Given today’s competitive business climate and challenging economy, marketing and PR efforts should be front and center for your company. But how do you rise above the noise? One way to do this is through public speaking. By finding speaking engagements at public forums—at conferences, seminars, and forums held by independent event organizations, associations, academic institutions, think tanks, and professional and industry trade groups—enormous exposure is created which can demonstrate thought leadership.
Speaking engagements at public forums, to an audience of potential customers or clients, often results in the attainment of business by providing increased awareness of the company in general and specific subject areas in particular. Presentations about industry trends or “how-to” talks can make a large impact on the audience. Participating on a panel can also create opportunities for building awareness and demonstrating expertise.
Speaking Engagements Deliver Three Big Benefits
Speaking engagements for executives and managers represent a strong marketing, public relations, and business development tool for the following reasons:
- Attendees get to learn about a firm’s expertise firsthand and can interact directly with the speaker immediately before or after the presentation. An attendee asking for a business card can be the first step to obtaining a customer. The press in attendance also presents opportunities for added exposure.
- Gaining increased visibility in vertical/industry sectors or broad-based areas that a firm has determined is in need of greater exposure.
- The company gains “advertising” by having its name and the executive speaker’s name published in the agenda of thousands of brochures and promotional announcements mailed and emailed and on the websites of event organizers.
Eight Steps Toward Impactful Speaking Engagements
What should a company be doing to line-up speaking engagements for its executives? Take the following eight steps:
1. Decide which product or service area(s) the firm should be targeting for increased visibility.
2. Get the right speaker on board.
3. Speak to the targeted audience.
4. Develop a proactive speaker placement program.
5. Decide on the geographic area to target for speaking engagements.
6. Create high-impact presentations.
7. Learn the process for submitting a speaker proposal to the event organizer.
8. Follow up continuously and persistently with the event organizer.
By developing an effective speaker placement program you will have taken a big step in meeting your firm’s marketing, public relations, and business development objectives.