As your business grows and you establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry, you’ll have more opportunities to get up in front of an audience and share your wisdom. Whether a keynote or a panel with peers, speaking at conferences and trade events is a great way to promote your business and boost your exposure.
It can still be a challenge to find the right speaking opportunities, however. Here are some tips to get the ball rolling.
If you’re thinking that you just “want to start speaking,” that’s not enough. You should know the types of venues and audiences you want to speak to.
Do you want a small venue and audience with industry people? Would you prefer to speak locally at conferences? Are you looking for an audience of college students and young entrepreneurs or established business professionals?
As you can see, there’s a wide variety of speaking opportunities to consider. Narrow your focus to start and look for opportunities that meet your criteria. Once you’re specific, finding the ideal venues will become much easier.
Search for Speaking Opportunities
The internet can be useful for finding speaking engagements. You can search by location, event, or venue to find the right fit. You should also follow speakers and events on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter to find new avenues for events that may be of interest.
Here’s where being specific helps. Instead of searching for “speaking opportunities,” which will get you nowhere, you can search for specific events like “veterinary conferences,” “food and beverage conferences,” and ”automotive trade show.” Make a list of the events that you may want to pitch for later.
Create Your List
In a document on your computer or phone, create a list of possible events and conferences that you can pitch. Be sure to include links, dates, and contact information for each one.
Until you become a major name in your industry, it’s unlikely that anyone will approach you with speaking opportunities. You’re going to have to make your own luck and find the right events. Remember, some of these events book months in advance, so make sure you pay attention to the timeline and put your pitch in on time.
You have your list of events and contact information and it’s time to pitch! Don’t send out a generic pitch to everyone on the list with only the names changed – take the time to personalize it.
If you’ve attended the event in the past, mention it. Share details about how the event had a positive impact on your life. You don’t want to jump right into asking for an opportunity. Take time to build the relationship.
Share a bit about yourself, inquire about the event, ask specific questions, and most importantly, keep it short and sweet. For example, ask when they’ll be taking speaker applications for the event. After you’ve built a relationship with a few emails, you can mention that you’re looking for speaking opportunities, what you speak about, and how it’s valuable to the audience.
Book Your Speaking Event
Getting booked as a guest speaker is a huge opportunity for yourself and your business. These opportunities don’t just fall into your lap, however – you have to put time, energy, and work into the process.
What could you do with more confidence? Work with Allison directly to gain the confidence you need to achieve your dreams!