The Key to Booking More Speeches
Whenever I’m talking with either someone new to the field of professional speaking – or someone who desires to enter the business– I always know there is a question about to be asked.
“How do I book more speeches?”
Unfortunately, that is fundamentally the wrong question that anyone in this industry should be asking! How you “book more engagements” focuses upon your challenges in sustaining the type of calendar, and earning the size of fees, you desire.
Instead, here is the question we all should be inquiring:
“Why would a meeting professional (or organization) choose me instead of other worthy professionals?”
There are two reasons this question is so vital:
First, by asking this question, the shift begins from a focus upon your need (booking speeches) to their need (a compelling program that fits their unique situation).
Too often, speakers center their efforts on promotion that feels great for their ego, but is ill-equipped to drive business.
Take a look at your marketing materials. Can someone immediately ascertain what your areas of expertise are, or the focus of your content? Unless you are a celebrity and your name is instantly recognizable, a meeting professional is more interested in your presentation than your personality. Their goal is not to sustain your self-esteem, but to enhance their event.
Second, the only way you secure more engagements is to be selected as the best option for a group’s meeting. This almost always means you are chosen instead of someone else. Anticipate the aspects that would best make your case that you are a superior selection.
If you have written a book, emphasize your subject matter expertise. If extensive corporate experience is in your background, accentuate your real-world business proficiency. If you’ve encountered or endured an extraordinary experience in life, highlight how your story translates into the impact they desire for their audience.
Remember, your expertise and experience only motivates them to book you when they can easily understand how you will leverage your strengths into a meaningful message for their program participants!
However, what if you have little experience or haven’t developed the materials or credentials required to objectively establish your expertise? Honestly…that’s a tough one. However, there is an answer!
If you’re a beginning speaker with a lot of desire, but little experience, there is an advantage you do have: a lower fee! Your best bet is to be speaking as much as you possibly can in order to develop a growing client list. There are always organizations with tight budgets that are looking for someone of ability to deliver a message of importance.
Bottom line is that the speaking business is much like every other – it takes hard work and paying your dues to attain any level of significance. No weekend boot camp or online training program is going to ensure your success. You have to be willing to invest in the effort, and put in the stage time required to grow your ability and content.
However, even that isn’t enough. You have to focus upon the needs of your prospective clients and understand the answer to the important question: “Why would a meeting professional (or organization) choose me instead of other worthy professionals?”
Will you ask the right question – so the answers lead to a better speaking career?