10 Ways to Land a Speaking Gig – Charm a Conference Crowd and Make Great Contacts!

Do you want to build your brand? How about grow your book of business?

Conferences and other speaking events are just the venues you need.

If you’re ready to step up to a podium, here are the ten best ways to get a speaking gig at a conference or industry event.

1. Give yourself plenty of time to plan.

Program planning for many events and conferences begins up to a year in advance. Do NOT solicit a speaking engagement the same day registration opens! Seek out the events you’d like to attend well in advance, and reach out to the organizers.

When contacting organizers, do NOT pick up the phone! Use either the event organizer’s web-based speaker proposal form, or communicate via e-mail.

2. Suggest how you are valuable.

Don’t make event organizers find the fit.

When recommending yourself, tell organizers how and where you should go in the program. This will show that you cared enough to understand their program.

3. Have some social credibility.

Make sure you show up in Google. Your LinkedIn profile should be robust and your Twitter timeline full of relevant industry trends and topics. Conference organizers like to tap people who have some social credibility on the topic they want to present.

4. Write a great proposal.

You want to accurately portray what you’ll speak about, but also convey a sense of the personality and energy you’ll bring to it. Think of the session title as the compelling, intriguing headline, and liven up the description to include specific takeaways (what’s in it for the audience?) and lively language.

Warning: Don’t be boring!

5. Bring a client.

Some events prefer to use client-side speakers rather than vendors or consultants. One way around that is to invite a client or customer to make their own presentation alongside you.

6. Start small.

If you aren’t getting any traction with the bigger events, approach smaller events: Local chamber events, networking breakfasts, association gatherings are all great places to start building your speaking resume.

7. Create a speaking page.

Dedicate a page on your Web site or blog to your public speaking efforts. Give an overview of who you are and what topics you regularly speak about. List where you’ve been and where you are going. Don’t forget to include a photo!

8. Solicit  testimonials.

Ask for testimonials from conference organizers, association coordinators, or whomever you worked with on a specific event – then list the testimonials on your speaking page.

9. Include a video.

A video demonstrating your speaking skills is a nice touch. Seeing you in action gives conference organizers a clear picture of how you present. Shoot yourself with a Flip video camera or something similar.

10. Don’t forget to keep in touch!

Think of a speaking gig as a business lead. You want to nurture it. Keep in touch with conference organizers, attend their events and meet them, and continue to offer yourself as a resource.

There’s never been a better time to start your speaking events.

After all, they are your opportunities to shine and to really show the industry what you’re made of!

Adapted from article How to Get a Speaking Gig: 12 Ways to Charm Conference Organizers by Ann Handley.

About the Author: Chiropractic Marketing Expert, Dr. Chris A. Hawn is an author and online entrepreneur. He is a consultant and chief contributor to RBraintrust.com. If you want to jump-start your small business, attract the right clients and generate more referrals, contact Dr. Chris Hawn today. He can be reached at chris@chrishawn.com

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