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10 steps to find speaking gigs

 

Finding speaking gigs, especially as a professional looking to share your expertise and expand your influence, involves a strategic approach.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you secure speaking opportunities:

 

1. Define Your Speaking Niche

  • Identify Your Expertise: You must by now have selected the topics you are most knowledgeable and passionate about. Always consider your professional experience, personal interests, and the unique perspective you can offer.
  • Understand Your Audience: You should know by now who would benefit most from your insights. This could be industry professionals, students, business leaders, or a general audience interested in your field.

2. Create a Speaker Profile

  • Craft a Compelling Bio: Write a professional biography highlighting your expertise, past speaking engagements (if any), and what makes your perspective unique.
  • Develop a Speaker Kit: Include your bio, a professional headshot, video clips of past speeches or presentations, and testimonials. A speaker kit makes it easier for event organisers to evaluate your fit for their event. Save them on a cloud for easy access.

3. Build an Online Presence

  • Social Media: Use platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram to share insights, connect with your audience, and promote your speaking engagements.
  • Professional Website: When you have built your speaker experience, create a section on your professional website dedicated to your speaking engagements, including your speaker kit, upcoming events, and contact information.

4. Network Actively

  • Industry Events: Attend conferences, workshops, and seminars in your niche. Networking with attendees and organisers can open up speaking opportunities.
  • Professional Associations: Join relevant professional groups or associations where you can meet peers and industry leaders who might be organising events or know of speaking opportunities.

5. Leverage Online Platforms

  • Speaker Directories: Register on speaker directories and platforms where event organisers look for speakers. Ensure your profile is complete and compelling.
  • Webinars and Virtual Events: In today’s digital age, don’t overlook virtual speaking opportunities. These can significantly expand your reach and are often easier to secure.

6. Pitch to Event Organisers

  • Identify Potential Events: Research conferences, meetups, and seminars where your expertise could add value. Look for events with past themes or tracks aligned with your niche.
  • Craft a Tailored Pitch: When reaching out to organisers, personalise your pitch to their event’s theme and audience. Highlight what makes your perspective unique and how it can benefit their attendees.

7. Utilise Your Network

  • Ask for Referrals: Let your professional and personal networks know you’re interested in speaking opportunities. A referral can often lead to an invitation to speak.
  • Collaborate with Peers: Partner with other professionals or speakers to co-present at events, which can provide access to opportunities that might otherwise be unavailable.

8. Offer to Speak for Free (Initially)

  • Gain Experience: If you’re new to speaking, consider offering to speak for free to build your portfolio and gain experience. Local community events, meetups, and industry associations often look for speakers.
  • Record Your Sessions: Whenever possible, record your speaking engagements. Video footage can be a powerful addition to your speaker kit and online profiles.

9. Follow Up and Stay Connected

  • Post-Event Engagement: After a speaking gig, connect with attendees and organisers on social media. Ask for feedback and testimonials to improve and enhance your speaker profile.
  • Stay in Touch: Regularly update event organisers you’ve interacted with on your new talks, achievements, and availability. Maintaining these relationships can lead to repeat invitations.

10. Continuous Learning and Improvement

  • Seek Feedback: Always ask for feedback from your audience and peers to improve your speaking skills and presentations.
  • Professional Development: Consider joining a speaking club like Toastmasters or taking public speaking courses to refine your skills and gain confidence.

By following these steps and consistently working on your speaking skills, content, and network, you’ll increase your chances of finding and securing speaking gigs that align with your expertise and goals.