By DeLores Pressley
It is not as difficult as you might think to become a speaker at various events, though it does take some knowledge, patience, and effort. The speaking industry has grown quite a bit over the past decade and with the internet right at the fingertips, it is much easier today to promote yourself as a speaker than it was pre-internet days.
To become a speaker, there are several things to keep in mind as you work toward the promotion of yourself.
Know your topic inside and out. The first thing you ought to do before venturing out to speak at events is become an expert in whatever your topic is. You certainly don’t have to be at the top of your field, but you should have a good bit of knowledge and personal experience in the subject you are seeking to share with other people. If marketing is your passion, become a marketing expert and have some proof to back it up. If you can give valuable information to help small business owners take their business to the next level, go ahead and share your expertise.
Speak for free. In the beginning of your speaking career, go ahead and offer to speak for free at different venues. You can ask local business groups, community colleges, or conferences if they will allow you to share your topic of interest for free. This is a great way to get started and see if you really enjoy the experience. If you can audio or video tape your talk, go ahead and do so as you can use the track for the promotion of your speaking services.
Design a professional website. If you create a professional website for your speaking profession, you are more apt to get some speaking gigs. Be sure to accentuate your strengths, have excellent content, let readers know about your expertise and experience, and if you can add a video of yourself speaking at an event, do so. Potential clients want to see you in action before committing to having you speak at their event, so go ahead and post one or several videos on your website.
Find suitable speaking events or conferences. Do some research online to see what your options are regarding speaking venues. Search conferences that appeal to you. Network with your business friends and acquaintances via social media and in the community. Keep an ongoing list of venues that interest you and contact them one by one.
Go to events and conferences. In order to become familiar with events and conferences, go to as many as you can. Introduce yourself to others and let them know that you are a speaker as well. Network while you are at the events and if there are social networking communities tied to the event, feel free to join. As a speaker, you must get in the habit of promoting yourself and a great place to do so is among other people at key events.
Create a YouTube channel. If you have skills or expertise to share, go ahead and share some of your information via a YouTube channel. This is a great way to get yourself known as a professional and gain some exposure. Some event planners may come across your videos and seek to hire you to speak at their next event. YouTube is a wonderful way to market yourself. My YouTube channel is www.youtube.com/delorespressley.
Sell yourself. You will be up against other speakers so be sure that you sell yourself well. Be detailed about your experience, success, projects, and so on. If you have excellent references from key successful people, go ahead and accentuate that. Let event planners know why you would be the best fit for the next speaking engagement. Sell yourself as one of the best speakers in your niche and do your best to live up to that claim.
Becoming a speaker at events is a wonderful goal and you can make it a reality if you are willing to follow these tips and be patient and persistent. Sometimes you may be turned down and know that this is quite normal. Do not become discouraged when this happens, as it happens to everyone sometimes. The key is to let it go and keep trying. Building your speaking business takes time, so enjoy the journey, have some fun with it, and celebrate every step!
DeLores Pressley is an International Keynote Speaker and Confidence Coach, and the CEO of DeLores Pressley Worldwide and Founder of the UP Woman Nation. To book her as a speaker or coach, contact her office at 330.649.9809 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit her site at www.delorespressley.com