One of the fastest, easiest, and most cost-effective ways to “get your message to the people who will build your business” is by creating and scheduling Speaking Opportunities.
Sales letters, newsletters, brochures, and other written materials can be informative, but nothing gets people more interested in your business than listening to the one person who is the most enthusiastic and knowledgeable about it — YOU!
Everyone who is in business can be an “expert” in their industry and has valuable information to share concerning the importance and necessity for their products and services — if there wasn’t a need — you wouldn’t be in business!
How to get started:
1. Decide on your topic(s):
Your presentations (you can have more than one) should be viewed as educational and as a public service and rather than as self-serving sales pitches.
For example, a physician might want to focus on how to recognize common medical complaints; an attorney might want to focus on explaining a particular legal issue that affects most people; a public relations professional might want to discuss how to use cost-effective media strategies; a building contractor might want to talk about how to recognize common building faults when purchasing a house. . . you get the idea. . .
Informational and educational . . Not “sale-ze”.
2. Develop a PowerPoint presentation:
Most organizations don’t have a PowerPoint projector, so if you plan on giving professional presentations, you might want to invest in this piece of equipment.
A Word of Advice: When creating your presentation, keep it simple and un-wordy. Too many words may cause you to read the slides rather than discuss them (b-o-r-i-n-g). Also, keep your presentation in line with your slides so you won’t confuse your audience.
3. Create informational pieces:
! A one-page informational flyer to email people to interest them in booking you for a program.
! A press release announcing your availability to speak to groups.
! A hand-out piece to give to program attendees.
4. Start calling local organizations who have meetings with speakers and programs:
Service organizations (Kiwanis, Rotary Clubs), health-related organizations, professional networking organizations, education related organizations, religious organizations, women’s clubs, Home Owners Associations, college alumni associations, the list goes on . . . .
You are looking to reach your target audience, so pick your speaking opportunities at organizations which have members who would be interested in your services. You can also look for annual conferences and seminars where you could be a featured speaker.
Contact local TV and radio hosts. They often “interview” guests on various topics.
Speaking Opportunities. . . A fast, easy, and costeffective way to be recognized as an “expert in your field or industry”.
For some public speaking can be intimidating, but it is a powerful “marketing tool” for a wide audience.
It is extremely time consuming and stressful to “fill the room” and self-promote your presentation, so look for speaking opportunities where your target audience is already present and waiting for you!
Once a meeting has been confirmed:
! Send information piece to the contact person;
! Submit the date, time, and topic of your presentation to the calendar sections of your local newspapers;
! Submit a press release to all local newspapers announcing where, when, and to whom you are giving your program.
At the program:
! Handout “take away” and “marketing tools”;
! Have someone take a photograph of you giving the presentation.
Don’t stop here!
There are more opportunities to gain even further exposure of your knowledge and acuity.
After the program:
! Submit photo caption of event to newspapers;
! Send thank you letter to contact person and followup letter or call to those you spoke with.
Press exposure, with a photograph of you presenting your program, is an important component in the speaking opportunity strategy.
Many business people know something about public relations (publicity) and media exposure, but the majority don’t understand the full benefits of “publicity placements” or how to generate them successfully.
The majority of “news” in the B, C, D, etc. sections of print media are generated from publicity efforts and not from advertisements. The media is always in search of “human interest” stories and readily accept stories or short clips with photographs.
As a newspaper reader, do you often just gloss over long stories and read only the headlines and photo “captions”? Submitting a high quality digital full color photograph is worth a 1,000 words and could be worth $1,000s in new customers and clients!
Make an IMPACT!