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The Art of Pitching Speakers: A Quick Guide to Promoting for the Next Event

What’s the secret to a successful event? How about an engaging speaker who can keep your audience captivated and spellbound for hours on end? How do you find these speakers, though? How do you pitch them so they say yes to speaking at your next event or conference? In this blog post, we’ll cover everything from how to approach potential speakers with a proposal, what questions should be included in that proposal, and what it takes to get the response you’re looking for.

1. Research About Their Interests and Availability

The first thing on your list when pitching potential speakers should be thorough research about their interests and availability. You need all of the details before contacting someone – whether by email or phone; otherwise known as “cold calling.” That means knowing where they live (city/state), if there’s any travel involved, if their fee is negotiable, and how far in advance of the event you need to contact them. This way you’re not wasting your time or theirs by contacting someone who won’t be available for months on end.

2. Create a List of Success Metrics for your Events

Make a list of the top three success metrics you have for your events. How will you know if they are a success? What is it about this speaker that makes them so successful and able to fulfill those metrics? Create a list of what would make them not be an ideal speaker. How do some people end up as great speakers, while others don’t always give their best performance on stage or behind closed doors with clients? Here are some things to consider:

  • How well do they communicate
  • How long have they been doing this for?
  • Are their talks engaging and can hold an audience’s attention? What is it about them that makes people want to listen, learn, and take action on the advice given? How can you help your potential speakers craft a talk or presentation that will be easy to follow along with while also being informative enough for attendees to walk away feeling like they learned something new. Showing off not only what someone has done but how others might benefit from following in those footsteps as well.

3. Understand your Speaker Budget

If you’re asking for a speaker fee, it’s crucial that you have an idea of what your budget looks like. How much money do you have to spend on speakers? How many people are on your list right now and for how long will they be there? Knowing the answers to these questions before reaching out is going to make things easier when pitching someone – wouldn’t you agree?

If you are working with a tight budget, you will want to narrow down your list of speakers and find those who are more affordable. If money is not an issue for your organization or event, then broaden the search and keep in mind that sometimes finding big names might be harder than it seems since they have their own managers as well. When pitching potential speakers – let them know what your budget looks like so there’s no confusion on either end about how much someone should charge if hired. It is to build a relationship with them and get a better sense of what they’re looking for in terms of compensation.


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.


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