How to Get Speaking Engagements and Share Your Message
Are you struggling to book speaking engagements as a both professional speaker or a public speaker?
In today’s competitive professional landscape, securing speaking engagements has become a transformative avenue to expand your influence, establish yourself as an expert, and make a profound impact on your audience.
After over 40 years of public speaking experience I’ve found that sharing your message is very important, for your business for example, but so is having an idea of the right audience to share it with.
A central focus of the speech of any professional speaker should be:
How many bookings do they have on their schedule and how many speeches do they have planned and paid for?
I’ve discovered effective strategies to speak out that have helped me with my personal and business brand, secure countless speaking gigs, build relationships, and connect with diverse audiences. And today, I’ll share these insights so you know how to grow your personal brand and how to get speaking engagements done with confidence and success.
So, let’s uncover the secrets to captivating audiences, leaving a lasting impression on most people, building relationships, and igniting positive change.
Building a Compelling Speaker Profile
Crafting an influential speaker profile is the foundation for attracting speaking gigs. A compelling profile showcases your expertise, experience, and unique value, leaving a lasting impression on event organizers and decision-makers.
Let’s explore the key elements that will make your speaker profile irresistible.
Researching and Identifying Speaking Opportunities
To embark on your journey to securing speaking engagements at local conferences, it is crucial to conduct thorough research and identify the most suitable opportunities. Start by defining your target audience and understanding their pain points, aspirations, and interests.
Research industry-specific conferences, events, and organizations that attract your desired audience and align with your expertise. Explore online platforms, industry publications, and professional networks to discover other speakers and potential venues for speaking gigs. As you delve into this research, consider the following factors:
Ensure that the event’s theme and audience align with your expertise, personal brand, and your speaking career goals. Look for events that address the challenges your audience faces and provide opportunities for meaningful engagement.
Event Size and Format
Consider the size and format of the conference organizer and the event. Larger conferences may attract a broader audience, while smaller workshops or niche events, or local conferences may provide a more intimate setting for deeper connections.
Pay attention to the conference organizer or other event planner’s speaker requirements, contact details such as session length, format (keynote, panel discussion, workshop), and specific topics they are seeking. Tailor your proposals to a good speaker, accordingly to meet their expectations.
Assess the reputation and credibility of the event, its organizers, and previous keynote speakers. Look for testimonials, reviews, and feedback to gauge the event’s quality and the audience’s satisfaction.
By conducting thorough research, you gain a comprehensive understanding of the speaking landscape within the local area of your industry and position yourself strategically to approach relevant opportunities that will maximize your impact.
Crafting an Effective Speaker Proposal
Crafting an effective speaker proposal is a vital step in securing speaking engagements. Your proposal serves as a compelling sales pitch, showcasing your unique value and capturing the attention of event organizers. Let’s explore the essential elements that will make your proposal stand out from the competition:
Create a title that sparks curiosity and immediately conveys the value and relevance of your talk demo video, or presentation. A captivating title grabs your audience’s attention and entices event organizers to hire speakers to learn more about your topic.
Craft a compelling description that highlights the key benefits and takeaways for the audience. Clearly communicate how your presentation will address their pain points, provide actionable insights, and inspire positive change. Use engaging language and vivid examples to paint a picture of the transformation attendees will experience.
Customize each proposal to a good fit for the specific event planner and its audience. Demonstrate a clear understanding of the other event planner’s theme, objectives, and target audience. Align your proposal with their goals and position yourself as the ideal speaker to deliver the desired outcomes.
Unique Value Proposition
Clearly articulate what sets you apart from other speakers. Highlight your expertise, achievements, and unique perspective. Share success stories of individuals or organizations who have benefited from your insights.
Showcase your credibility and expertise by mentioning relevant credentials, awards, or media appearances. Emphasize how your presentation will offer a fresh perspective and provide tangible value to the audience.
Outline of Key Takeaways
Provide a structured outline of the key takeaways attendees can expect from your presentation. Break down your content into logical sections or modules, clearly highlighting the main points, actionable steps, and insights that attendees will gain. This demonstrates your organization and ensures event organizers understand the value you bring to their audience.
Incorporate visually appealing elements into your proposal. Include professional headshots, images, or graphics that align with your topic and enhance the overall presentation. Visuals can create a lasting impression and make your proposal more memorable.
Remember, the goal of your speaker proposal is to pique the interest of event organizers and convince them that your idea and you are the perfect fit for their event. Tailor each proposal to the specific opportunity, highlighting the relevance of your idea, your topic, and the value you will bring to their audience.
Leveraging Online Platforms and Social Media
In today’s digital age, online platforms and social media play a pivotal role in establishing your presence, expanding your network, and attracting paid speaking opportunities and engagements. These powerful tools enable you to showcase your expertise, engage with event organizers, and promote your availability as a paid speaker anywhere.
Here are effective strategies for leveraging online platforms and social media to unlock paid speaking opportunities and engagements.
Professional Speaking Website
Create a polished and informative website that serves as your online hub. Feature your speaking experience, testimonials, past and booked speaking engagements below, and a captivating bio. Ensure your website is mobile-friendly, visually appealing, and easy to navigate. Regularly update your content to reflect your latest achievements and upcoming speaking engagements.
LinkedIn is a goldmine for professional networking and connecting with event organizers. Optimize your LinkedIn profile by highlighting your speaking experience, areas of expertise, and relevant achievements. Engage with industry-specific groups, share valuable content, and participate in discussions to expand your network and establish yourself as an authority in your field.
Thought Leadership Content
Create valuable thought leadership content through blog posts, articles, videos, or podcasts. Share your expertise, insights, and actionable tips that resonate with your target audience. Consistently publish high-quality content on your website, LinkedIn, or other relevant platforms. Engage with your audience by responding to comments and fostering meaningful conversations.
Engaging Social Media Presence
Leverage social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook to amplify your message and attract more speaking engagements. Share bite-sized insights, behind-the-scenes glimpses of your speaking engagements, and engaging visuals. Actively engage with your audience, respond to messages, and participate in industry-related conversations.
Collaborate with Other Leaders
Identify influential individuals or organizations within your industry and explore opportunities for collaboration. Guest blog on their platforms, participate in joint webinars or podcasts, or co-create content. Collaborations can significantly expand your reach and expose you to new audiences, leading to potential speaking invitations.
Online Speaking Engagements
In addition to physical events, explore the possibility of online speaking engagements, webinars, or virtual conferences. Expand your network by connecting with organizers who host online events and offer your expertise as a virtual speaker. Embrace the flexibility and global reach that online platforms provide.
By strategically leveraging online platforms and social media, you can amplify your message, reach a wider audience, and build valuable relationships with event organizers and industry influencers. Consistent and authentic engagement will position you as a go-to speaker in your field and increase your chances of securing more speaking gigs and opportunities.
Enhancing Speaking Skills and Visibility
From your first speaking gig to becoming a sought-after speaker happy with more speaking engagements, gigs, and more, continuous development of your speaking skills and increasing your visibility and speaking reel are paramount. Let’s delve into the strategies that will enhance your speaking abilities and make you more visible and want to speak more in the industry.
Continuous Professional Development
As an aspiring speaker, investing in continuous professional development is essential for honing your public speaking skills and staying ahead in your field. Consider the following avenues for growth:
Attend Workshops and Conferences
Attend public speaking, workshops, seminars, and conferences to learn new speech techniques, talk about, speak from, gain industry insights, and connect with fellow public speakers everywhere. These events offer opportunities to refine your delivery style, learn from seasoned speakers, and stay updated on top speech industry trends.
Seek Professional Coaching
Consider working with a speaking coach who can provide personalized guidance, help you identify areas for improvement, and offer strategies to enhance your stage presence, delivery, and storytelling abilities. Coaching can accelerate your progress and provide valuable insights from an experienced mentor.
Learn from Seasoned Speakers
Study the techniques and strategies of successful keynote speakers, who have made a significant impact in their respective fields. Really pay attention to everything that a keynote speaker does during their speaking gig. Watch their TED Talks, attend their live presentations if possible, and analyze their delivery, storytelling, and engagement techniques.
These are paid speakers, so they have already mastered the skills most people now are looking for when they are hiring speakers. Adapt and incorporate these best practices into your own speaking style.
Practice is the key to mastery of any skill. For this reason, please plan on setting aside dedicated time to rehearse and refine your presentations. This is especially important if you are looking to get your first speaking gig as a paid speaker. Record yourself to assess your performance, identify areas for improvement, and fine-tune your delivery.
Practice in front of a mirror or with a supportive audience to gain confidence and receive valuable feedback.
Showcasing Speaking Expertise
To increase your visibility and establish yourself as a thought leader and an authority in your field, it’s crucial to showcase your speaking expertise through book-paid speaking engagements and other speaking engagements, on various channels. Consider the following strategies to find speaking engagements:
Publish Articles and Blog Posts
Share your knowledge and insights by writing articles or blog posts related to your speaking topics. Publish them on your speaking website here, industry-specific platforms, or LinkedIn Pulse. This positions you as a thought leader and provides valuable content that event organizers can reference when considering you as a speaker.
Deliver Webinars and Online Presentations
Host webinars or online presentations on platforms like Zoom or LinkedIn Live. This type of speaking engagement via virtual events allows you to reach a global audience, share your expertise, and engage with attendees in real-time.
Promote your webinars through your website, social media channels, and email newsletters to attract participants and demonstrate your speaking prowess.
Guest on Podcasts
Seek opportunities to be a guest on relevant podcasts in your industry. This exposes you to new audiences, allows you to share your expertise, and positions you as a go-to expert in your field. Be prepared with valuable insights, engaging stories, and actionable advice to make a lasting impression on the podcast host and listeners.
Consider creating a YouTube channel dedicated to your speaking topics. Record and share videos of your presentations, speaking tips, or short educational content. Optimize your channel with engaging titles, captivating thumbnails, and relevant keywords to attract viewers and increase your visibility.
Speak at Local Events and Conferences
Start by seeking conference organizers to speak at local events, other business conferences, or industry associations. These smaller-scale engagements provide a platform to refine your speaking skills, receive feedback, and expand your network within your business community. As you speak and gain experience and positive testimonials, you can leverage them to book paid speaking engagements.
Seeking Testimonials and Referrals
Testimonials and referrals are powerful tools that build trust and credibility in the speaking industry. Actively seek testimonials from attendees, event organizers, or clients who have benefited from your speaking engagements.
These testimonials serve as social proof and provide evidence of the impact you have made.
Additionally, referrals from satisfied clients and industry colleagues can open doors to new speaking gigs. Here’s how you can gather testimonials and leverage referrals:
Reach out to event organizers, speakers, attendees, or clients and kindly request a testimonial highlighting their experience with your presentation. Ask for specific feedback on the value they gained, the actionable insights they implemented, or the transformation they experienced. These testimonials can be displayed on your website, included in your speaker proposals, or shared on social media to enhance your credibility.
Showcase Testimonials Strategically
Display testimonials prominently on your website, creating a dedicated section or incorporating them on relevant pages. Highlight impactful statements that speak to the value you provide as a speaker. When pitching to new event organizers, include select testimonials that are most relevant to their audience and objectives to help showcase your previous experience.
Cultivate relationships with clients, event organizers, and industry colleagues who have witnessed the impact of your speaking engagements. Ask them if they would be willing to refer you to other organizations or event planners who may be seeking a speaker with your expertise. Personal recommendations carry significant weight and can lead to valuable opportunities.
Offer to Provide Testimonials
In the spirit of reciprocity, offer to provide testimonials for colleagues or event organizers with whom you have collaborated or attended their events. This not only strengthens your professional relationships but also increases the likelihood of receiving testimonials or referrals in return for hard work.
Case Studies and Success Stories
Compile case studies or success stories that demonstrate the tangible results and positive outcomes that have occurred as a result of your speaking engagements. These narratives add depth and authenticity to your profile, illustrating the transformative power of your message.
By actively seeking testimonials more than most public speakers, and leveraging referrals, you amplify your credibility and expand your network of potential speaking gigs. The positive experiences video testimonial, and endorsements from others act as powerful endorsements of your speaking abilities and increase your chances of securing a first speaking gig, and future opportunities to find speaking engagements.
Building a compelling speaker profile, conducting thorough research, and crafting persuasive speech proposals are foundational steps in securing speaking engagements and conferences. Leveraging online platforms and social media, enhancing your speaking skills, and increasing your visibility is key to attracting event and conference organizers’ attention.
By implementing these strategies, staying committed to continuous professional development, and showcasing your expertise, you will establish yourself as a sought-after conference speaker.
Embrace the journey, embrace the power of your message, and embrace the opportunities that await you. The stage is set to speak up, want to speak up, and the conference world is eager not everyone to hear your voice.
To help you kickstart your speaking career, I have prepared a special resource for you. Download the free, “5-Minute Speech Formula” to turn almost any idea into a compelling speech.
About Brian Tracy — Brian is recognized as the top sales training and personal success authority in the world today. He has authored more than 60 books and has produced more than 500 audio and video learning programs on sales, management, business success and personal development, including worldwide bestseller The Psychology of Achievement. Brian's goal is to help you achieve your personal and business goals faster and easier than you ever imagined. You can follow him on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Linkedin and Youtube.