It’s exciting and flattering to be invited to speak, especially when the audience is new to you. But accepting may not always be a good idea.
If the opportunity is well aligned with your area of expertise and would introduce you to new, appreciative audiences, chances are that you should say yes if you’re available to present.
However, if you’re asked to speak on something about which you’re somewhat knowledgeable but not an expert, you could lose credibility in the long run. You may be facing a lot of research and prep time for a lesser-known topic, and it’s possible that you’ll dilute your reputation as the go-to resource for certain topics.
If a speaking opportunity is not a good fit for you, it’s a great idea to recommend another speaker who is an expert. He or she will be thrilled with the referral and may even return the favor someday.
And if you don’t know someone else who might be a good fit … please send them our way. I Need A Speaker will be happy to help the event organizer find the speaker he or she is seeking, and we’ll work hard to help find your next event, too.