Want To Land A Major Speaking Gig? Try These 14 Coach-Recommended Tips
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Being invited to speak at a major conference is a great professional honor. This type of gig can do wonders for your career and personal brand, and it allows you to introduce yourself as an industry expert to a wide audience of potential professional connections.
If you’re looking to take this step, you may not know where to begin. That's why we asked the members of Forbes Coaches Council for their "tricks of the trade" that can help you secure a speaking gig at a large business conference. Their best responses are below.
Forbes Coaches Council members share advice on how to get booked at a speaking gig and build your professional reputation. PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS.
1. Start With A Circle Of Expertise
It is increasingly important for executives to raise their public profile, and speaking at conferences is a great way to do this. The best way to get speaking opportunities is to build a visible personal brand in a circle of expertise. Do this by consistently and repeatedly writing and contributing to a specific set of topics. When people recognize you as an expert, they will want to hear from you. - Shefali Raina, Alpha Lane Partners
2. Attend Events Where You Want To Speak
Newer speakers, either those who are not yet charging a fee or those new to speaking professionally, should choose their gigs smartly. Attend events where you want to speak. Ask other breakout speakers how they landed the gigs, get to know event organizers and have your topics ready to hand to them. - Sarah Beth Aubrey, Aubrey's Coaching & Training
3. Focus On Enhancing Your Brand Speaking at a conference is a great way to enhance your visibility, credibility and to expand your network. If you're new, start with low-risk gigs to get your feet wet. If you're experienced, go for those that will give you the most ROI. And remember, what's in it for your audience? What value do you add? Use your network to connect with organizers and speakers at relevant conferences. - Susan Sadler, Sadler Communications LLC
4. Build Credibility With The Event Planner Creating a relationship with the top event planners for your conference allows you to find out what they need and don't need for large conferences. I once got a speaking gig because one of the main speakers got called out on business. Because I built a relationship with the event planner they asked me if I could "help them out of a jam" and got the gig. I became a trusted insider. Start there. - John M. O'Connor, Career Pro Inc.
5. Align Your Content Across All Platforms Build credibility before you land the gig by providing valuable content on all your social media sites. Align the content to key topics. Develop video shorts to support key points of content and drive your target audience to view, comment and share with their network. Be confident in creating and aligning the value you offer. Don’t shy away from sharing intentionally with key event coordinators. - Lori Harris, Harris Whitesell Consulting
6. Set Yourself Apart With An Online Presence One of the most important tips to get invited to speak at big events is your online brand and credibility. The speaking space is more crowded than ever before, so you must set yourself apart from the crowd. Be sure to focus on an amazing speaker reel, great testimonials and social proof. - Pasha Carter,The VIP Network 7. Offer Additional V