Want to attract outstanding speaking opportunities?
As a keynote speaker, I'm happy to share advice. So first ask yourself: do you have an impactful message to deliver and one worthy of sharing? Some speakers fixate on their private agendas which is commonly about selling a product or service. There’s nothing improper with that except that you’ll lose your audience immediately. Today’s audiences demand objective communication and honest content with authenticity. Only when you can sincerely develop a passionate message will you attract the speaking gigs you want.
For instance, I’ve wanted to get in front of meeting planners to get many opportunities for keynote talks that I offer for national conferences and major corporate clients who travel to my area (I’m fortunate to live in a highly-desirable tourist destination). I want to travel less and speak more. So I created a talk about the booming trends in wellness tourism and offered it to a local county association focused on travel and tourism. I promptly got invited to speak to a national group of meeting planners on this topic. My essential topics are about wellness, providing cutting-edge strategies to reduce stress, anxiety and improve productivity and performance. So I varied my approach to cast a bigger net (and it does help that I used to own an advertising agency so I have some insights into marketing.) The upshot is that I get to be in front of the very people who hire national speakers for companies that do conferences and retreats in my area and they’re often looking for speakers on wellness. Now that may be way too specific for you.
The point is you need to determine where you wish to invest your energies. For me, keynote talks reach monstrous audiences and besides they happen to pay big dollars. I thoroughly believe in my message(s) which empower individuals (and corporate groups) to tap into their greatness.
You may have a completely different focus. Let me offer some fundamental advice on how to achieve your business or personal mission as a speaker to cultivate the right stages:
1. Hone your message.
Start by developing one key topic and be prepared to vividly explain why you are a uniquely qualified expert to speak on this subject. Be concise and trustworthy. If you’re floundering on knowing what’s right for you, work on distilling your message down to a sentence or two and why it’s important. This will help you create concentration and precision. Get some recognition as an expert in your area (refer to #3).
2. Know your target.
If you understand the audience you are best at reaching, it will help you develop a better presentation. It will also help you identify leads to groups that would most propbably be interested. For instance, if you’re a juniors’ sports coach, you’ll want to reach out to sports organizers and organizations and parents groups, maybe even after-school groups. If your work is to help women be successful, you’ll want to network within women’s groups and organizations or technical societies that have women’s groups.
3. Reach out in a way that’s true to your message.
Staying on point and on message, you can spread awareness about you and your offerings by using social media. Create a video and upload it to Youtube. Write articles for magazines, newspapers, online platforms. Create a blog and a newsletter that you can persistently be in contact with clients, potential prospects and promote speaking opportunities. For example, in every one of my enews blasts, I always have a single line that asks “Need a speaker for your organization?” with a link to my website’s Speaker’s Page. In fact, that’s another helpful way to let the public know many details about your speaking topics is to have a devoted page with a list of talks on your website.
4. Get creative.
Gigs don’t just appear on your virtual doorstep. You need to develop a strong foundation to ready yourself and solicit opportunities. Re-purpose your message in unusual ways to expand the likely reach. Align with hot topics that are pertinent to your target and come up with powerful names for your presentations. I use a free app that evaluates the quality of my headlines: https://coschedule.com/headline-analyzer
A few other important skills you’ll want to develop is persistence, tenacity and resilience. In my early days as a journalist in New York City, I used to send out tons of proposals to magazines and newspapers and got rejected more times than I got accepted. But the experience taught me that it takes perseverance and it’s not for the weak of heart. Rejection is part of the process and it just signals that you need to solicit more and more. If you are seriously confident about your message, never give up. There’s an audience waiting to hear you!
Want more tips on public speaking excellence? Email me your questsions? Peggy@PeggySealfon.com Want to take a 3-week intensive training in Public Speaking Excellence? Visit GreatPublicSpeaker.com