Wahoo Momprenuer, you’ve landed the BIG Speaking Gig!
Now that you’ve landed the BIG speaking opportunity, done your victory dance, texted your mom, your hubby, and your BFF, what can you do to squeeze the most business-building, career-making, fame-boosting juice from that sweet, sweet opportunity?
I’ve got you covered…
Lori Nash Byron, founder of FamousinYourField.com, shares GREAT advice on how to approach your next speaking opportunity! Check out these tips then connect with Lori using the info below – (BTW – Her FREE newsletter is ahhh-may-zing!)
You should approach any speaking opportunity like you’re a rock star! Whether it’s in your neighbor’s basement or on a huge stage – as though you’re Beyonce, about to play the Superbowl Halftime Show.
Of course, you’ll craft an inspiring and instructive talk! You‘ve got that part down.
But too many people ignore the business part of speaking. The result of this “wing-it” strategy? They don’t speak as often as they could.
EVERY audience deserves your very best effort. They’ve donated their most valuable, non-renewable resource: TIME, so don’t waste the opportunity to wow. Audience members can hire you, buy your products and refer others to you.
[Tweet “Your #speaking audience deserves your very best! Don’t waste a chance to WOW. Here’s How!”]
Here’s your official Mompreneur-Booked-to-Speak hit list:
1. Book it
Before you say, “yes”, check and double-check your calendar. Then, put the date and time in stone. No giddily accepting the opportunity and then realizing, oopsie, you’re facilitating your client’s retreat or heading to Disney on a family vacation that day.
2. Stalk your audience
Don’t wait to find out who’s in the crowd. Ask the event organizer for the peep deets then get in front of them BEFORE the event!
- Who’s invited? How many people?
- How many typically attend the events?
- What’s their demographic (male, female, occupation, level of experience around your topic)?
- Can you get the membership list or attendee list? If the event organizer won’t provide it, poke around on the organization’s website, too. Sometimes members are listed.
- Research the group on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter to see if you can get to know more about the organization’s leadership and members.
Having connections and common interests before you start speaking goes a long way in building rapport.
Give yourself the gift of peace of mind by figuring out logistics in advance.
- What’s the venue? Get the address in advance, map it and check for any travel issues, like road construction.
- Where will you be speaking? Conference room, church, board room, coffee house? Is it a breakfast or luncheon? Will your audience be eating while you’re speaking?
- What’s the room configuration? Are attendees in rows of chairs (what’s known as “classroom style”? Or sitting at round tables?)
- Are there speakers scheduled right before you or right after your session? When can you enter the room to set up your supplies and equipment?
Knowing where you’re going, what you’re doing, and the “Big Picture” scene beforehand saves you loads of stress and avoids common mistakes.
Get your equipment ready and be sure everything is loaded, and redundant.
- Do you need to bring your own laptop? Bring it, just in case.
- Projector? Ask, don’t assume!
- Cables and adaptors? Remote controls? (Even if the venue says they have them, bring your own, just in case!)
- Bring batteries – always… 4xAA and 4xAAA, plus a 9V in case you need one for the mic.
- Do you need speakers? If your talk depends on audio, then pack your own speakers, cables and power cord.
- Microphone. Test thoroughly before using. (While I was presenting at a national conference, the microphone went out once every couple of minutes. It was distracting and annoying. Toward the end of the presentation, we found the problem was due to user error – I was unknowingly putting my hand over the on/off switch. Ouch!)
- Flipchart, easel, markers? Think through your planned activities. Can you stick flip chart paper to the walls of the room? If not, what’s your workaround?
Equipment malfunctions can undermine speaking novices and even rattle seasoned pros. Prevent them by preparing like a BOSS.
If you’ll use slides build your redundancies if you can – for instance, make sure you send your presentation to the coordinator at least two days in advance, but also have it available on your flash drive, cloud storage, and on your device.
- Load the presentation onto your laptop before the event. Test it, to make sure you’ve got the right version.
- Bring a copy of the Powerpoint/Keynote/Prezi presentation on a jump drive.
- Include a pdf copy of the presentation, as well. You never know.
- Print and bring two copies for yourself, in case of technology disaster.
It’s a good practice to have many versions as well (pdf, ppt, etc.) – in case of software incompatibilities at the presentation site.
5. Your introduction
Do NOT leave this to your host organization to write. You must craft a great one and send it in advance. Everything in it should be compelling and build credibility. No time for modesty – brag on your accomplishments! (But don’t go on too long. Half a page is plenty, unless you’re keynoting a conference.)
- Before you send the intro, practice reading it aloud a few times yourself. Do you stumble over any of the words or phrasing? Then rewrite, because the person introducing you is almost sure to butcher it.
- Bring at least two printed copies of your introduction to the event, in large font, double spaced – so it is readable from a podium by a stranger.
- Bring your cards to handout before, or at the close of the presentation.
Use your introduction to wrap up the event too and make sure you have a call to action – to direct people in how you’d like them to follow up with you!
6. When you arrive at the event
Find the person or people in charge of the event.
- Connect with them, ask for a quick run through of the event. Are there any last minute changes?
- Meet with the person who will be introducing you and go over the introduction.
- Go to the ladies room and check yourself… including what you look like from behind!
When it’s over, be sure to follow up with the person or people in charge of the event – it goes a long way!
7. Get to know your audience
Too many speakers rush to and from their sessions! Instead, try these tips to build rapport and extend the ‘know, like & trust’ factor:
- Greet the people entering the room. Introduce yourself with your first and last name, look the person in the eye, say their name and give a firm handshake. Thank them for coming.
- If you can, find out a little about some of the audience members. What’s their experience with your topic? What attracted them to your talk? What do they hope to walk away with? Getting these insights lets you tailor your talk in the moment. Mentioning these people or situations during your talk makes your audience feel more connected to you and to the message that you’re delivering.
- If you’re speaking at a conference, stick around! Speakers have an aura of authority that makes other conference goers want to seek you out. This is a perfect business-building environment.
Don’t hole up in your hotel room during a conference and catch up on work. This may seem like the business-savvy practice, but you’re more likely to increase business opportunities by being visible before and after your talk.
You’re ready to take the stage!
The equipment is set, your talk is locked and loaded and you’ve established rapport with the audience. Step into the spotlight and deliver the WOW, superstar.
Your fame boosting assignment
This assignment is a no-brainer – just print out this checklist: Booked to Speak and use it the next time that you’re asked to give a presentation, talk or workshop.
Seven steps to stress-free speaking, guaranteed!
Please Share Your Thoughts With Our Readers!
What are your speaking secrets? What additional speaking gig tips can YOU share with us readers? Please share your wisdom in the comments below!
Lori Nash Byron is the founder of FamousinYourField.com, where entrepreneurs, authors, speakers and professionals build a powerful brand and become stand out stars in their industries through speaking, publishing and publicity.
Visit FamousinYourField.com and enter your email address to get the 97 Ways to Build Your Fame Factor workbook, along with free weekly training and tips to boost your fame factor, delivered straight to your inbox!