When you present to a live audience either on stage or on camera, you have an opportunity to change the way they think, feel, and act. But what happens when the camera stops rolling or after you walk off stage is even more important. How do you continue to engage your audience and drive them to action? The answer: email marketing. With email marketing, you can continue to build upon the relationship you formed during your speech and create a stronger connection with your audience. During our recent webinar with speaking pro Michael Port, he shared his secrets to building an email list from speaking events. Port has inspired audiences from the stage for more than a decade. He was a professional actor. Now, he’s the founder of Heroic Public Speaking and coaches some of the world’s best speakers. Below, learn Michael’s 3-step system for building an email list with your speaking opportunities. (Want to watch the entire recording of Port’s webinar? Register here.)

1. Create a curiosity gap.

People tend to take action when they have a desire to achieve or learn something. You can create this desire (and use it grow your list) with a curiosity gap. A curiosity gap is when there is a void between what someone knows and what they want to know. And according to Port, it’s important to create one with every speaking opportunity you have because it’s what drives your audience to take action. To create a curiosity gap, answer the “what” and “why,” but don’t give your audience the “how” yet. You want them to think, “That sounds awesome! But how do I do that?” Here’s an example: A sign up form is a tool that allows you to easily collect subscribers. By optimizing your sign up form, you can triple your subscriber growth and double your revenue. By creating a curiosity gap, you’ve now piqued their interest. You’re ready to move to the next step: filling the gap with a tool or resource.

2. Fill the gap with a tool or resource.

Once you’ve created a curiosity gap and your audience is looking for a solution, give them a tool or resource to fill the gap and satisfy their need or desire. (In step 3, we’ll explain how to deliver this tool or resource to your audience from the stage.) When creating your tool or resource, Port suggests staying away from denser pieces of content, like ebooks, white papers, and reports. In his experience, these aren’t as effective at generating email leads from the stage because they are denser pieces, requiring much more time to consume. Audiences want content that are easier to digest. Instead, offer shorter tools, like tips, formulas, grids, calendars, and templates.These tend to convert more audience members into email subscribers. You could also test this theory with your own audience. Offer up a simple, easy-to-consume solution and another more in-depth, time-consuming solution. Different audiences will prefer different tools and resources. For instance, an audience of medical doctors may want a published research document or white paper. An audience filled with social media marketers may want a content calendar download. Continuing with the sign up form example from before, the “how” is: With my simple checklist, you can optimize your form in minutes. Port also recommends that you make sure your tool is specific to the lesson you’re teaching from the stage. And mention your tool a couple times during during your presentation, like halfway through and at the end.

3. Build your list and nurture your audience member.

Now that you’ve introduced the tool or resource that’s going to fill your audience’s curiosity gap, you’re ready to invite them to subscribe to your list to get it. Building a list from the stage is different from building it online. Your audience likely won’t have their laptop ready to visit a website and opt in. And even if they did, typing in an address while they’re listening to your presentation is distracting. But what almost every audience member will have is a mobile device. That’s why you should use a tool like Call Loop, EZ Texting, Textiful or Join By Text to invite your audience to join your email list and receive the tool or resource you’re offering. Here’s how these tools typically work:

  1. Ask your audience to text a phrase (e.g., OPTIMIZE) to a specific phone number (provided by the texting service you use).
  2. After your audience texts the phrase to the phone number, they will receive a response on their mobile device that asks them to respond with their email address.
  3. Once they respond with their email address, they will be added to your email list automatically and receive your welcome email.

Step up your speaking game at Heroic Public Speaking LIVE

Need more help with your public speaking? Join Port and his team at Heroic Public Speaking LIVE, October 1 to 3 in Philadelphia, PA. The AWeber team will be there as a sponsor. Come meet up with us to learn how to use email marketing to reach and connect with your audience off stage. Not sure how to get more leads? Struggling to create a profitable email strategy? We can help. At AWeber, we’re not just an email marketing platform — we’re a team of email experts that want to see you succeed. You can contact us day or night to get all of your questions answered. Start your free 30-day trial of AWeber today.