You have been asked to speak. Your topic is approved. Business cards and marketing materials are all ordered and on pretty shiny paper. The keynote presentation has awesome animations and information for the attendees. But how can you make the engagement even more of a success?
Sign a speaker agreement
Every time you are hired to do something, whether to guest blog or to speak, paid or not paid, there needs to be a contract in place between you and the host.
Explain who you are
Always, always, always begin the presentation with an introduction for who you are, what you do, and what you can provide to the audience. Operate under the assumption the audience has never heard of you or from you before, because in the world of conferences this may very well be the case.
Plus, this is also allows you to establish your credibility and authority on the subject. Further, as an added bonus, this is a perfect time to start soft-introducing the products and services you sell on your site without having a hard sales pitch.
Give something to the audience
Promote goodwill and audience attention with little breaks for giveaways while creating exposure. Often these items are yours but can also come from sponsors as well. To do this, simply gather business cards, ask questions, or have attendees tweet “tweetables” during your talk.
Tip: Make specific tweetable slides with your twitter handle, hashtag, and tweetable quote. Helps to break up the monotony and highlights the tweetable.
It helps to provide the tweetables for audience members to snag on to – this gives you control over hard hitting information you want connected to your name and appropriate hashtags.
It’s your giveaway; you are in control!
Capture attendee information
If the event host isn’t providing attendee information to the speakers for follow- up contact, it is time for some contact marketing. Don’t simply throw your cards and promo materials to the audience, although that is step one. The important thing is to capture attendee information so that you can follow up for continued exposure to you, your products/services, and gain them as an engaged reader.
A perfect way to do this is to avoid giving a handout or slides at the event, rather have a specific link on your webpage that allows the attendee to enter their information and receive the slides or hand-outs by autoresponder. Auto responders automatically send a customized email and attachment while capturing emails onto your list!
Here is an example of the page on site with a header, profile picture, re-introduction of who you are, and the submission form.
Plug the event before, during, and after
It is key that you advertise where you’re going to be before the event AND while you’re there. Speaking engagements are way more than getting exposure and slapping a logo of speaker recognition on the site. You want to receive long term benefits of having the engagement by blogging and social media posting about the event before, during, and after so that other speaking events see how committed you are to promoting the speaker host, which will go a LONG way towards standing out amongst other speaker inquiries.