Simply put, public speaking is basically the act of making a speech to persuade, inform and entertain your audience. According to research, securing public speaking opportunities can enhance your brand as well as attract the interest of high-value clients. However, booking speaking engagements is not as easy as just sending an email or making a phone call. It takes quite a bit more to secure lucrative speaking engagements. Here are my tips for getting started booking speaking engagements.
Where to Start when it Comes to Booking Speaking Engagements
Before you start booking speaking engagements, prepare the necessary marketing materials including your demo video, website, and testimonials, if available. Similar to your website, a demo video will help you demonstrate your speaking skills to potential clients. A demo video is essentially a short video of you speaking in public. Even if you don’t have any videos of you speaking at large gatherings, start with videos of you speaking at smaller gatherings. These engagements can include company meetings or presentations, or even a video of you speaking to no one with camera solely focused on you and not the audience.
It’s important to be cool, calm, and confident when it comes to your approach to booking an engagement just as it is to be like that on stage. You want to be sharp at all times because brain fog and public speaking don’t go well together. To learn more about how to cure brain fog so you can perform your best when the spotlight is on you, check out that article featured on DaoCloud.com.
After creating your marketing materials, use local search to find potential clients in your area including organizations, trade associations, conferences, and seminars. However, as a beginner, you are unlikely to secure paid speaking opportunities. For this reason, you should start with free engagements to build your credentials and reputation.
Connect with your Local Chamber of Commerce
Like other states across the US, your state and/or municipality has regular Chamber of Commerce meetings for local executive and business owners, who in turn have their own events. More importantly these meetings typically bring in a speaker. This means that, as a fledgling public speaker, you should reach out to your local Chamber of Commerce office and request to speak in their meetings for free. After you’ve spoken, be sure to network with the decision makers in the audience with the aim of securing new speaking engagements. While at it, ensure you get a footage of your talk and testimonials from those in attendance.
Where to Find Speaking Engagements
Besides reaching out to your local Chamber of Commerce office, there are other ways of finding speaking engagements. For starters, popular local events offer speakers speaking opportunities making them extremely popular among fledgling public speakers who want to gain exposure and connect with potential clients. However, such events do not typically pay speakers. Instead, they offer a platform for fledgling public speakers to launch their careers.
Second, industry associates typically look for new and interesting speakers to speak at their events and conferences, meaning they have budgets to pay such speakers. To find the industry associations in your area, use local search or websites such as Lanyrd.
Third, you can look into speaking at companies, especially companies that regularly hire consultants to train their employees. In fact, according to Business Week, companies spent nearly $40 billion in 2013 along on outside consults.
How to Reach Out to Book Speaking Engagements
To book a speaking engagement, you should follow several key steps. First, you need to identify an organization where you can talk directly to a decision maker. Second, research that organization and identify a pain point that you can help solve. Third, offer to take the decision maker out to lunch or coffee. Fourth, pitch and present your proposal. To improve your chances of securing a speaking engagement, your pitch should include hard figures, not your opinion.
In case you must contact a prospective client via email, incorporate the client’s name in the first sentence of the email. Additionally, ensure the email is short, direct and easy to reply to, and contains links to your credentials and website.