One of the most effective ways to showcase your expertise, build credibility, and grow your network is through speaking engagements. The stage may feel like a scary place but it offers an unparalleled opportunity to share your knowledge, engage with your target audience, and ultimately, enhance your professional brand, especially when you amplify it online afterwards
Speaking events come in various formats, including conferences, workshops, panel discussions, webinars, and podcasts. Regardless of the type, these events offer numerous benefits for executives and professionals looking to market their brand:
Audience: Participating in speaking events provides access and an opportunity to form connections with like-minded professionals, potential clients, and industry influencers. All relationships are human to human and they can lead to new business opportunities, collaborations, or even job offers.
Influence: Speaking at industry (and adjacent industries) events positions you as an expert in your field, and firmly places you front of mind in an environment where you can share your insights, experiences, and key messages with a captive audience. By delivering valuable content, you become valuable and a go-to resource for your target audience.
Memorable: Speaking events often attract media coverage, social media attention, and word-of-mouth buzz. By leveraging these channels, you can increase your reach to a wider audience, and attract more opportunities for your brand. Reach isn’t rocket science or difficult to access, people will see and hear you but it’s a busy, noisy world out there and the challenge is in staying memorable
Status: Being invited to speak at an event is an endorsement of your expertise by the event organisers. This recognition adds credibility to your professional brand and can enhance your reputation among your peers and potential clients.
To make the most of speaking events as a brand-building tool, consider the following strategies:
1. Choose Aligned Events
Select events that align with your professional goals, target audience, and areas of expertise. Don’t limit yourself to your industry - consider adjacent industries and focus on events that are relevant to your brand, strengthening the things you’d like to be known for and where you can maximise your impact and ensure a strong return on time and energy investment.
2. Take An Audience-First Approach
It’s never about you! Structure your content in a way that is engaging, informative, and tailored to your audience's needs. Landing your key message in the opening, close and somewhere in between - 3 is the magic number. Use storytelling techniques, real-life examples, and data-driven insights to make your content human, memorable and actionable.
3. Develop Your Public Speaking Skills
Invest time in improving your public speaking abilities. Practice on video or work with a coach to refine your presentation skills and build confidence on stage. (Our sister company Speakable & Co. do this so if you're looking for a speaking coach, look no further!)
4. Position And Amplify Online
Share your speaking engagements on the event organisers, the company you work for and your own social media channels - before and after the event. Get photos of you speaking on stage and share these images on social media too - Think of that LinkedIn banner at the top of your profile as prime real estate - if you would like to attract more speaking events, use it there or in one of your Featured posts. This not only increases your visibility, demonstrates your active involvement in the industry but it also positions you as a speaker (and you can’t be what others can’t see!)
5. Follow Up with Attendees
After the event, engage with attendees by connecting on social media or sharing resources, and follow-up with the event organisers (ask for feedback, even if you’re feeling anxious about hearing it!). This helps to strengthen relationships and opens the door for future opportunities.
Speaking events can be a powerful channel to market your professional brand when you aim to make it work for you - thinking beyond your time on stage and how it may be making you feel!
Having worked with hundreds of executives and professional speakers, we have so much that we can share in this space - if there’s something you’d like to know our thoughts on, drop us a message via the contact page.