Many people want to become a speaker, but they are unsure of how to pitch their talk. How do you get speaking engagements? What should your speech be about? How can you make the best impression on the conference organizer that is considering booking your talk for their event? These are all important questions with complicated answers, but there are some strategies that work better than others. In this blog post, we will answer these questions and more.
Most of the times, speaking engagements are not a spontaneous event or decision. In fact, there is usually an entire process that conference organizers will go through before they decide to book you as one of their speakers for their event. How do you make yourself more attractive to these events? How can you get your talk approved and accepted by them?
There are many elements that contribute to making a successful pitch—such as timing, location, length & content of the speech itself. But what about all those other factors in pitching your ideas and getting approval from others? How does this relate back to gaining opportunities for speaking gigs at conferences on related topics such as online marketing or blogging? A few things may come into play when trying to convince someone else why YOU should be the speaker for their event.
Here are some important factors to consider when pitching your talk:
Narrow Down Where you Want to Speak
How do you narrow down where to pitch your talk? How can you find out what types of events will accept your topic or allow you to speak on it with the right qualifications, experience and expertise. Do your research! Find conferences that are taking place in areas close to home & ones that have an affiliation for speakers with similar backgrounds as you.
Research the Event and the People Behind It
How do you research the event? How can you find out what types of events will accept your topic or allow you to speak on it with the right qualifications, experience and expertise. Find conferences that are taking place in areas close to home & ones that have an affiliation for speakers with similar backgrounds as yourself.
As far as researching who is behind the conference—find out all about them! How long has this organization been around? What is their mission/purpose for starting up their own business or pursuing a new project like hosting an annual conference? If there isn’t much information online yet about these things–be sure to reach out via email and ask questions directly if need.
Follow People, Engage With Them and Be Helpful
How do you gain the interest of a conference organizer? How can you be helpful and prove that your talk is worth their time & money for hosting it at their event. How will this benefit them in some way or another? Make yourself visible within your field by following people, engaging with them on Twitter, Facebook etc., but DON’T spam them! Provide value to those who are able to influence others as well. How? Engage with their audience, share resources that you think they might like or find useful. How much time should be dedicated to this element of building your personal brand? As much as it takes in order to build relationships and gain the interest of conference organizers for speaking engagements.
Find the Event Organizer’s Personal Email
How do you find the event organizer’s personal email address? How can this be an effective way for pitching your topic and reaching out to them? How is this different than using their business or company email account when trying to contact them about speaking at their conference? Many event organizers will separate these two types of emails in order to keep things organized. How do you go about finding their personal one (if they have it)? Find a list of default email addresses that are typically used by many organizations, such as email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org etc.
Be Curious and Ask Questions
Getting really curious about the event and asking questions is a great way to get on their radar! How do you go about doing this? How can inquiring minds want to know more help your cause in getting accepted as a speaker for an upcoming conference? How does curiosity play into pitching yourself & impressing the decision makers at events that already exist or ones that are still new.
Do some research online, look up previous years’ speakers of conferences similar to what you’re trying to speak at, see who was behind it all and how they went about getting someone like YOU involved–a local expert with fresh information. Be curious by digging deeper than just surface level information when learning how successful speaking engagements came together for other people/organizations whether there’s another person responsible for it or not.
John Lawson is one of the most trusted and experienced eCommerce professionals in the industry. John is the founder of The Ecommerce Group, which he started in 2011 to share his knowledge with other entrepreneurs in the industry. It’s the oldest eCommerce group on Facebook with over 8,500 members from around the world!
John speaks at conferences all around the world, including Retail Global, South by Southwest, Etail, Digital Summit, Hubspot Inbound, Ad-Tech and more. He also writes for several international publications such as Power Retail, Small Business Trends and Disrupt Magazine.