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Finding those <i>Speaking</i> Opportunities that are. . .

Speak Business, Career, and Leadership Opportunities!

One comment I regularly hear is: “Fred, Your mantra, “Speaking Opportunities are Business, Career, and Leadership Opportunities,” gets my attention.  You’ve convinced me!”

Here’s my challenge: “Where do I find those Speaking Opportunities?”

Great question!

Unless you have a topic and reputation that people must seek you out, it’s up to You to find those valuable Speaking Opportunities.

For the most part, these will be unpaid.  Take my friend, Lois Creamer’s advice, and don’t say you’ll speak for Free.  Instead, say you will waive your usual fee for this particular group.  That’s OK when you’re starting out and/or if you want to increase your exposure and build your reputation as a Expert.  Remember: Really good speakers are perceived as Experts.  Perception is reality and people like to work with Experts.

Comment, please, which ones have worked for you!  Feel free to add some, also! Here’s are some possibilities.

Speaking Opportunities can be found at:

  1. Scout Meetings – If your topic is a fit.

  2. Charitable Events – If your topic is a fit.

  3. There are lots of these for many areas of interest.

  4. Consider starting one of your own!

  5. Networking Events

  6. Every city has a variety of these.

  7. Do a Google search for Networking Calendars in your area.

  8. Companies that offer Lunch and Learns

  9. Clubs specific to your area of expertise

  10. Do a Google search for that particular club in your area.

  11. Church groups

  12. There may be several: Men’s • Women’s • Youth

  13. Schools

  14. Public  •  Private  •  Trade

  15. Bookstores – If you’ve written a book.

  16. Public Libraries

How to get those opportunities: Ask for them!   A phone call, if possible, is the best way to start.

If you know someone in the organization you are targeting, contact them for an introduction to the decision-maker.  Sometimes a membership directory is available and you can look for people you know. LinkedIn can be a good tool for finding connections to those decision-makers.

Here’s my script, and it could serve as a template for yours: “Hello, I’m Fred Miller.  I’m a local speaker, coach, and the author of a book about Public Speaking and Presentation Skills.”

“Did I catch you at a bad time?”  (Always say this, because if you did, and continue to talk, your odds of getting a speaking opportunity dramatically lessen.  After confirming it is OK to talk, continue. . .)

“Does your Club (Group, Association, Company, etc.) ever have guest speakers?” This is a ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ question.  Wait for an answer.  If the reply is ‘Yes,’ ask what speakers and subjects have been presented in the past.  Perhaps your topic is not a fit, but knowing what subjects they have an interest in will give you intel to pass on to fellow speakers you network with.  If they do the same for you, everyone will obtain more speaking opportunities.

“Do people in your Club (Group, Association, Company, etc.) ever give presentations?  (You would ask a question similar to this based on your subject.)

If the answer is ‘Yes,’ I continue, “One of the talks I give is about the Fear of Public Speaking.  Why we have it, and Nuggets to Lessen it.”  Do you think your folks would have an interest?”

The next steps, if there is an interest, is to ask when the next date is available.  Often, this information is not readily available, so always have an email you can send that gives more information about you and your topic.  It’s best to have links in the email to your website and other ‘sources of credibility’ like: books, articles, testimonials, interviews and quotes by others that add to your expertise status.

If there is no interest, ask if it’s possible this could change and could you email them something.

Your database of prospects and clients is one of the most important things you own. Asking for permission, and receiving it, to email something about you and your topic, builds that database for future drip marketing campaigns.

Followup! Sometimes the initial communication must be via email. Other times, an email, as suggested above, is sent so the decision maker(s) have something they can ‘check you out with’ and make a decision.

Make phone calls and email followups until you get a ‘Yea’ or ‘Nay.’  You are trying to make a ‘Sale’ here, and it’s usually a process, not an event.  Some groups try to schedule speakers a year in advance.

Let those you communicate know that should something happen at the last moment, and the scheduled speaker be unable to attend, you may be available!

My friend Gill Wagner suggests that when attending any event that has scheduled speakers, let the event/meeting planner know that you are a speaker and ready to step in if something happens and a speaker is unable to fulfill their engagement.

When you book those Speaking Opportunities be certain to publicize them.

  1. Put them on your Facebook Business Page.

  2. Place a mention on your LinkedIn Page with a Link to the event or host’s website.

  3. If you have an event calendar on your site, be certain to include it there with time, date and location.

The Speaking Opportunity Event!

  1. Arrive early to check out the site.

  2. Arrive early to Meet & Greet!

  3. Have Name Tags available for everyone should they not already be wearing one.

  4. Have a way to capture attendees contact information.

  5. A drawing for a book, coaching, etc. from a business card fishbowl.

  6. A sign-in sheet.

Important to remember: Each time you speak it is not only an opportunity to find prospects, but also to improve your presentation skills.  One of the Laws of Presentation is that the Learning is in the Doing!  You can always get better, and the best way to do it is – Speak!Speak!  – Speak!

Follow the suggestions in this Post for finding Speaking Opportunities and make your next presentation – No Sweat!

For reading, and/or listening, this far I’d like to give you a FREE Gift. Go to: to receive it!

About the Author Fred E. Miller is a speaker, a coach, and author of the book, “No Sweat Public Speaking!” Businesses and individuals hire him because they want to improve their Public Speaking and Presentation Skills. They do this because we perceive really great speakers to be Experts. Perception is reality and we rather deal with Experts.

They also know: Speaking Opportunities are Business Opportunities. Speaking Opportunities are Career Opportunities. Speaking Opportunities are Leadership Opportunities. He shows them how to Develop, Practice, and Deliver ‘Knock Your Socks Off Presentations!’ with – No Sweat!

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