• Connecting Speakers with Audiences™


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.

Two keynote speakers walk into a bar …

Two keynote speakers walk into a bar … 2560 1707 I Need A Speaker

Some of my favorite speeches include humor. David Sedaris somehow combines just the right words, tone, and facial expression that have made me laugh until tears roll down my cheeks.

When used properly, humor allows us to connect with one another. It lightens the mood when the topic is serious. It helps us remember key points.

As a speaker, you can use humor in a number of ways: cartoons, anecdotes, personal stories, quotes, or jokes. Some of the best speakers tell stories or jokes that make audiences laugh out loud – but be careful. If you’re not accustomed to using humor, your intentions could backfire.

If possible, test your material on an individual or group that represents your audience, and see if your remarks got the desired result. Did your test audience laugh or cringe? Use that feedback to decide how to proceed.

Our next speaker is …

Our next speaker is … 2560 1440 I Need A Speaker

Speaker introductions do more than tell your audience who you are. Speaker introductions highlight your relevance and credibility, and they set expectations for what your audience may expect to learn or experience.

Effective speaker introductions should be no longer than 100 words and should highlight the most important reasons that you’re the best speaker for that particular occasion, subject, and audience.

Having someone read a list of degrees and publications definitely underscores your status as a subject matter expert, but what’s even more important to audiences is what you’ve done and what you plan to share with them. If you’re speaking about entrepreneurial habits, it’s important to note that you’ve started six successful companies. If you’re discussing techniques for outdoor survival to a group of outdoor enthusiasts, definitely include your outdoor achievements in your narrative speaker bio. You get the idea.

Your audience doesn’t have to know everything about you. They just need to know that you’re qualified, capable, relevant, and excited to share.

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