|To Get Your
Profits Up, Speak Up!
You've most likely have attended events and trade shows where they
provided numerous sessions and keynote presentations with speakers. You may
have even thought to yourself, "Hey, I could do that."
Well …why haven't you? Because you should do that! Speaking is a very
affordable and effective marketing tactic for numerous reasons. It is a
means to introduce your company, to position yourself in the technology
sector, and most importantly, to acquire new clients.
WHY YOU SHOULD SPEAK?
When you speak, especially at trade shows, the event's organizers and
sponsors promote it. Agendas and the speaker schedule are published in
direct mail pieces, print publications and on Web sites by the parties
involved. This gives you and your company increased exposure and
Put A Face To Your Name
When you are the speaker, you are asked to submit a headshot to be
placed beside the abstract of your talk. This introduces you to your
prospective clients and adds a 'human' factor to your company's name. People
do business with people not with your technology solutions.
It is not uncommon for media people to attend events looking for their
next story or for industry experts. These people include publishers,
editors, freelance writers, regular columnists, and industry analysts.
Another possibility may be people responsible for writing the newsletters or
online magazines for larger corporations that use them to market to their
internal channels. Make sure you identify media and see how you might assist
them. The result just may be an article with you or your customers as the
When you hear and see a speaker at an event, you imagine that they have
been selected because they have unique, interesting, or practical
information to share. They have been screened, filtered, and selected from
among many others. This is a subtle form of 3rd party referral as we assume,
as attendees, that the host has sourced the best for us to hear.
Low Cost Marketing Event
You don't pay to put people in the seats. Sure, you might pay for an
airline ticket and even a comfy night at a hotel. But as the speaker, you
don't have to pay for the event marketing, the venue or hotel, the catering
at breaks, or the audio-visual equipment. You may not even have to duplicate
a handout yourself, as it is included in the event's binder. More often
these days, your presentation is likely just to be posted to an event Web
site where participants can download it later.
Outside of your travel costs, there is little expense in being a
speaker. This is a perfect example of leverage with other people's money and
resources. Much energy and capital is invested by the event's host and
sponsors to bring in the attendees. By participating in the event, you are
gaining access to all these prospects that you have not to spend money on to
get them there. Often at conferences, you are also given a
"full-access" pass that others have paid for. This added value
let's you attend all sessions to learn and to network. This is the trade-off
and usually why session speakers are not paid at many industry-specific
When speaking you have the opportunity to influence others to deal with
your organization. Your objectives should include gathering their names,
introducing them to your product line, and initiating their desire to take a
That said, if you are invited to speak, or if you arrange the engagement,
it is important that you deliver an 'educational' experience not a sales
presentation. There is nothing worse than a speaker who continually focuses
on product features and benefits. They are perceived as just trying to sell
something and lose credibility. It is wise as a speaker that you educate the
audience how to address existing challenges, identify problems, and then
suggest alternative solutions.
Creates Demand For More
When you give great information that is educational and professionally
and enthusiastically presented, those listening are confident of your
abilities to assist them. You can also benefit by creating curiosity on the
part of the audience. You usually only have time to present an overview, or
reveal one or two key points. This means you can often increase the desire
of the attendees to inquire for more information. Bingo! You now have their
contact information and put them into your marketing cycle.
You will be amazed at the quality of leads you can generate as a
speaker. As long as you know the demographics of the event where you wish to
present, you can almost be guaranteed an audience of pre-screened, qualified
prospects. Not only that, based on the topic, it further qualifies your
prospects right down to the problems they face and the solution you know you
Don't Like The Spotlight?
So, now you're thinking, "Right. I prefer death to speaking."
This attitude is not uncommon. However, if you are not one to "hop up
on a soap box" or fear public speaking, then you can recruit any number
of people from other sources and have your company 'sponsor' them. For
example, they are introduced as, "Presented by ABC Voice
Think about anyone you know with specific knowledge of your company, your
technology, or the challenges faced by the verticals that you serve. It
could be someone in your company, such as an employee who aspires to be a
speaker, a supplier who might sponsor an expert (or better yet, provide one
of their own) or a consultant or analyst with whom you have a working
Can We Talk?
The professional speaking industry itself is worth billions because
organizations are always looking for great speakers to make their event a
success. In the technology industry, event planners seek the same outcome
but their challenge is to find knowledgeable experts rather than
motivational speakers. You or people in your company are just what they
You need to make this tactic a big part of your public relations strategy
if it is not already. There are numerous ways to leverage speaking
opportunities into millions of dollars and hopefully this introduction will
set you on your way. So remember, "Your profits go up, when you speak
Martin Wales, The Customer Catcher™, is a business development
specialist helping companies win and keep more business through better
customer relationships. He is a technology-marketing specialist, speaker,
and facilitator. Using your company's existing resources, Wales is able to
create maximum results with minimum risk. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.