707 2560 I Need A Speaker

A recent speech by Marriott President and CEO Arne Sorenson was lauded for its authenticity and effectiveness. During the speech, which lasted less than six minutes, Sorenson detailed the impact that the pandemic has had on Marriott’s staff and business. This brief presentation earned praise and admiration for Sorenson not only as a leader and presenter. Why? Because he showed his human side. He demonstrated empathy and sincerity.

As a public speaking coach, I have asked people to tell very personal stories, forcing them to dig into their hearts and memories to share intimate pieces of their lives. And when they do, they absolutely shine. They succeed because what they’re saying is deeply important to them, and these speakers have the credibility of a lived experience.

Often, speakers worry that they’ll become emotional while presenting, as Sorenson does. To some, they feel they have failed as a presenter. They believe everything has to be perfect and that becoming too visibly emotional will make them vulnerable. I remind them that it’s okay.

Some topics are just harder to talk about than others. If you’re sharing an emotional story or presenting about a topic that makes you sad, wistful, angry, regretful, or any other emotion we don’t often share with a room full of strangers, remember this: Emotion connects us in powerful ways. Your audience will relate to you on a new, deeper level, and the people who hear your story will remember it.

These tips may help the next time you tackle an emotional topic:

  • Take a moment if you become too emotional while speaking. Breathe. Then keep going. Don’t let emotion cut your speech short.
  • Realize we all feel these emotions; it’s not just you. Your audience relates to what you’re saying.
  • Practice several times to prepare for the more emotional moments in your presentation, and work on delivering those messages powerfully and at a reasonable pace.
  • Bring tissues. You may not need them, but it’s good to be prepared.

You got this.

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!

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.

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