Previously, we shared some tactical ways to grow your visibility and increase your chances of booking high-visibility conferences and events. Each of those speaking opportunities can serve as a tool to reveal areas for improvement.
Think of those suggestions as overarching navigation if you want to build your brand as an author and speaker. If you haven’t read it, then check it out here.
We also want to share some of the nitty-gritty specifics that you’ll need to know after you’ve landed a few events and feel more comfortable on the stage.
when you have an event in the pipeline
things to ask
Will the organizers be filming the event? If so, can you get a copy of the footage? If not, may you record (or hopefully have someone else record) your presentation? If they are recording you, will they charge you for the footage? How long will post-production take? If you’re speaking to a group that is run by volunteers, these are key questions to ask. Pro-tip: get a recommendation and hire a videographer and provide the videographer with a formal shot list s/he should record.
what to wear?
What clothing will help (subtly) reinforce your branding? One of our team member’s former clients with orange in his brand continues to wear orange suede shoes to all his speaking gigs. While you may not take it that literally, think about TV anchors and their clothing: I’m not telling you to get out the hairspray and go big, but I am warning you to stay away from strong patterns and contrasts in your fabrics. Create 3-5 go-to “speaker outfits” that coordinate with each other so your reel won’t clash.
thinking big picture: what’s your pitch?
How will multiple speeches work together? If you have a voiceover in mind before you start the process, it will be easier to find the right clips and edit them into a strong speaking reel.
- Write out a 2-3 minute pitch that explains your WHYs.
- Why is your take on the topic unique? Why do audiences like to hear your message? Why should someone pay you to talk to their group?
Recently, a client asked us if it’s more important to have intelligent content or if the entertainment factor outweighs content when seeking to land conferences and relationships with speaking bureaus. Obviously, both are important; however, we think that audience engagement pulls ahead as the key factor when deciding between the two. Remember to include it in your sizzle reel!
Hone your message, ask good questions, and be prepared!
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