|How to get a speaking gig that will position you as the "go-to expert" in your specialty
|Check List: (Before you get Booked)
- Define your target audience
- Research the current problems and desires of your target audience
- Relate their biggest problems, desires, needs to your specialty
- Develop a compelling message or presentation with the above in mind (You don’t need to have learned your whole talk, but you do need to have a general outline so you can communicate what the audience will learn and how they will benefit)
- Write the title – When possible split test or get objective feedback
- Create 5 benefit-driven bullet points that give the audience a compelling reason to attend
- Craft a benefit focused bio that interests people in coming to hear what YOU have to say
- Get another pair of eyes (other than yours) to review the above and check for typos, punctuation etc.
Back to Top
|How to leverage your Speaking Opportunities
|Before you Go Checklist: (After you are Booked and Before Your Talk)
- Learn as much about the group as you can
- Define what is important to them in context of your topic (focus on giving value above all else)
- Interview group leaders when possible
- Write out your own goal(s) for your presentation so you will remember to do the right things to get what you want
- Find out where and when you will be speaking
- How much time do you have? – typically in a luncheon type setting you are talking about a twenty minute presentation
- How many people are they expecting?
- Is there anything else about the group you need to know? Special needs , translation etc.
- How will the room be set up?
- Is that set-up permanent or can you change it?
- What about a microphone ? Lavalier – handheld – fixed to a podium (can you bring your own?)
- What about a projector, a screen etc.
- Will the attendee list be available?
- Handout policy (Optional) [Or trust the “Easier to be forgiven than to get permission” rule]
- Who is going to introduce you?
- Availability of back up equipment in case yours fails
- Ask for what you want without being difficult --adjustment to set up – raised platform, set up, dim house lights or keep them bright – prefer food not served while you are speaking etc.
- Use visualization to put yourself in the shoes of your audience to build empathy, build personal charisma and direct your presentation
- Send out a press release of upcoming engagement to local news media and publications of interest
- Three, no more than 4 main points
- Visuals – powerpoint, props etc. and other equipment
- How are you going to follow up (evaluation sheet, special reports, checklists, books, compelling offer?)
- Handouts – 1 or 2 pages
- How you want to be introduced
- What parts of your follow up can you automate or delegate now
Prepare items from above
|How to leverage Your Speaking Gig On the Day of Your Event Checklist
|What to Take:
- Camera (Get someone to take a picture of you in action)
- Extras of everything – bulbs for projector, presentation on a storage device. (Notes if needed – if there is a power outage what will you do?)
- Change of Clothes (what if someone spills coffee on you?)
- Best colors are dark or navy blue, blue gray with a splash of color. Natural fabrics will keep you cool and comfortable. Avoid busy patterns, flashy jewelry and other distractions
- Your written introduction
- Handouts – extras – including evaluations
- Get there early so you can network, mingle, learn people’s names and make friends (and only when absolutely necessary request adjustments to the set up)
- Half hour before your presentation check yourself in the bathroom mirror from head to toe
|How to leverage Your Speaking Gig After
|Your Event Checklist:
- Enter and group new contacts in your data base
- Send hand-written thank you card to the organizer and, if applicable, the people you interviewed
- Send out a press release and include a photo from the event
- Call people who requested a free consultation within 24 hrs
- Call people who identified other groups they belong to who could benefit from your presentation and get contact information within 24 hrs
- Email special reports or incentives you promised within 24 hrs
- Mail (USPS) thank you follow up within 5 days of the event
- Follow up letter/ email two weeks after follow up letter
- Follow up letter or email 30 days after event
- Monthly follow up system
- Follow up on your press releases and develop a relationship with the editors, find out what you need to do to increase your chances of inclusion in their publication/other media for the next time around
Back to Top
|What can public speaking do for you?
By Mandy Bass
Public speaking is probably the quickest, most effective shortcut to brand and position yourself as an expert in your specialty. Personally I built my coaching practice on it and I have helped dozens of professionals quadruple their net income by using public speaking as a marketing strategy. [More]
Why would you go out there and bust tail trying to get people who don’t care about what you have to say, to listen to you, when within five miles of where you are right now, there are hundreds of people, in your target market, who WANT to hear and applaud you?
Think about it. There are some people who want to give you twenty minutes of uninterrupted time to talk about the things you love to talk about – your specialty. And then they are going to ask you questions. Now granted not all of them are going to become clients right away. In fact, none of them might be immediate candidates. Some might have an immediate need for your services, or they may know someone who does, others may need your services down the road. Many members in the audience belong to other organizations and they will invite you to speak to those groups.
It is like taking 40 people to lunch – and having someone else pick up the tab…
Actually it is even better… because by being in front of the room you automatically engage is the authority principle – which means that people automatically accept you as the expert by the mere fact that you are the chosen presenter. And you are also giving them Social Proof that it is in fact so.
Back to Top
|How To Write A Great Talk in 12 easy steps
By Mandy Bass
The easiest and most effortless way I know to develop a great presentation is outlined in these simple twelve steps. By following the step-by-step sequence (without jumping ahead) you will naturally create a successful presentation quickly and easily.
As you work through these steps, other issues, questions and things you need to do in preparation for your talk will probably pop into your head (such as I need to write a bio, what will the set up be?, do they have a screen or a microphone?) It’s a good idea to have a separate sheet to jot down and capture these thoughts so you can address them later. The other articles on this website, will help you answer most of them.
Step #1: Know your outcome
Before you begin developing any presentation, answer the following questions:
- What do you want to have happen as a result of your talk? (Consider information you want them to know, feelings you want them to feel, actions you want them to take.)
- What is the next step that you want them to take? (therefore what type of call to action and/or follow up will you do)
- How do you want to be perceived by the audience?
- Considering the above answers, is there anything you need to create, such as an evaluation or response sheet? How will you capture their contact information? Do you want to have door prizes, etc. (DO NOT begin developing the above now –simply to capture your thoughts to serve as a reminder for what you will need)
Step #2: Know your audience
Often attendees at networking groups are there to see their friends, enjoy a meal and make contacts. It’s important that you be clear and honest with yourself about whom you will be speaking to and what they are expecting. Your talk will get a lot more attention if it addresses specific needs and concerns.
Describe your audience:
- What is important to them about this event?
- What are some issues your audience really cares about?
List interests, desires and concerns. Be specific
- How do you fit into the overall schedule? If people are eating lunch while you are talking, for example, it’s unlikely that they will be comfortably able to write things down – that may affect what handouts you distribute. Also it means that in a traditional setting some people will have their backs to you. If you are following another speaker, you may want to make sure that the audience stretches – preferably organize a break before you get introduced.
Step #3: Make the connection
- How will the people in your audience directly benefit from your talk?
Example – learn about investing, know how much money they will need for retirement, see what benefits they currently have and where the gaps are, look good, feel better about themselves, make more money, feel more confident about themselves, etc.
Note: there needs to be some direct benefit from the talk itself – regardless if they take the next step
- Do the benefits above address the areas of interest and concern for the members of your audience?
Step #4: Clarify your win-win outcome
Step #5: Define Criteria
List parameters and criteria you want to work within. (E.g., Length of talk, number of attendees, audio visual requirements or limitations, room set-up, will you be speaking while people are eating/drinking, will alcohol be served, time of presentation)
Step #6: Brainstorm your ideas
If time, money and energy were not a consideration, what would you say about your topic? – Generate ideas in a random, non-linear fashion. I suggest using 3x5 cards and writing each idea on a separate one – this will save you time in the organizational phase of this project – or mind-map on a separate sheet if you prefer). Don’t judge or make decisions in this step, rather get all your ideas out -- no matter how ridiculous they may seem!
Step #7: Organize your ideas
- Group your points together by using color highlighters or pencils. If you prefer, you can organize your points in a linear fashion with headings and sub headings
- Now rewrite your main points in order of priority
- Identify 1–4 major ideas. (No more than one major idea per ten minutes)
- Under each major idea collect:
- Supporting facts
- Stories or case histories
- Examples demonstrating the idea
- Other relevant information
- Organizing principles of a great talk:
- Grabs your attention
- Stimulates your interest
- Builds desire to know more
- Moves the audience to action
Step #8: Write the body of the talk
(Leave the opening and close to last – these require the most attention and you want to make sure you are satisfied with the content before you begin and end your talk)
After organizing your data in step 7 you should have a general outline of the main points of your talk. Here are some tips for keeping your audience interested
- As you develop the content, keep in mind that people make emotional decisions, which they justify with reason.
- Keep your talk balanced with soft issues and factual information.
- If you really want to make a point, you must say the same thing several times in a variety of ways
- Stories and examples are excellent ways of demonstrating your point and creating an emotional response
- Use facts and data to accent your points. Facts can help you prove your point –they can also lose your audience.
- Use a variety of any of the following patterns:
- Story – point – data – story
- Point – data – story – point
- Data – point – story – story – point
- Point – story – data – story
- Story – point – story – data
- Data – story – point
- Be sure to communicate each point’s benefit to the audience
- You may find it easier to work on the transitions between points after the rest of the talk is completed.
- Many people like to write their whole talk out – if you do this make sure that you crunch it into an outline. Do not “read” your talk. (I usually write out key phrases and transitions between points. I find it valuable to spend time on the transitions so that the talk seems smooth even if I am speaking extemporaneously on the main points.)
- It’s important to practice your stories so that you eliminate the unnecessary parts and color the relevant areas with graphic detail so that your audience will be able to visualize what you are saying.
- 100 words on paper equals about one spoken minute
- When preparing a long talk, use fifteen minute modules to keep you on track
- Ruthlessly edit your talk – the shorter and more succinct it is, the more your audience will appreciate you
Step #9: Write a Pre-body
Write an enticing “ad” that summarizes the main points and benefits of the body of your talk. You will use your pre-body to help you transition between the opening and the body of your talk
Example: Today I am going to share with you the four keys to doubling your income. You will discover how you can naturally and easily increase your productivity by reducing your stress levels; stay focused, positive and motivated; become more creative in your ability to solve problems and, more importantly, overcome limiting belief systems that are preventing you from being your very best . . .And you can do all this by simply changing the way you think about things – I will show you how!
Step #10: Visual Aids & Handouts
- What points in your talk could be understood more easily with visual aids?
- Do you want to use overheads or slides? (Consider: slides and overheads can help you stay on track and provide an outline for your talk. However, they can also distract and disconnect you from your audience. Make sure you are comfortable with using your equipment before you do your talk)
- If you choose slides or overheads – what style would lend itself to your specific presentation? (cartoons, photographs, illustrations, key points without graphics etc.)
- Are there props or other physical demonstrations that can make your point in an entertaining way?
- If you use slides or overheads, you can make copies and use them for handouts
- Fill-in-the-blank handouts are great for involving the audience
- Make sure that your audience has something with your name and contact information so that they get in touch with you later
- A program evaluation form is an excellent way to get follow-up information from your audience. The feedback they give you will be invaluable in improving your presentation for the future.
Step #11: Plan the opening
- Plan your greeting. If you are being introduced, thank the person who introduced you, greet the audience and then pause a few seconds before you begin.
- There are six effective ways to open your presentation:
- Tell a personal story
- Arouse suspense by asking a question or beginning a story that you don’t answer or finish until the end of the presentation
- State a fact that will grab their attention. (For it to be effective, say it with emphasis and then pause for a few seconds)
- Ask a question asking for a show of hands (raise your own over your head and be ready to back up your question with another in case no one raises their hand. Example: “How many of you have been to Oklahoma?” No response “How many of you like to travel?” )
- Promise to give them something they can use
- Surprise them with a prop that relates to your topic
- Do NOT start off by telling a joke or making apologies (if you do have to apologize for something, be brief, matter-of-fact and turn it into something positive.)
Step #12: Create the close
- How you close your presentation is very important. What do you want your audience to do or think about when you leave the stage?
- If you are going to take questions, ASK FOR THEM BEFORE YOU CLOSE (“Before I close are there any questions?”)
- It’s best to end your talk on a high note by:
- A strong call for action (E.g., “Do you see how easy it is to create an effective presentation? So if you want to position yourself as an authority in front of a whole room of qualified prospects, I urge to get started to day. Just take it one step at a time. Begin by deciding what you want. Take the first step now!”)
- A summary followed by a benefit (E.g., “To review what we have discussed…and if you follow these twelve steps you will quickly and easily create a presentation your audience will LOVE!”)
- A quotation – that you have memorized and give credit for
- Ending the mystery story you began in the beginning
- A story (E.g., “I remember commiserating after my first presentation. I thought about all the things I could have, should have done . . . but over the years at least five people who attended that presentation have sought me out and told me that my talk changed their lives. And that’s what you will do when you get out there and start speaking. You have the power to change people’s lives. And you will.”)
Back to Top
|How to Write a Compelling “Speaker’s Bio,” Easily and (almost) Effortlessly!
By Mandy Bass
Remember that your “Speaker’s Bio” may be the ONLY information people will use to decide whether they want to hear what you have to say – or not.
Most presenters make the deadly mistake of thinking that their Speaker’s Bio is a C.V. (curriculum vitae)
While establishing credibility in your bio is important, keep in mind that people are far more interested in their own problems and desires than they are in where you went to school, your certifications or degrees. Therefore your bio needs to be client focused, rather than self-focused. Yes, you need to establish your credibility but only AFTER you have triggered desire from your reader to know more about you.
In other words, a compelling bio is one that IDENTIFIES with your audience and explains how they will benefit from listening to you -- what problems you can solve and which desires you can help them fulfill.
It should describe who you are, what you do, whom you serve and how you serve them, in a way that uniquely positions you as a “go-to” person for a specific issue because THIS document may decide the “position” you occupy in your client’s (or prospect’s) mind, and how the prospect
THINKS about you – for good! And if it is well –written, it will generate more referrals from your clients, advocates and PEOPLE YOU DON’T EVEN KNOW!!
How to do it:
- Identifying and REALLY knowing your target market — their unique challenges, desires, problems — is probably the most critical aspect to any aspect of marketing and your bio is no exception.
- As you write down your thoughts and ideas think of a client or person you know that represents your ideal target market.
- Be specific! The more specific you are, the easier it will be for you to find your prospects and the easier it will be for your prospects to find you!
- Brainstorm key words and key phrases FIRST!! Do not begin to write paragraphs until you have “slept on” your key words and key phrases. This will save you a lot of re-writing time.
- Include your “Unique Abilities” that you identified from the “Information Gathering” process.
- Use 7th grade English to make your document readable and user-friendly
- Let your ideas incubate!
Brainstorm words and phrases that answer
- What do you do? Create an easy-to-say, easy-to-repeat identifying statement that targets your market and gets the right people interested to know more.
- How do you do it?
- What are the specific needs of your target audience that you fulfill? How does that relate to their time, money or reputation?
- What tangible, measurable benefits can you provide or problems can you solve?
- What are the intangible benefits of #4 and #5 above? These are the real things people care about but they won’t believe you can help provide them unless you justify it with the tangible items first.
- Credibility: Why you? What are unique abilities. In addition to your formal education, think about your past experience, and how it uniquely qualifies you. Include anything you can add to build credibility such as being quotes in the newspaper, published articles, workshop titles, whitepapers, audio programs etc.
Highlight the words and phrases you like most. Make sure you have something to address all six areas and compile a statement.
Ask someone with a critical eye and good grammar to review and edit. (Do not ask English professor to make corrections, unless they completely understand the necessity of using 7th grade English in your marketing piece.)
Back to Top
|How to Build a Successful Organization Meeting Planner Check List:
(for large or stand alone events)
By Mandy Bass
3-6 MONTHS BEFORE
• Establish Outcomes, Objectives and Goals
- Establish purpose of meetings, set measurable goals, and clear thresholds of achievement by which you can determine success? Make the objective specific, measurable, attainable and realistic, relevant, and time-based.
- Clarify the attendees you want to attract. Identify all stakeholders in the meeting (attendees, organization leaders, facilities professionals, etc.), and set priorities. Which group's needs come first?
- Survey target audience. Find out about the current issues they are facing and what is important to them
- Decide on what you want attendees to remember most about the event. Summarize the experiences the attendees should have
• Do Your Research
- Research other organizations more successful than yours. What can you learn from them? How about those less successful what are they doing differently? (Learning what is not working is just as valuable as knowing what is.)
- What can you learn from your past experiences? Is there information that would be useful to determining the potential for success - or failure - of this meeting?
- Get input from staff, previous attendees, previous board members and volunteers
- How will you monitor and determine the success of your effort? Develop measurement tools that address the pre-meeting process, all on-site meeting elements, and the various post-meeting outcomes.
- What resources do you have /need to achieve the goals? Do you need to outsource, get volunteers?
- How will you reach your intended audience? What type of marketing and promotion will you do?
- What budgetary considerations do you need to take into account
- Do you want/need sponsors? What type and how will you get them?
• Book Speakers and Entertainment
- How many speakers do you need? Professional speakers? Free speakers
- Go-to experts that will present without a fee? What a would a free speaker get in exchange (i.e. What is in it for them?)
- What is your budget?
- What equipment is needed
• Venue/Meeting Services
• Review, sign, and return contract
- Estimate attendance
- Calendar date to cancel event without penalty and create timeline for marketing campaign.
- Take into account deposit amount and date due (if required)
- Note date to provide final attendance figure:
• Arrange set up and spaces for:
- Registration area table
- Seating style (theater, classroom, rounds, etc.)
- Organization’s information material and upcoming events
- Accessibility for disabled persons
- Menu selection
- Special dietary needs
- Bar/beverages (complimentary or cash bar)
- Rentals (if applicable)
• Equipment and AV
- Make a list of what you need and contact vendors for pricing
- Contact speaker to determine AV and other equipment needs place order (example, podium, microphones, internet access, and so on)
- Arrange photography (professional or volunteer)
• Other special requests:
• Draft program agenda
- Event schedule timing, room locations, etc.
- Breakout sessions
- Emcee and podium transitions
- Speaker/room hosts
- Speaker/s confirmation letter
- Time date location
- Where available download bio and summary from freespeakerbureau.com
- Request bio summary, bullet points for promotional material
- Photo, title of presentation or download from FreeSpeakerBureau.com
- Will there be handouts?
- Confirm AV requirements
- Special requests (e.g., transportation, parking, food preferences)
• Invitations and promotional brochure
- Compile invitation lists, target audience
- Create web page on website that you can direct potential attendees to get more information
- Create web-based registration page and test
- Identify VIP guests and mail invitations
- Create and schedule Save-the-Date notice
- Design first draft/s of brochure/postcard/invitation
- Distribute to planning members for approvals include RSVP instructions (date, name and phone/email of event contact, web access if registration is online, etc.) and club mailings, permission to include on networking list to be distributed at event)
• Calendars of Events (SAVE THE DATE)
- Your Organization’s/ Club's web page
- Local media (web-based community calendars, broadcast, newspapers, business journals, civic, chambers, etc.)
- Identify Potential sponsors
- Determine sponsorship levels and benefits of sponsorship
- Assign members to solicit sponsors
- Advertising alternatives
- In kind donations
- Auction donations
• Set Event registration fee, if any
• How will speaker handouts be distributed?
- If you are compiling a notebook or folder, establish deadlines for receiving materials, printing etc.
2-3 MONTHS BEFORE EVENT
- Finalize menu and other catering decisions
- Request event set up sheet from facility sales office
- Status of event agenda
- Schedule for electronic Save the Date add any new details
- Finalize brochure/postcard/invitation material and set mail date, details
- Arrange for printing of invitations
- Finalize event sponsors; include with promotional materials
- Payment information (to whom checks are payable, credit cards accepted)
6-8 WEEKS BEFORE EVENT
- Ask for revised Event Order and check carefully; sign and return
- Confirm event name/spelling etc. for venue marquee
- Order signage (registration, directional, etc)
- Print and mail brochure/postcard/invitation
- Announce on-line registration site/URL via e-mail to invitees
- Update all event and registration information at all calendar of events sites
- Set up Excel spreadsheet or other program to collect RSVP guest names
- Download name badge template; secure name badges
Handouts or event Materials
- If applicable, prepare notebooks or folders
3-5 WEEKS BEFORE EVENT
- Monitor RSVPs/attendance with regular reports
- Begin 10-14 day interval of email reminders to invitees
- Confirm volunteer assignments for program details
- Assign hosts for speaker/s and VIP guests
- Forward speaker and VIP bios or CVs to introducer or host
- Secure thank-you gifts for speakers or VIPs
- Pick up signage or create own
- If applicable order ribbons for name badges
- Send press releases to local media and others
WEEK OF/DAY OF THE EVENT
• Finalize attendance information
• Run and distribute attendee list and revised agenda
- Speakers, VIPs and committee members should all have attendee list
• Provide notebook or folder for:
• Seating chart if reserved seating; submit to facility
- Mark table assignment on name badge
- RESERVED table for speakers, special guests/VIPs if no head table
• Contact hotel/caterer with final numbers
• Create final attendance roster for registration table
• Print name badges
• Confirm final program details/agenda with speakers/emcees
• Be prepared to host any news people who may attend
• Arrange for delivery of meeting materials and supplies to be delivered to event site
• Assign set up assignments to committee members
• Develop event evaluation survey
• Send thank-you notes to featured speakers, VIP guests and sponsors
• Process address changes collected at event
• Create final attendance list with updated contact information for file
• Prepare event summary and upload photos to the website
• Post pictures and highlights on website and social media groups
• Distribute a recap of the highlights to all members
• Distribute survey
Bruce's History Lessons
Historian, syndicated newspaper columnist, regular radio talk-show guest
... "As President of the Financial Planning Association of Broward, I can not wait to tell our members about this site. It will be an excellent way for our CFP® experts to reach out and maximize their potential as presenters. Thank you for providing this fabulous service.
Howard Kramer, CFP®, CLU, ChFC.
2020 -2021 Speakers Guide For Meeting Planners
"Divorce Your Spouse, Not Your Money(tm)"
Certified Divorce Financial Analyst and Consultant
Bring in great free speakers!
Easier membership drives, greater dues collection, word-of-mouth buzz - these happen when you regularly bring in high quality presentations that your members will love.
"Learn the secret to growing your business like crazy with results in days instead of months."
You´ve totally simplified the process of finding quality presenters on the specific topics we need for our upcoming meetings, special events and teleseminars. What a great idea!"
Rosalind Sedacca, CCT
"In the past, I´sd spend a lot time prospecting for potential speaking engagements and sending off bio and presentation information. FreeSpeakerBureau.com will cut that time investment way down and present me with opportunities I would never find without them."
Tortorella Design & Marketing Consulting
"FreeSpeakerBureau.com gives us an opportunity to better evaluate and qualify hundreds of local candidates who are willing to speak to our members without a fee. [You] make it much quicker and easier to find great presenters with fresh, interesting and timely topics that build attendance and ultimately membership."
Odalis M. Lopez,CFP®
Health Insurance Expert,
Sterling Benefits Group
Past President of Women in Insurance and Financial Services,
South Florida Chapter
"FreeSpeakerBureau.com offers me a win-win proposition: I get to offer unlimited valuable content in a large group format while you put me front and center of potential niche markets."
Professional Life & Business Coach, and owner of "That Great Idea", Miami
"What a great idea to put quality opportunities together with engaging and informative program presenters"
Joan Roberts-Gould, CLTC
All Vest Associates, Inc.
"Go To" Professionals for Long-Term Care Insurance Solutions
President, National Assoc of Insurance and Financial Advisors, Broward
V.P. NE Focal Point C.A.S.A Board: Senior, Adults, Alzheimer's Day Care & Community Center.