Making the Most of Your Speaking Engagement
Serving as a paid or pro bono speaker is an excellent way to expand your personal brand and build followers. Whether you’re new to the speaking circuit or a seasoned professional, the best way to get the next speaking opportunity is by making the most of your latest appearance.
Below are a few tips and tactics that I’ve learned over my years as a speaker to ensure that you’re making the most of your stage time.
Organization marketing – You were selected as the speaker for a reason, so don’t hesitate to ensure that at least your image, name, company, and social media handles are part of any event marketing. This will allow people to review your information and/or connect with you in advance. Keep in mind that each time the event is marketed gives you more touchpoint to a larger audience.
Personal marketing – Make sure you announce your participation via your owned or shared media as well. A simple text post connecting you to the organization is sufficient. Creating a branded social media tile that displays the organization or event logo is a great way to take your announcement to the next level. Finally, a video to your social media platforms tagging the event or organization is a great way to help build interest.
Invitation to connect – At the beginning of your remarks, invite your audience to connect with you via social media. Encourage them to post images and/or ask questions. Whether they liked your remarks or not, any new follower or engagement is great for your brand.
Content collection – Don’t hesitate to ask the event organizer if there will be a photographer and/or videographer present. If there won’t be any, don’t be shy about asking someone to capture images and/or video on your phone. If possible, bring an assistant with you to the event so they may post to your accounts in real-time.
Post-event posting – As soon as possible following your remarks, use whatever content you have, i.e. images or video to post to your social media platforms. Be sure to connect to the organization so they see the posts and can engage with you.
Blog about it – Depending on the topic and length of your remarks, developing a blog post is an easy and user-friendly way to encapsulate your thoughts. Your PowerPoint deck should never be a word-for-word regurgitation of your remarks. Developing a blog post brings your audience to your platforms to revisit your remarks and to learn more.
Ask for a recommendation – Following the successful completion of a speech, ask the event organizer to provide you with a recommendation on LinkedIn, text or video for your website, or both. If they ask what you’d like written, suggest that they comment on the experience of working with you, the quality of your presentation, and the audience reaction.
Make every card count – Should audience members approach you following your speech, get their business cards and connect with them on social media to help keep building on the goodwill you’ve established from your remarks. Note: Refrain from using cards obtained at your presentation to send promotional emails. Building authentic, organic relationships will benefit you more in the long run.
Update your resume – Develop a version of your resume that includes all of your speaker credits to be used for future appearances. Training yourself to update your list immediately following your remarks saves you headaches down the road.
If the moment has passed and you forgot to do any or all of the items I suggested, don’t worry. Here are a few tips on how to play catch-up.
#FlashbackFriday – Creating a flashback Friday post tagging the event or organization is a good way to recapture the experience.
Repurpose content – Get creative and repurpose content, i.e. image, video, etc. from a previous appearance to create future content. Slice up your content and repurpose it by topic to help extend the life of the media. You can also use content from a previous appearance to help promote an upcoming speech.
The end game is all about traction. Use any and all of the tools and content at your disposal to keep building your brand for the long-term.