How to Get Started as a Professional Conference Speaker

. Posted in small business stories


Want to generate more business leads and add another income stream? Get ready to step onto the podium. Speaking at industry conferences is an excellent way to promote your services, and, if you’re lucky, earn substantial money doing it. Writer Malcolm Gladwell reportedly commands up to $80,000 for a one-hour lecture. It sure beats blogging!

Here’s how to get started as a professional speaker:

    Position yourself as an expert. The most important factor in public speaking isn’t the quality of your diction, but the value of what you have to say. The majority of sought-after public speakers have high-traffic blogs or best-selling books to their name and have built their speaking careers on presentations based on their key theories. Gladwell’s speaking topics, for instance, go into depth about concepts he covers in his books and New Yorker articles, such as the “stickiness factor” of Sesame Street. Focus on developing your expertise in an area related to your business by blogging, responding to HARO queries, and publishing a book (or e-book).Volunteer to give a few free keynote speeches. No one’s going to pay you five figures for a lecture if you’re not a known quantity. To get some practice on the podium and start building a reputation as a speaker, ask local groups whether they’d be interested in a free keynote speech for an upcoming event. Approach your local chamber of commerce and then move on to higher-profile opportunities, such as a panel at South by Southwest. Even though you’re not being paid, you can capitalize on these opportunities by distributing business cards and other marketing collateral, which may help you attract new clients. Make sure to record your speeches, too: You can use audio and * - samples to sell your speaking services to other organizations.Market your services as a speaker. Once you’ve given a few speeches, it’s time to start selling your services. Put together marketing materials, such as a website and brochure, that discuss your public-speaking abilities. These materials should include a detailed biography, a summary of previous speaking engagements, and synopses of various potential speech topics. Research upcoming conferences related to your industry, and send your materials to planning committee members as early as possible.Sign on with a speakers bureau. Most high-profile public speakers get bookings through an agency that’s dedicated to soliciting speaking opportunities for its talent. Visit the International Association of Speakers Bureaus’ member directory to find an agency that fits your expertise. Once you’ve built up a reputation on the lecture circuit, you’ll have a good shot at landing an agent.
Kathryn Hawkins is a writer and editorial consultant who has worked with publications including Inc. and GOOD Magazine. She is principal and content strategy lead at the Maine custom content and web development agency Hawkins Multimedia. View all posts by Kathryn Hawkins This entry was posted in Marketing and tagged public speaking, speaking. Bookmark the permalink.
Learning when you are allowed to and how to start a non profit business are critical steps in a busi
Starting a business and need to learn how to start a limited liability corporation? For those who w
Interested in learning how to start a corporation? Let’s start with an overview… A corp
In this article we’ll cover the definition of sole proprietor. There are a multitude of small
What is the definition of a corporation? This article will explain the basics of the corporate entit
Alphalogix has again upgraded their popular Versona Instant Messaging System by adding the capabilit