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5 Top Tips For Earning Speaking Gigs In Your Industry
Episode 7925th August 2019 • Your Dream Business • Teresa Heath-Wareing
00:00:00 00:31:16

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  • Speaking at events is a great way boost your profile as a professional in your industry. Standing on stage to share your knowledge gives people the opinion that you are the expert or authority in that industry.
  • Start by networking with people who host small, local events. Once you start to network, you can ask whether or not they’re looking for speakers. Not only is it great for practice, but it helps get your name known.
  • The more you speak, the better you become. The last thing you want to do is get an amazing speaking opportunity and mess up because you haven’t had enough practice.
  • Attending conferences is a great way to network with speakers and event organisers. You need to experience the conferences you want to speak at in order to see whether or not you’re going to be a good fit. Not only that, but it will help you perfect your pitch for the following year.
  • You need to be sure you’re applying to speak on a topic you’re an expert in. If you have no content based on the topic you want to speak on, event organisers will see this from the beginning. They need to see that you’re an expert.
  • It’s important you’re telling people that you want to speak or that you are a speaker. Make sure you’re including speaker in your bio and posting on social media that you’re available.
  • Use images of you speaking to show that you can speak at events.
  • Consider creating a speaker section on your website.
  • Even if you’re speaking for free, you still need to get as much as you can out of the event as you can. Encourage people to tag you in a post, get photos and videos of you talking and screenshot any feedback you receive.
Although you want to earn money for your speaking sessions, it’s okay to work for free. The benefit of you being stood there speaking to your perfect audience can outweigh any monetary benefits you will receive.
  • Why You Should Want to Become A Speaker – 05:50
  • Tip #1: Start Small -10:36
  • Tip #2: Attend Lots of Conferences – 15:15
  • Tip #3: Make Sure You’re Known for The Content You Want to Speak About – 20:15
  • Tip #4: Tell People You’re A Speaker Or You Want To Be one – 22:00
  • Tip #5: Make Use of Every Speaking Opportunity – 25:00

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Transcript below


Speaker 1: (00:32)

Hello and welcome to this week's episode of the podcast. How have you been? So I've decided to do another solo episode this week. In all honesty, do you know, I'd love to make things up, but I can't. I'm just way too honest. I got so distracted with doing the academy and doing the launch for that that I didn't prebook enough people. So I constantly have a list of who's coming on, what I'm planning, what I'm doing, and I know who I want on. And some people haven't even been asked, some people are waiting to be booked in, but I always make sure I have this kind of list of people that are coming in and honestly I got so preoccupied that I just hadn't kind of focused on, "Okay, when's the next interview?" So anyway, hence why I'm doing a solo episode as it is and the day of recording this. I am literally recording an interview later on today. But I just thought I didn't want to rush it and I'd much rather do another solo and then throw you an interview next week.


You might be sat there thinking, Teresa, why did you say all that? We would have no idea. But you know what, like I said one, I'm a very honest person. Two I think you need to understand that everybody struggles sometimes getting organised. Things get in the way. And honestly this summer holiday seems to felt worse than any other. For one, it's been really long. My daughter's going to have been off for two months by the time she goes back to school. Now I'm not going to make it like I've had it the whole two months cause I haven't, she does do, um, a week with me and a week with her dad. So she does have half the time at Dad's. So I guess in that way I should be fine. However, when she's here, cause she's, well she's not only child, she's obviously got step siblings but they're much older and they're busy and they're doing stuff. So really when she's here, all her attention is aimed at me in terms of wanting my attention, wanting me to help with stuff. So it honestly has been so difficult.


And so this morning I've got to tell you this story. I've literally wrote an email that's going out today and that's, you're going to see if you're on my email list, but I've got to tell you this story cause it was ridiculous. So I'm sat in my office working and I'd shut the door, which I don't often do, but I wanted to shut the door cause I wanted to say to the rest of the house, I don't want you interrupting me. I've got stuff to do. Anyway, my daughter had got a friend staying over and I get this tap on the door. I say come in and it's her friend and she says that basically daughter is in her bedroom, stuck in her coat and is crying and I'm like say what? She stuck in her coat. I went in and she's got this new tick-tock a cane, which she loves and is very excited about and she to be fair to has been creating some really creative videos. So much so I've said to her that I'd like to do an Instagram story takeover with her cause she is really creative and she decided that she was going to do this story, that basically she was going to put her legs in her arms of a coat and pretend she was doing like a headstand or I don't actually know what the deal was, if I'm totally honest. But she basically put her legs in the arms of her coats and got them stuck. So she sat on the floor sobbing and I'm trying to get the arms off her feet, which are not coming. And I'm like, how on earth did you get these on? Cause they're not coming off. I am verging on either screaming at her, laughing or just like falling about thinking I can't do this anymore.


Anyway, after much messing around, I managed to get this coat off her legs without having to cut it. But honestly it just really made me think because then I sit down at my desk, I carry on working and I get tagged in a post by this big conference, this marketing conferences happening that I'm not speaking at. But the conference, there's a, there's a guy speaking called Philip Kotler and if you ever did any marketing formerly then you should recognise his name.

Speaker 1: (04:33)

My entire degree was talking about Philip Kotler because we used his book for everything. He's a real marketing genius, and if I'm totally honest, and this is going to sound awful, I didn't even realise he was still alive just because obviously I did my degree quite some time back anyway, so how you then get tagged in a post alongside this event or from this event that he's speaking at because they found my TedX talk and they've posted it. So it's just like, isn't that hilarious? One minute I go from rescuing my daughter's legs out of his shoe out of her codes, and the next minute I'm tagged in a post alongside a guy that I learned when I was at uni. Like honestly, life is crazy. Absolutely crazy. Anyway, let's get on with today's episode. Now I've told you about my slightly crazy morning so far, so today I am going to be talking about kind of coincidentally about how to get speaking gigs.

Speaker 1: (05:30)

Now when I say, coincidentally, it had nothing to do with the craziness and my daughter is more the fact that I was tagged in on a conference that was happening. But I am going to talk you through some of the tips that I've used to get speaking gigs over the time. But before we go into that, I want to talk about why you would even want to become a speaker.


Why You Should Want to Become A Speaker


Now I'm not sat here saying you've all got to do it because honestly it's not for everyone and there's good reason for that. You know, because some are not natural speakers and therefore trying to force everybody onto the stage will not be the necessarily the best advert for you or your business. Some people unlike me are really good writers and therefore books are absolute ease. Um, you know, or it might be something else, but I'm not saying that everybody has to speak on a stage.

Speaker 1: (06:18)

I'm just saying that if you do or if you're thinking about it, then this episode is going to be really good in terms of how you get some more opportunities cause they can be tough sometimes. But like I said, let me start with why speaking could be a good thing for you and your business. Now, one of the things that it really helps with is obviously if you're a personal brand or you are your business, because if you're going to stand on stage and talk, then that's obviously going to have a real positive impact on your business itself. But basically I want you to think back when you were last at a conference and what did you think about the people on stage? And I don't necessarily mean what did you think of their talk or how they presented. I mean, why do you think they were picked and what opinion does that give you of those people?

Speaker 1: (07:03)

Because what speaking does is it gives people the opinion that you are the expert or the authority in that industry because surely if you weren't, they wouldn't have you on that stage. If you didn't know exactly what you're talking about, then you wouldn't be on there. So speaking instantly makes people believe that you are an expert and authority. And in all honesty I hope you are because you know that's really where you should be. If you're going to be speaking on stage, don't get me wrong, I am a big advocate that if we have a question and answer session and someone asked me a question, I don't know the answer, I will happily say I don't know but contact me and I'll find the answer. I'll get it for you, but you are seen as the authority. Also another thing I want you to think about is you know when it's like when you go into pitch one to one or you go to sell your services.

Speaker 1: (08:01)

Often when you are doing the selling bit, it's not necessarily the physical thing that you are promoting. You're really promoting yourself at that point. If we in the agency ever had a client that wanted to meet me, we don't do so much of this now. In fact, I need to do an episode on about, How my businesses evolved and transformed, but we did have an agency of much more active than it is now and in those days I would go meet people. Well at that point they weren't necessarily coming to meet me to check out. I knew what I was talking about or the individual details they wanted to get a feel for me and what I was like and kind of have that back and forth thing. So imagine being stood in a room where everyone's listening to you almost as if not that you're pitching because I don't do many talks where I pitch, but that you are having that kind of one to one conversation with all of those people that you are the focus your onstage that all looking at you, they know your name.

Speaker 1: (08:56)

It's a great opportunity to, like I said, prove an expert but also build that personal brand. So if you heard episode 63 with Collin Boyd, we talked about selling from stage and I think I'm positive actually that I mentioned on there that I will do speaking for free and actually that's one of the reasons if I am stood in front of my most perfect audience, then I won't necessarily charge for that. Obviously expenses. If there's a lot of prep or different things you want me to do, then we might need to look at that. But actually if someone's running a marketing event and I am stood in front of by my most perfect audience, then actually the benefit of me being stood there speaking to all those people in that room kind of overtakes the money that I might be paid because I would rather be in that room itself.

Speaker 1: (09:47)

So definitely, definitely worth thinking about if you're trying to build your brand, if you're trying to build you as an expert, if you are wanting to become the authority on something, then speaking can really be a brilliant way in which to do this. And like I said, this has definitely been something that I have used in my business and now is part of my overall strategy in terms of building me and my business.


So I've got five tips for you today about how if you wanted to start speaking or you want to start being seeing more, some of the things in which you can do to start you off, uh, along your speaking path. Because I want to remind you that we don't all wake up one day and get to speak on the biggest stage with the best people being paid the most money because that rarely happens.


Tip #1: Start Small


Speaker 1: (10:33)

So let's kick off with tip number one. Perfect for tip number one, start small. Now, when I first started in my business, I never actually decided, okay, I'm going to become a speaker or I'm going to use speaking to market my business. But I just really liked it and somehow an opportunity came up and I can't even remember how, and then I kind of jumped on that and the next one and the next one, next one, and then suddenly realised I loved it and I do. I'm one of those weird people that actually, what does it like? There's a huge fear of people speaking in public. Mine, Oh my God, it just sets me alive. I love it. So, and you might learn to love it. Don't get me wrong, I always get nervous right before I go on stage, no matter how big or small the event is, I'm always nervous. But it's good because it shows I care. Anyway, side point, back to tip number one, start small.


So when I started, I spoke at loads and loads of teeny tiny local events. I went out to networking events. So you know, you know that there's lots of networking locally and I tried to get in front of those people and I tried to speak to those people and ask them if they wanted a speaker. Now often these kinds of events, if they are weekly or biweekly or monthly, they're going to be looking for speakers. They're going to need speakers. So more often than not, they're going to slap your hand off and they're gonna say yes, as long as they think you're going to be half decent and speaking or that you come across well enough or you know your stuff, then I'm sure they are going to literally bite your hand off.

Speaker 1: (12:07)

So that was the first thing I did. I literally spoke at loads of local networking events and I went to lots of these networking events when I first started my business. So my face started to get known and then obviously once I spoke at one that helped. Then going to others going, can I speak there? Can I speak there? Now as much as I would have loved to have gone on a big stage straight away, honestly, when I first started I was probably awful. I'm not even going to say that. I'm amazing there. Um, I'll leave it up to you to decide if you've ever seen me speak live. But obviously like the podcast, like anything, the more you do it, the more you get better at it. So that's why the, the smaller local stuff is really important because the last thing you want to do is get an amazing opportunity to speak somewhere phenomenal and then mess it up because you haven't had the practise.

Speaker 1: (12:53)

And also by then you kind of get into your, your routine. You get to understand how you like to speak or what you like to do. So for instance, I do not rehearse the batim. I do not have a script and I know that my good friends, Andrew and Pete, because there's two of them, they have to have a script because they need to know what the other one's saying. I don't ever have a script. I know roughly what I'm saying at every point, but I don't necessarily script it because if I tried to do a script and I went wrong, I'd mess up my entire thing. So for me it took those kind of smaller ones and all the different ones I did in order to kind of understand how I best liked to work.





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