Cassie was a new to the speaking industry and she wanted to start speaking. She was very excited to get started. As a new speaker, she was elated to get out there and start spreading her message that she knew people need to hear and help a lot of people.
Cassie found out that having a message to share was not enough when it comes to speaking. She needed to know the HOW of getting out there to get her message to the masses. She was looking forward to connecting with her audience but she wasn’t sure where to find those elusive first speaking gigs. A friend recommended she start by doing some of these things to get herself started…
“Personal and professional connections are the best way to build awareness,” her friend shared. “Let your family, friends, and colleagues know that you’re looking to become a public speaker. They may know of an event host in need right now.” Or search for speaking events on social media. You could be a guest on someone’s livestream event, summit, or webinar.
Put Yourself Out There
Now that you want to be a speaker, own it loud and proud. Add the word “speaker” to your bio on your website and your social media profiles. If space allows, be specific. For example, you might say, “I’m a speaker on technical and business topics” or “I speak to Christian women on topics like family health and self-care”.
And speaking of websites, make sure that you have one. If you want to be taken seriously you will need a website. Event hosts will check you out on your website. And make sure that your website is professional looking and presents you in the best light. When you get to the point of charging $5K to $10K for a speaking engagement, your website needs to look like you are worth $5K to $10K. The last thing that you want to do is throw something together just to say that you have a website.
Scan Local Events
“Since you’re new, you’ll want to start locally. That means you won’t have the stress or expensive of travel.” Her friend said. “The good news is that you can find local events easily using services like Facebook Events, Meetup and Eventbrite.”
Universities are looking for speakers also. They may be able to pay you as they usually have a budget for that and you will be getting experience and getting your name out there. And don’t forget about women events, Rotary Clubs, Lions Clubs, and other loval events that always need speakers.
Another thing new speakers can do is to volunteer or speak for free. Offer to speak to classes, both at schools and colleges. Reach out and share how you believe you can have an impact.
You may also want to see if your local libraries or community centers are looking for someone to lead a brief four or six-week class on a topic you’re passionate about. Showing up weekly is a wonderful way to build up your speaking experience.
Create a Speaker One Sheet
You never know when someone might want to learn more about your speaking services. So go ahead and create a speaker sheet. This should be a one-page document that highlights your bio and topics you speak on. Keep it short and make it attractive. If you don’t have any design skills, consider creating it in Canva and using one of their templates. Or if you don’t have any Canva skills, I have a speaker one sheet template that you can use that’s already made and all you have to do is fill in the template with your information. You can get it here: template.
Be ready to share topics with outlines with event hosts when they ask for more information. You may even want to prepare your presentation in PowerPoint so a conference coordinator can take a look if they have questions. And make sure that you are updating your one sheet regularly. Every time you get a new speaking engagement add that information to your speaker one sheet. It is a living document.
I know, I know. You hate getting in front of a camera or you hate the way that you look and the sound of your voice. Or going live in front of a camera is something that you said that you wouldn’t do. You will need to get over that. If you want to be taken seriously, you will have to go live and have videos of you speaking. And don’t stress out if you don’t have anyone showing up to your livestream. This is for you to have videos of yourself for event hosts.
Get video of you speaking as soon as possible. Livestreaming online video is a good option if you’ve had no live opportunities yet.
While you should strive to make this video as nice as possible with good lighting and sound, remember that hosts aren’t expecting a professional studio look. They know the video won’t be polished to perfection.
Event hosts just need to see that you’re comfortable and engaging and how you sound as a speaker. They want to know that you can connect with their audience and keep them entertained.
Finding speaking gigs might seem like a difficult task at first. But focus on doing the steps above. The more you take risks and put yourself out there, the more likely you are to discover an opportunity that’s just right for you.
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Bio: Speaker Support Consultant
Deborah Northcutt is the CEO of https://www.FreeYouUpVA.com. I am a Speaker Support Consultant who helps new and aspiring speakers find their ideal speaking opportunities. I help free you up to speak so that you can make more money and live the life that you dreamed of.