I’ve preached a fair bit about the business-building value that speaking has for your business. It positions you as an expert and gives crowds of people a tantalizing preview of what it would be like to work with you. As as speaker, you’re treated like a celebrity by the event attendees, who’ll seek you out.

But what if you aren’t in the front of the room? What if you’re just one of the people sitting in the audience, squirming in your hard-backed chair? No worries, you can still build your brand and business fame, even when someone else is the speaker.

Ask a question.

But add a little something extra.

During the Q & A portion of the event, you can create a mini-commercial for you and your business by asking a smart, thoughtful question. (Be genuine, friendly and confident when you ask – your fellow attendees will be able to spot a slimy, hollow attempt at self-promotion.)

  • Stand tall.
  • Make eye contact with the speaker and one or two people around you. State your name, your business and what you do (in 10 words or less. Slime-free.)
  • If it’s genuine and concise, compliment the speaker on a specific piece of information, idea, or the delivery.
  • Then, ask your great question.

After the session, many attendees will crowd around the speaker, but a few will approach you because you’ve been “introduced” in a public forum.

Take action:

At the very next event you attend, come up with several thoughtful questions that you can ask the speaker. Done right, you’ll be in the spotlight, even when someone else is on stage.



  1. Luana on March 5, 2012 at 6:39 am

    I’ve found meeting planners often don’t know what they want and I end up talking them into a specific kind of speaker, not necessarily me but someone to meet their event’s purpose.

  2. BizSugar.com on June 11, 2014 at 12:54 pm

    Build Your Visibility, Even When Someone Else is on Stage

    You can still build your brand and business fame, even when someone else is the speaker. Here’s how.

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