• Connecting Speakers with Audiences™

Promoting Yourself as a Speaker

Connect with Audiences Before and After You Speak

Connect with Audiences Before and After You Speak 661 318 I Need A Speaker

By Tricia Richards-Service

In the world of public speaking, engaging with your audience is paramount. It’s not just about delivering a message; it’s about fostering a connection that resonates long after the presentation ends. While traditional methods like Q&A sessions and networking breaks are effective, there are plenty of unique ways you can leave a lasting impression on your audience both before and after your time on stage.

Pre-Presentation Engagement:

  1. Interactive Social Media Challenges: Encourage your audience to participate in a social media challenge related to your topic before the presentation. Whether it’s sharing personal anecdotes or answering thought-provoking questions, this can generate buzz and anticipation.
  2. Virtual Reality Teasers: For tech-savvy speakers, creating a brief virtual reality experience related to your topic can be a game-changer. Offering a sneak peek into what’s to come can intrigue and excite attendees.
  3. Personalized Surveys: Send out personalized surveys to registrants ahead of time. This not only allows you to tailor your content to the audience’s interests but also makes attendees feel valued and heard.

Post-Presentation Engagement:

  1. Live Q&A Sessions: Instead of the typical post-presentation Q&A, consider hosting a live Q&A session on social media platforms. This gives attendees who couldn’t ask questions during the presentation another chance to engage and interact with you.
  2. Exclusive Webinars or Workshops: Offer exclusive webinars or workshops to delve deeper into the topic discussed during the presentation. This allows for a more intimate setting where attendees can ask you detailed questions and interact with you on a more personal level. (If you’re offering something that involves a fee, remember to get permission from your event planner prior to your presentation.)
  3. Virtual Meet-and-Greets: Organize virtual meet-and-greets where attendees can have one-on-one conversations with you. This provides a unique opportunity for networking and building meaningful connections.
  4. Interactive Follow-Up Emails: Instead of sending a generic thank-you email, consider sending interactive follow-up emails. This could include quizzes, polls, or additional resources related to the presentation topic, keeping the conversation going even after the event has ended.

In conclusion, by embracing these unique methods of engagement, you can create memorable experiences that go beyond the confines of the presentation itself. Whether it’s through innovative pre-presentation activities or interactive post-presentation follow-ups, fostering meaningful connections with your audience is key to leaving a lasting impact.

 

 

 

Photo source: Canva

Effective Ways Speakers Can Collect Testimonials

Effective Ways Speakers Can Collect Testimonials 663 443 I Need A Speaker

By Tricia Richards-Service

Testimonials are the lifeblood of any public speaker’s reputation. They serve as social proof, validating the speaker’s expertise and effectiveness in delivering their message. However, collecting testimonials can sometimes be a challenge. Here are some effective strategies for speakers to gather compelling testimonials that showcase their impact:

  1. Cultivate Relationships: Build strong connections with your audience before, during, and after your presentations. Engage with attendees on social media, respond to their questions and feedback, and make yourself accessible. By fostering genuine relationships, you increase the likelihood of receiving sincere testimonials.
  2. Request Feedback Immediately: Strike while the iron is hot. After your presentation, request feedback from attendees while the experience is still fresh in their minds. Provide a simple feedback form or encourage them to share their thoughts via email or social media. Promptness is key to capturing authentic testimonials.
  3. Utilize Social Proof Platforms: Leverage social media platforms and professional networks to showcase testimonials. Encourage attendees to leave reviews on LinkedIn, Facebook, or speaker directories. Positive testimonials on these platforms can significantly enhance your credibility and visibility within your industry.
  4. Offer Incentives: Sometimes, a little incentive can go a long way. Consider offering a small reward or exclusive content in exchange for testimonials. This could be in the form of a discount on future events, access to a premium resource, or a personalized thank-you note. Incentives can motivate attendees to take the time to provide valuable feedback.
  5. Capture Video Testimonials: Video testimonials add an extra layer of authenticity and impact. Set up a video recording station at your events or ask attendees to record short testimonials on their smartphones. Encourage them to share specific anecdotes or insights about how your presentation has benefited them.
  6. Follow Up Strategically: Don’t let the momentum fade after your presentation. Follow up with attendees via email or social media, thanking them for their participation and reminding them to share their feedback. Provide clear instructions on how they can submit testimonials and express gratitude for their support.
  7. Showcase Testimonials Effectively: Once you’ve collected testimonials, maximize their impact by showcasing them strategically. Feature them prominently on your website, in promotional materials, and in pitches to potential clients or event organizers. Highlight specific outcomes or benefits mentioned in the testimonials to resonate with your target audience.

In conclusion, testimonials are a powerful tool for public speakers to build credibility, attract new opportunities, and solidify their reputation. By implementing these strategies and actively soliciting feedback from their audience, speakers can gather compelling testimonials that demonstrate the value they bring to the table.

 

 

Photo source: Canva

Eight Ways to Build Your Personal Brand as a Speaker

Eight Ways to Build Your Personal Brand as a Speaker 495 435 I Need A Speaker

By Tricia Richards-Service

In today’s competitive speaking landscape, establishing a strong personal brand is essential for standing out and attracting opportunities. Your personal brand is not just about what you say on stage; it’s about how you present yourself, the value you offer, and the impression you leave on your audience. Here are eight strategies to help you build and enhance your personal brand as a speaker:

  1. Define Your Unique Value Proposition: What sets you apart from other speakers? Identify your unique strengths, expertise, and perspective. What value do you bring to your audience? Clarifying your unique value proposition will help you differentiate yourself and attract the right audience.
  2. Craft Your Brand Identity: Your brand identity encompasses your image, voice, and message. Develop a cohesive brand identity that reflects your personality, values, and speaking style. Choose consistent branding elements such as colors, fonts, and imagery to create a memorable and recognizable brand. Wear a signature color, or adopt a saying or motto that’s uniquely yours.
  3. Create Compelling Content: Content is king in the digital age. Produce high-quality, relevant content that showcases your expertise and resonates with your target audience. Share insights, stories, and tips through blog posts, videos, podcasts, social media posts, and other platforms. Consistently creating valuable content will help you establish credibility and authority in your niche.
  4. Build a Strong Online Presence: Your online presence is often the first impression people have of your personal brand. Optimize your website and social media profiles to showcase your expertise, experience, and speaking engagements. Engage with your audience regularly by sharing content, responding to comments, and participating in relevant conversations.
  5. Network Strategically: Networking is essential for expanding your reach and building relationships within the speaking community. Attend conferences, workshops, and networking events to connect with fellow speakers, event organizers, and industry professionals. Nurture these relationships over time and look for opportunities to collaborate and support each other.
  6. Deliver Exceptional Speaking Engagements: Your speaking engagements are your best opportunity to showcase your personal brand in action. Deliver impactful, memorable presentations that align with your brand identity and resonate with your audience. Consistently exceed expectations and leave a lasting impression on event organizers and attendees.
  7. Collect and Showcase Testimonials: Testimonials are powerful social proof that validate your expertise and effectiveness as a speaker. Collect testimonials from event organizers, attendees, and clients, and showcase them prominently on your website and marketing materials. Positive testimonials build trust and credibility with potential clients and speaking opportunities.
  8. Invest in Continuous Learning and Growth: The speaking industry is constantly evolving, so it’s important to stay informed and adaptable. Invest in continuous learning and professional development to refine your skills, expand your knowledge, and stay ahead of trends. Seek feedback from mentors, peers, and audiences to identify areas for improvement and growth.

By implementing these strategies, you can build a strong personal brand that sets you apart as a speaker and attracts opportunities for growth and success. Stay authentic, consistent, and committed to delivering value to your audience, and watch as your personal brand flourishes.

 

 

Photo source: Canva

Q&A Sessions: Tips for Speakers to Shine

Q&A Sessions: Tips for Speakers to Shine 664 439 I Need A Speaker

By Tricia Richards-Service

Question and answer (Q&A) sessions are often the make-or-break moments of a presentation. While delivering a prepared speech is one thing, handling spontaneous inquiries from the audience requires quick thinking, diplomacy, and clarity.

Mastering the art of Q&A sessions not only showcases your expertise but also strengthens your connection with the audience. In this blog post, we’ll explore some valuable tips for speakers to handle Q&A sessions effectively and leave a positive, lasting impression.

Prepare Mentally: Before your presentation, anticipate potential questions that might arise based on your topic. This proactive approach allows you to prepare thoughtful responses in advance. However, remain flexible, as unexpected questions are inevitable. Mentally prepare yourself to stay calm and composed regardless of the nature of the queries.

Listen Carefully: During the Q&A session, actively listen to each question. Give the audience your full attention, maintain eye contact, and avoid interrupting. Listening carefully not only ensures that you understand the question but also demonstrates respect for the questioner and the audience as a whole.

Clarify if Necessary: If a question is unclear or ambiguous, don’t hesitate to ask for clarification. Politely request additional information to ensure that you address the query accurately. Clarifying questions not only help you provide relevant answers but also prevent misunderstandings.

Repeat the Question: After a question is asked, repeat it aloud for the benefit of the entire audience. This serves two purposes: first, it ensures that everyone hears the question clearly, especially in large auditoriums or virtual settings. Second, restating the question gives you a few extra seconds to formulate your response coherently.

Structure Your Responses: Organize your answers in a clear and structured manner. Begin by briefly summarizing the question to provide context, then proceed to address the main points concisely. Avoid rambling or going off-topic. Structure your responses to be informative, relevant, and easy for the audience to follow.

Be Honest and Transparent: Authenticity is key during Q&A sessions. If you don’t know the answer to a question, admit it gracefully. Offer to follow up with the questioner later or suggest credible resources where they can find more information. Being honest and transparent fosters trust and credibility with your audience.

Manage Time Wisely: Keep an eye on the clock and manage the Q&A session’s duration effectively. Allocate sufficient time for questions while ensuring that the session doesn’t overrun. If necessary, politely inform the audience when you’ll be taking the last question to maintain control over the proceedings.

Handle Challenging Questions with Diplomacy: Not all questions will be easy or favorable. When faced with challenging or confrontational inquiries, respond diplomatically and tactfully. Avoid becoming defensive or dismissive. Acknowledge the validity of differing viewpoints, and strive to address concerns respectfully, even if you disagree.

End on a Positive Note: As the Q&A session draws to a close, express gratitude to the audience for their participation and insightful questions. Reiterate key points from your presentation, and conclude on a positive and uplifting note. Ending the session on a high note leaves a lasting impression and reinforces your message.

Successfully navigating Q&A sessions is a valuable skill that enhances your effectiveness as a speaker. By preparing mentally, actively listening, structuring your responses, and maintaining authenticity, you can handle Q&A sessions with confidence and finesse.

Remember, Q&A sessions are opportunities to engage with your audience, showcase your expertise, and build rapport. Embrace them as integral parts of your presentations.

 

Photo source: Canva

How to Create an Impactful Sizzle Reel

How to Create an Impactful Sizzle Reel 658 439 I Need A Speaker

By Tricia Richards-Service

In the dynamic world of public speaking, a captivating sizzle reel, also known as a speaker reel, is an invaluable tool. It serves as a showcase of your expertise, charisma, and ability to engage audiences effectively. Whether you’re a seasoned professional or just starting your speaking career, a well-crafted sizzle reel can make all the difference in landing speaking engagements and leaving a lasting impression on potential clients and event organizers.

To create the most impact, your speaker reel should include specific elements. Let’s review each of them.

Clarity of Message: Clearly communicate your expertise and the topics you cover. Define your niche and ensure that your reel reflects your unique perspective and insights. Choose clips that align with your brand and the message you want to convey to your target audience.

Engaging Content: Select clips that showcase your ability to captivate and connect with audiences. Choose moments where the audience is positively responding non-verbally. Include segments where you demonstrate enthusiasm, humor, and passion for your subject matter. Aim to evoke an emotional response from viewers and keep them engaged from start to finish.

Variety and Diversity: When possible, incorporate a diverse range of speaking engagements, including keynotes, workshops, panel discussions, and interviews. Showcase your versatility as a speaker and highlight different aspects of your expertise. If you have two areas of speaking experience, you may want to consider a separate reel for each, such as one for keynotes and one for workshops.

The Right Setting: Videos of you speaking on a large stage with proper lighting will serve you better than videos of you in a small conference room or classroom. Take advantage of the auditorium or large-venue setting by getting video of yourself being miked, walking onto the stage, and taking a bow as your audience applauds.

Professional Production Quality: Invest in high-quality audio and video production to ensure that your reel looks and sounds polished. Poor audio or shaky footage can detract from your message and undermine your credibility as a speaker. It’s worth every penny to hire a professional videographer/editor to enhance the overall production value of your reel.

Brevity: No one will watch a 30-minute presentation. Keep your speaker reel concise and focused, typically between 1 to 3 minutes in length. Ensure that it’s long enough to capture your expertise and audience engagement, yet not too long to turn off potential bookings. Remove any unnecessary filler and only include the most impactful and relevant clips. Remember, your goal is to capture the viewer’s attention quickly and leave them wanting to learn more about you.

Branding: If you have a speaker brand, ask your video editor to include it to emphasize your name and topic.

Strong Opening and Closing: Start your reel with a compelling hook that grabs the viewer’s attention right away. Use your strongest clips at the beginning to make a memorable first impression. Similarly, end your reel with a clear call to action, such as directing viewers to the I Need A Speaker website. By referring people to your I Need A Speaker profile, you have the full support of our team.

Testimonials and Social Proof: Show your audience on the reel, focusing on your interaction with them. Incorporate testimonials or endorsements from previous clients, event organizers, or audience members to add credibility to your reel. Positive feedback from others can reinforce your expertise and persuade potential clients to book you for their events.

Optimization for Online Viewing: Given that most people will view your speaker reel online, optimize it for digital platforms. Ensure that it’s easily shareable, mobile-friendly, and compatible with various devices and screen sizes. Consider adding subtitles or captions to make your content more accessible to a wider audience.

Regular Updates: Keep your speaker reel up to date by periodically refreshing it with new clips and content. As you gain more experience and expand your speaking portfolio, update your reel to reflect your latest achievements and accomplishments.

A well-executed speaker reel is a powerful tool for showcasing your expertise and attracting speaking opportunities. By focusing on these elements, you can create a compelling reel that effectively highlights your strengths as a speaker.

Invest the time and effort into crafting a standout speaker reel, and you’ll be well-positioned to impress clients, event organizers, and audiences alike.

 

 

Photo source: Canva

Five Ways Public Speaking Benefits Entrepreneurs

Five Ways Public Speaking Benefits Entrepreneurs 658 443 I Need A Speaker

By Tricia Richards-Service

With entrepreneurship, success often hinges not just on the quality of your product or service, but also on your ability to effectively communicate its value. Public speaking, a skill often overlooked, can be a game-changer for entrepreneurs looking to elevate their brand, expand their network, and drive business growth. Let’s talk about how entrepreneurs can harness the power of the podium to their advantage.

  1. Building Credibility and Authority – Public speaking offers entrepreneurs a platform to showcase their expertise and establish themselves as thought leaders in their industry. Whether it’s delivering a keynote address at a conference or participating in a panel discussion, being in the spotlight allows entrepreneurs to share their insights, experiences, and innovative ideas with a captive audience. This not only enhances their credibility but also positions them as trusted authorities, which can significantly impact how their brand is perceived in the marketplace.
  2. Amplifying Brand Awareness – Speaking engagements provide entrepreneurs with an opportunity to amplify brand awareness and reach new audiences. By delivering compelling presentations that resonate with their target demographic, entrepreneurs can effectively communicate their brand story, mission, and values, thereby creating a lasting impression on attendees. Furthermore, public speaking engagements often garner media coverage and social media mentions, further extending the reach of their message and increasing brand visibility.
  3. Networking and Relationship Building – One of the most valuable aspects of public speaking for entrepreneurs is the opportunity to network and build relationships with industry peers, potential customers, investors, and collaborators. Conferences, seminars, and networking events are fertile grounds for forging meaningful connections and partnerships that can fuel business growth. By engaging with fellow professionals and stakeholders, entrepreneurs can gain valuable insights, access new opportunities, and cultivate a strong support network that can provide guidance and assistance along their entrepreneurial journey.
  4. Driving Business Growth – Beyond establishing credibility and expanding their network, public speaking can directly contribute to driving business growth for entrepreneurs. Speaking engagements often serve as a platform for showcasing products or services, generating leads, and attracting potential customers. Additionally, entrepreneurs can use speaking opportunities to promote special offers, exclusive deals, or upcoming events, thereby converting audience members into paying customers. By leveraging the power of persuasive communication, entrepreneurs can effectively drive sales, increase revenue, and ultimately grow their business. (Always get permission to sell from the stage!)
  5. Personal and Professional Development – Finally, public speaking offers entrepreneurs a unique avenue for personal and professional development. The process of crafting and delivering a compelling presentation requires honing essential skills such as communication, storytelling, and persuasion. Over time, entrepreneurs become more confident, articulate, and adept at navigating diverse audiences and situations. Moreover, facing the challenge of public speaking head-on helps entrepreneurs fine-tune their message, overcome fears, expand their comfort zone, and unlock their full potential as leaders and innovators.

Public speaking is a very powerful tool in the entrepreneurial toolkit, offering a myriad of benefits that can propel new businesses to the next level. From building credibility and brand awareness to fostering relationships and driving business growth, the podium presents endless opportunities for entrepreneurs to shine. By embracing public speaking and investing in their communication skills, entrepreneurs can elevate their brand, amplify their impact, and chart a course for success in today’s competitive marketplace. Seize the mic, and let your voice be heard!

 

 

Photo source: Canva

Situations Change. Deposits Shouldn’t.

Situations Change. Deposits Shouldn’t. 670 449 I Need A Speaker

By Tricia Richards-Service

Today I was talking with Sybil Stewart, a speaker, advocate, and TEDx organizer. We were discussing how important it is for speakers to charge a non-refundable deposit when being booked.

Experienced event planners and speakers, we know that situations change. Speaker rosters shift. Budgets shrink. Attendance may not be what was anticipated. And speaking engagements might be canceled as a result. We understand.

We also understand that the speaker had blocked off time which may not be scheduled with another client. In the worst case scenario, the speaker may have already completed the prep work.

As this is a relationship business, it’s important for both parties (speakers and planners) to feel comfortable and valued throughout the process.

Requesting a deposit will recover some of the income speakers may lose if an event is canceled or changed. The benefits go both ways. After a speaker is booked with a non-refundable deposit, that speaker is committed, even if another planner reaches out with a bigger budget. Win-win.

 

 

Photo credit: Image by Canva

Sometimes You’re Better off with More Than One

Sometimes You’re Better off with More Than One 650 508 I Need A Speaker

By Tricia Richards-Service

It’s true. Sometimes you’re better off with more than one. And it’s not just bowling pins, days off, or dollar bills.

There are times when event planners request one presentation when the audience might benefit more with two or three. Specifically, I’m thinking about anything that benefits from a follow-up session.

For example, a speaker is asked to address an employee audience about burnout mitigation. The employees might benefit from one presentation, but it would be so much more effective if the speaker offered techniques to handle stress, then checked in six weeks later. Or a personal finance expert talks to a group about setting up an emergency savings account. He or she could meet with the group a month later to hold people accountable, track progress, and move on to the next lesson. Another example is change management. One talk won’t guide an organization through a change, but four or six might help greatly.

These additional sessions work best in corporate and organizational/group settings. The speaker can capture a baseline status and return to the same participants to track progress.

Speakers and event planners, give thoughtful consideration when planning presentations with long-term lessons or behavioral shifts. You might have significantly greater impact with more than one.

 

Photo credit: Image by Canva

Know the Destination Before the Journey Begins

Know the Destination Before the Journey Begins 672 445 I Need A Speaker

By Tricia Richards-Service

Several weeks ago, I was contacted by an HR representative and asked to deliver a workshop on employee communications for her team. I asked what she would like me to cover. She said, “Just communications. Whatever you think should be included.”

It’s not uncommon that someone requests an expert to sit on a panel presentation, facilitate a meeting, or deliver a speech – yet not know what goal is in mind. I asked the HR representative for more details. Is there a problem? Has something changed recently in your organization? Are you facing specific challenges? Is this related to tech or generational communication? Do your problems have to do with clarity in business communication?

She had to think for a while and was still unsure. I suggested that we do a survey and figure out what the real issues are, and with that information, we can work together to solve them. Employees were very honest in the survey. As a result, we were able to begin the workshop with a review of areas for improvement, then work toward a plan to achieve the team’s goals.

Whether you’re a speaker or an event planner, give thought to your event. Ask yourself what you really hope to achieve. For example, instead of saying you’d like a wellness day for employees, you may want to focus on mitigating burnout. Or instead of requesting a speaker on finance, specify that you’re hoping to help attendees learn more about retirement options in particular.

Every journey starts with the destination. Clarify your goals, and the trip will be much easier.

 

Photo credit: Image by Canva

Discover the Light Bulbs and Dim Spaces

Discover the Light Bulbs and Dim Spaces 2200 1529 I Need A Speaker

By Tricia Richards-Service

I was talking with Mandolen Mull, PhD last week, and we talked about audience members’ frequent reluctance to ask questions.

I told her that, during previous presentations, I’ve often handed out index cards and golf pencils. I would collect and shuffle the cards for anonymity’s sake before reading the questions aloud.

She said, “I do something similar! I had cards printed with a light bulb on one side and an image of a darkened room on the other side.” I asked participants what their a-ha moments were, and where they were left in the dark.

This kind of feedback makes great workshops or presentations better and better. Great idea!

 

Photo credit: Image by Pexels

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