Getting public speaking engagements is an excellent way to boost your business as an independent contractor. Public speaking offers you the opportunity to network and connect with potential clients or customers, and to advertise the services you offer.
Before you can deliver an informative speech, you need to craft a clear message to deliver and then practice speaking in front of business associates or friends who can offer constructive criticism and help you to refine your message. Once you’re ready to get up in front of an audience, you have several ways to find opportunities to speak.
Find Your Target Audience
What your company does largely determines your target audience. It’s important to reach out to organizations and other businesses that cater to the types of people you want to reach. Make calls, send emails, and check the websites of such organizations and businesses, looking for speaking opportunities. It only takes one “yes” to get your foot in the door and that often opens the door to other opportunities. Reaching out to more places increases your web of connections and chances to speak.
Create a Speaker’s One-Sheet
Creating a speaker’s one-sheet is another important step. A critical marketing tool for your business, the one-sheet is a resume that explains what you’re offering, why it’s valuable, how it benefits audience members, and topics you can speak on. Include testimonials or reviews from customers to boost your credibility. Also, list any speeches you’ve given or are lined up to give.
Utilize the Internet
Use the internet to find speaking opportunities. Sites such as SpeakerMatch make it easy to find and contact event and meeting organizers looking for available speakers. You simply pay the site’s monthly fee to be put in its speaker database and to have the freedom to be contacted directly by organizers.
Other sites offering potential speaking opportunities include Lanyrd, Conferensum, and Plancast.
You can also use online search engines to find speaking opportunities. Search open calls for speakers in the industry you work in, or industries and organizations looking for speakers who can talk on topics you are well acquainted with. It’s a good idea to set alerts on your computer so that when opportunities become available, you’re immediately notified and don’t miss out on chances to speak.
Go Back to School
There’s a good chance that whatever area you live or work in contains at least a few technical schools, community colleges, or universities. These schools can be a great resource as you look for opportunities to give a speech. Try getting together with a professor or one of the departments in the school that can work with you to hold a forum on a subject that relates to your business. The backing of the school lends you credibility and you should automatically have a decent audience made up of students. Make sure that you invite people from the community to come as well, to help expand the reach of your message to potential clients or customers. Even if only students show up, you’ve added another speech to your resume and enhanced your professional profile, which can help you land other speaking engagements.
Reach Out to Other Speakers
Connecting with other professional speakers or independent contractors who have experience with public speaking is a great way to find speaking opportunities for yourself. They can introduce you to places where they’ve spoken or provide leads to places or events that match your business expertise. Reaching out to such individuals also gives you the chance to pick up some key tips on successfully giving speeches.
Public speaking can be a vital part of advertising your business services and enhancing your public profile as an independent contractor. Take advantage of the variety of ways available to find public speaking opportunities to increase your potential client base and ultimately help grow your business.