8 Things a Speaker Can’t Afford to be Without in 2021

One of the most effective ways for leaders to expand their impact, attract more clients, and increase the number of people they serve is to get out and speak.

This doesn’t need to be only delivering high-level professional keynotes in front of thousands of people. It can be consistent outreach at local venues that welcome your words and your message. But to do this, you should be well prepared in advance. You want to present yourself as accomplished, an expert in your field, and a respected presenter. To convince bookers to take a chance on you, you need to make them feel confident that you can be a benefit to their audience, and won’t embarrass the booker onstage.

The task, of course, is creating a compelling signature talk or several depending on the audience. These should be delivered with enthusiasm, authenticity, vulnerability, and emotional high points, and if you are imparting information, great value. You should be able to deliver various versions at 30, 60, or 90 minutes. These can be inspirational, motivational, speaking to enroll, or even sales-driven, if you have programs that serve or support your organization. If you are driving sales or enrolling from the stage, you will need to test and enhance your skills that drive people to action. But if you need more than that, if you’re embarking on a speaking campaign, there are eight things you cannot afford to be without.

If you would like to get booked consistently, you’ve got to make sure you’ve got these eight things nailed down. You have to have a great benefit-driven speaker one sheet that’s number one, the one marketing tool that every speaker needs are a one-sheet. This single-page document, which should be printed on glossy paper if used as a handout, should contain all the information to impress the booker about your skills as a presenter, the value of your content, why they should book you, your expertise, and what other people have said about you and your presentation. Now, most importantly, it should speak to how it will benefit the audience. What’s in it for them? Your expertise isn’t enough, your great presentation skills aren’t enough. You need to give them a reason, demonstrating how the audience will grow, change, learn, get motivated, or just take action.

What’s the benefit and the expected outcome?

Number two, you really have to have a compelling contemporary website. The first thing a booker will do is review your website. If you have a ten-year-old website or one with old links and old blogs, you are doing yourself more harm than good. Make sure you have a contemporary website, one that is horizontal in nature with big photographs, video, if possible, and minimal words on the homepage. The colors must also reflect today’s trends. Orange and yellow together, for instance, are straight from the 1960s. Your logo, if you are using one should be crisp and simple. The stipe must speak to today’s values, client needs, and user accessibility, with very easy navigation and little clutter.

If you have a website for your organization, make sure to have a page that features you as a speaker, to which they can direct the booker. The current photo is number three. Integrity in presenting yourself is key. So, if you’re using a ten-year-old photo to make yourself look younger, there is a disconnect in honesty between you and the person who books you or between you and the audience. You’ve already shot yourself in the foot if you show up looking very, very different.

Let go of your fear of rejection and how you look today and put on your best face, and go out and get new photos taken.

Number four is video. The most effective way to convince people you are worth booking is to show them how great you are in front of an audience. You want to arrange for someone to video your next presentation, edit it down to the best three to five minutes and post this on your website or any speaker presentation site, which you may have posted your profile. That could be eSpeakers, Women’s Speakers Association, Speaker Hub, whatever that might be. Number five is testimonials. Want to convince a booker you are worth presenting to his or her audience, show what other people have said about having you on their stages or how audience members have responded. Gather and present those testimonials, they are really critical.

Number six, number six is confidence. Even if you don’t feel fully confident, act as if while onstage. Confidence makes people feel that they are in good hands, but the way to get confident is to practice, know your stuff. Now, you shouldn’t be presenting from rote, but you should know where you are headed, like a roadmap. Work from a general outline in your mind. Do it enough times, and it becomes easier and easier. By the time I did 50 interviews for my last book, I honed my presentation so effectively that my next in-person speaking engagement was a breeze. I was able to focus on connecting to that audience because the content just flowed as I had done it dozens and dozens of times before.

Number seven, this is really important. An honest self-evaluation determines if more training is needed. Be honest with yourself, could your delivery or your presentation use some improvement? If so, then there are wonderful speaker trainers available to you. A good place to begin is the resource page at Speaker Tunity, www.speakertunity.com/resources. You’ll find speaker trainers who cover the full spectrum of speaking, from presentation skills to the business size and those that specialize in specific areas, such as storytelling or humor or enrolling people from the stage without sounding salesy, et cetera.

Number eight. Number eight is the time to find the right opportunities. To get booked, you have to spend time engaged in the process of finding the right venues, connecting with the bookers, providing your materials, and then lugging down those details. If you don’t have a speakers bureau or an assistant to book you, it’s all on you. However, we’ve got a shortcut for you to get to all of those local engagements. We’ve got direct contacts for meetings, venues, and organizations that love to book speakers like you. Visit speakertunitycities.com for the details. Save time, money, energy, and research by letting us provide those contacts directly to your desk.

I’m Jackie Lapin, and I can’t wait to see you book the speaking gigs that will fill up your client community.

Darrell Stern

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