There was so much I didn’t know when I was starting out as a speaker. It was a destiny kind of thing… quit denying it, but embrace it. The very first thing I had to learn that speaking was not a fluke for me. I think it just seemed weird that my topic was bowels and how important it was to protect them…and of course using humor to approach that somewhat delicate subject. Who speaks about that? hardly anybody and certainly, not with a joke!
After speaking at the request of many groups for 6 years,I decided in fact, I should probably get a business card done.
Once you know your topic and your audience here are
Brenda’s 5 Top Tips
1. Get a good website, business card, materials that will benefit your audience. These days hardly anyone uses the yellow pages and I am always talking to google to ask for things. Believe it or not, that is how some people have gotten jobs.
2. Tell everyone that you are a speaker and ask them for help. Explain you have a message that you would like the opportunity to share, customize it to their group of interest and fine tune in the process not only your message, but how to make it work with what groups. Sometimes what you speak about may not be important to certain audiences. (Although everyone should think about their butts!)
3. Find something that sets you apart from other speakers. What’s your angle? Why should someone hire you? What makes your information something they want to hear? For me it was using humor to deliver a message about getting their butts checked. How to describe the importance of it without freaking them out. Humor was and still is the key for me.
- Personal Recommendations
- Audience Participants
- Speakers Bureaus
4. Be professional, on time, courteous, not demanding, attentive to dates for information that the client may need from you. PPT materials, hand-outs, W9 forms, contracts. Showing up early is always best. You may have to rearrange the room layout, test the microphone and I know the meeting planner is always relieved to see that you are there.
5. Send a thank you note to the meeting planner and the person that recommended you. Common courtesies go a long way to make a good impression and to make people want to help you to be successful. I usually send a handwritten note along with a gift basket or give books.
By the way, none of this stuff matters if your message is not resonating.