Do you fancy the idea of speaking at an event, but aren’t really sure how to go about it? In reality, it’s easier than you might expect. The number of knowledge-based events is on the increase, especially as professionals recognise the value of face-to-face interaction, word of mouth and referrals. This directly means that the number of speaking opportunities is on the rise too.
So where should you start from? The first step is to identify areas or events that you feel you could add value to. Have a look around you and list all the potential events or organisers that spark your interest, including those you have attended recently.
To build your list further, you may wish to also try searching for opportunities by:
- Searching for ‘Calls for speakers’. Many organisations, especially associations, will issue a call to their members, contacts and often the general public to apply for speaking positions
- Searching for keywords from your expert topic, followed by the word ‘events’ or ‘conferences’ and see what that churns up.
- Registering with a professional speaker bureau. There will be costs involved; however, they will work to secure speaking gigs on your behalf.
- Identify event management companies in your area. Event Management firms are ones that actually organise the conferences on behalf of associations, corporates and charities. This means that they often have a say in who gets to speak at the events.
Once you have an ideal event in mind the next step is to actively approach the event organisers. When you approach the organiser, you should be clear about what you can offer, your strengths, potential topics you can address and what you would like in return for your participation. Make sure you have a 150-word bio and headshot available too.
You may or may not be accepted and this will depend on many factors, so it is important not to take all rejections personally. There will be plenty of cases where you simply are not the right fit for the organisers’ program.
Remember, if at first you don’t succeed – try and try again.
When you actually have the speaking gig, it may seem that hardest part is over; yet preparation for the actual presentation is crucial as over delivering is especially important. Organisers often look to competitive or industry events to see who has spoken on similar topics. By building a strong and reliable reputation, you will be increasing your chances of getting invited to another event.
Make a Good Impression
Remember: a lot of companies run multiple events so by being a model speaker (sending documents in on time, reading and acting on communications, etc.), you are more likely to be asked back to speak again.
On a final note – enjoy your speaking engagement. The audience is more likely to find value in your session if you are a passionate and compelling speaker.
You can learn more about acquiring speaking opportunities by downloading whitepapers on Nadine’s website.