In today’s episode, I’m going to show you how to be a go-to speaker and get more speaking opportunities.
I know that more speaking gigs is on the list for many of you, so I’m super excited to get into this episode.
Here for the links referenced in the show notes?
Heart-Centred Business Conference: heartcentredbusinessconference.com
Let’s dive in!
Before I tell you HOW to get more speaking gigs, let’s look at some of the benefits: Why is it that we should want to have more speaking opportunities in our business?
It’s really good for your reach.
Whether your speaking opportunity is:
- Being a guest on a summit
- Being on someone else’s podcast
- At an onstage event
- Any other kind of speaking event
Those types of engagements get you really good reach.
We know that more connection equals more conversion, so it doesn’t just get you better reach in your business.
It gets you high conversion reach.
Let’s say you go to 20 webinars in a year and you purchase at two of them. Compare that to going to in-person events, speaking gigs, or workshops, where that person is selling something. The odds that you are going to buy from them at the in-person event is going to be a lot higher than the online.
If you are working with someone or going to someone’s speaking gig online, and you actually get to see their face and hear them present, that is also way higher converting than if you were to read their free ebook or grab a checklist.
We know that speaking – particularly video, as well as in-person speaking – is high conversion and is really high-quality reach that you are getting for your business, particularly if it’s the right audience for your business.
Other benefits include:
- Networking opportunities
- The chance to be seen as a PR
- Being set up as an authority in your area
There are so many great benefits for your business, but if we just focus on those two core ones of having better reach and higher conversion, then it’s a bit of a no brainer to look at bringing more speaking opportunities into your business.
But how do you get more speaking opportunities and become that go-to speaker?
It’s really hard for someone to select you as a speaker if they’ve never seen you speak before. If you haven’t had that practise, aren’t confident, haven’t presented or gone out there and got more got speaking gigs before, then you’re not going to necessarily be giving off that very confident I’ve-totally-got-this-I’m-a-go-to-speaker vibe.
You need to find ways and opportunities to get lots and lots of practise as a speaker.
The beautiful thing with the online business world is that there are endless opportunities for you to practise being a speaker.
There are so many ways that you can practice presenting a particular workshop, giving a signature talk, dealing with Q&A’s and all of the other things that come with being a speaker in your business.
If you’re thinking that you just need to be picked and then you’ll be a speaker, I just want you to stop and look for how you can get more practise FIRST.
Practise is such a powerful way of getting more and more opportunities. It creates this amazing snowball effect for you.
2. Choose yourself
Stop waiting for other people to choose you as a speaker… choose yourself as a speaker.
My first speaking gigs in my business were me offering to do goal-setting workshops and business planning workshops for local business groups. I also did a bunch of local workshops on topics that I was really passionate about and invited people to come along to those.
I did some for free, I did some low cost, and I did some higher cost.
All I did was create lots of speaking opportunities for myself.
I found that with in-person events, things that were free didn’t particularly convert well. People would say that they would come but they wouldn’t actually come, so in the end, I mostly just did low-cost in-person speaking events.
I’d do a $75 workshop that was a couple of hours long and it would be focused on a very specific, very tangible topic or outcome.
I did workshops on:
- Sales funnels
- Social media
- Setting up a sales system
- Sales conversations
- How to run a webinar where we’d set up our slides together in that workshop
Those in-person workshops were my way of getting lots of speaking practise.
Before I started my business, I had run workshops dozens of times in the previous year. I had done presentations to audiences of 5 – 5000 people, I was a skilled facilitator of workshops, I’d done keynote presentations in my corporate role, and I was the president of the Youth Forum for a large government organisation.
Being a public speaker was something that I’d had lots of practise in, but I knew that speaking in my business was a different thing.
I needed to get practise at that as well and really build my confidence in facilitating those outcomes when it was my own business.
The other thing I knew was that I really needed to practise my upsell.
I was really prevalent in creating those speaking opportunities for myself so that I could practise bridging into the sales pitch at the end (if that was appropriate for that particular speaking event).
I chose myself a lot and created many speaking opportunities for myself.
From the very beginning of my business, I started a video blog because I knew speaking on video was something that needed to be a really big part of my marketing strategy. It was also such a great way for people to see me as a speaker.
I’ve done speaking tours, book tours, workshop tours, and conference, and I would say 90% of the speaking opportunities that I’ve had in my business have been things I’ve created for myself.
Choose yourself and create your own opportunities.
3. Get help
I think for a lot of people, they just think that being a good speaker comes with the territory with their business. They think they should just be good at it or they just need to practise and get speaking gigs and everything will be okay.
But there are people out there who can help you with the mindset part of speaking.
A lot of people resist speaking on camera because they’ve got some mindset issues around it. Some tell themself that they don’t want to talk to a flashing red light and they’re better with a live audience so therefore they won’t create pre-recorded videos. Or there are some that are the opposite and tell themself that they’re better pre-recorded so they won’t do Facebook Lives, workshops, webinars or anything live.
For a lot of people, their resistance to speaking, and the reason why they haven’t had a lot of speaking gigs, is actually because there is some mindset stuff going on for them.
There also might be some visibility issues, fraud complex, or it might simply be that they’re afraid of messing up on stage and therefore, they’re keeping themself away from those speaking opportunities.
There’s also a lot of skill to being a speaker.
I know for myself that it really helped me when I got some training in:
- Structuring my presentations
- How to articulate the words that I wanted to say
- Intonation and stage presence
For me for in-person events, that training really helped me to build my skills as a speaker, which then made me feel more confident. This allowed me to come across more eloquent and confident, and I got more speaking events out of it.
There are also people who can help you get speaking gigs, so you can actually get help from people to get more speaking opportunities.
There are so many people who are specialist speaking trainers and speaking mentors, and part of what they do is they help you create speaking opportunities for yourself but also help you put yourself forward for other speaking opportunities as well.
It wouldn’t hurt to get help if you’re really struggling with this and it’s something you really want to do in your business model.
4. Go to more events
Where I have been on stage at other people’s events, most of those opportunities came from me going to that event in the first place.
Many conferences that I’ve spoken at, I was an attendee the first year and I came back as a speaker the second year.
A lot of the networking events or networking breakfasts that I’ve spoken at, they have come because I’ve attended that networking event previously. Opportunities come because I’ve attended as a participant and then I’ve asked great questions or I’ve really connected with the person who’s organising it, or I’ve had a conversation with three people at my table and they’ve gone and told the organiser that they want to see me up on stage.
It’s really important that you go to the types of events that you want to speak at.
For my conference, the Heart-Centered Business Conference, almost half of the speakers each year are people who’ve been to the previous conference as an attendee.
We even have pitchfest, which is for ticket holders to pitch to become a speaker at the Heart-Centered Business Conference. I have so many people who reach out to me and say that they’d love to be a speaker at the conference, and I tell them that the first thing to do is grab a ticket and come to the conference so that I can get to know them, they can get to understand conference and then we can see if it’s a good fit. More than half the people who I say that to, respond by saying that they don’t go to conferences as an attendee, they only go as a speaker… well, they aren’t gonna be a speaker at mine.
Really think about that. Are you saying that you want to be a speaker but you’re not willing to go and support other speakers? You’re not willing to go to support the event organisers, from whom you want to get speaking opportunities?
I think it’s a really important thing – a rising tide lifts all ships and you give to get, not just get to give.
Going to more events is actually one of the really easy ways that you can become a more prolific speaker. You learn what works and what doesn’t from speakers, by going to conferences and seeing people try certain things, do certain tricks, use that type of slide or do that kind of fun thing.
That’s where I have honed how I do and how I don’t want to show up as a speaker on stage.
If you’re not going to any events, if you’re not actually there in the room at events supporting speakers and supporting event organisers, but you expect event organisers to pick you, there’s a bit of incongruence there as far as I’m concerned.
Go to more events. Get out there and be an event supporter as well as a speaker at events.
5. Start online
It’s so easy to grab a light, flick your camera on, start talking about your topic areas, start presenting and creating a connection with people. It really is one of the most powerful ways that you can start being seen as a go-to Speaker.
I had two really amazing opportunities this year (they were cancelled because of COVID-19 but they’ll probably happen next year) which both came into fruition by the organiser seeing my podcast videos.
One person had been listening to my podcast on iTunes, heard about the shownotes, went to my website where it was on video, started watching my videos and then they went down the YouTube rabbit hole and started seeing what I was presenting on video there.
Another person found me on Youtube. They had my podcast Episode 147: How to increase your prices recommended to them by Youtube, then they watched another and another video, and reached out to me with an opportunity to speak at an event that they were running because they loved what I was teaching.
Start online and know that the more consistently you’re speaking and showing up for your business, the more consistently you are creating potential opportunities for someone to see you, hear you or for you to be recommended to them as a speaker for these events.
They are my tips for you on how to get more speaking gigs and become the go-to speaker in your industry.
- Choose yourself
- Get help
- Go to more events
- Start online
I hope that you found this really helpful.
Join us at the Heart-Centred Business Conference!
Thank you so much for joining me for this episode. If you’ve had any insights and “aha’s” from this episode, make sure you come on over to the Heart-Centred, Soul-Driven Entrepreneurs Facebook group, use #podcastaha, let me know you’ve been listening to episode 217, and tell us how you’re going to get more speaking gigs.
Until next time, I cannot WAIT to see you SHINE.