One of my goals for this year was to start doing more presentations, workshops and seminars.
I’ve done these for several business groups and corporate consulting clients. However, it’s an area where I want to improve and the best way to do that is to study and practice.
The more content you create around your area of expertise the better it is
As I learn new techniques, approaches and principles of the best speakers I thought I’d share my big takeaways with you. And of course, I welcome your input, feedback and suggestions.
Let’s start with a look at how to define the market you will serve as a speaker so you can start landing speaking opportunities.
1) Establish Your Value
Speaking is no different than consulting when it comes to delivering value. That is the single most important factor you must always keep in mind. Ask yourself ‘what will the buyer (of my speaking services) value most (and what will the audience value most)?’ These are important questions that you want to have clear answers on before you start trying to line up speaking gigs.
2) Select Your Audience and Industry
Next you want to be clear on who your ideal audience is. That’s a great place to start and the same approach you want to take when going after consulting clients. Do you want to speak to companies in certain geographic areas or industries? Are they non-profits, associations or public companies? Deciding this will help you to narrow down the focus of your initial speaking offerings and increase your chances of being hired.
3) Become a Thought-Leader
The way I’ve been hired to speak or give presentations has most often come as a result of the buyer reading one of my articles in a business publication, on someone else’s blog or on my own. The more content you create around your area of expertise the better it is. Why? Because it will position you as an authority and boost your credibility which in turn helps you to land more speaking gigs.
4) Work Your Network
If you’ve seen our marketing for consultants survey you know that referrals are the number one way consultants get business. So it should come as no surprise that the same goes for speaking. Get in touch with everyone you know, contact your connections on social platforms or in your CRM, send out a newsletter talking about your speaking goals and so on…this will be one of the best ways for people to know that you’re looking to speak more and what topics you can speak on …and as a result you’ll get more referrals and leads for speaking.
5) Don’t Be Perfect
I’ve written on the Consultants Build Syndrome in the past. This applies to speaking as well. Don’t worry about having the perfect presentation ready. Start by speaking at associations or clubs (as opposed to high-end corporate clients) and give it your best shot. You’ll make some mistakes, you’ll learn a lot and you’ll get better fast. If you wait for perfection you’ll often find yourself not far from the starting gate.
What other speaking tips can you share on defining your market and getting started as a speaker? I’d like to hear your thoughts below…