Follow these 7 Rules to Get More Results From Public Speaking
Too many professionals complain that they’ve given presentations in the past, but they just don’t “get anything out of it.” So they stop.
Let’s end that tragedy now. Assuming you’re a good speaker and you’ve got valuable content to share, speaking and presenting is one of the best ways to grow your fame factor, spread your message and yes, win business. Fact.
Here are 7 rules to maximize your results each time you speak or give a presentation.
Even better, following these gems creates a snowball effect. Each one by itself can generate a small return on your efforts, but combined, they work magic.
1. Keep in touch
People are busy. You know this, ‘cause you’re busy.
How many times a day do you think to yourself, “That’s such a great idea/product/website/service! I’m definitely going to look into that after I get home/this weekend/when my kids go to college.”
But the next thing you know, your hair’s on fire. It takes everything you’ve got to get through the next 24 hours. And you forget about that awesome idea/product/website/service.
Face it – we have the best intentions, but the worst follow through.
So help your well-intentioned audience members get the additional value you can provide them by staying in touch.
A note of caution:
Make sure that your follow-up mindset is about service, not scoring.
There are some presenters who follow up relentlessly (like sharks.) You can feel their white teeth glistening when you get that email (or worse, phone call) trying to sell you their product or service.
Notice the different in follow up attitudes:
Shark mindset: “I’m going to follow up and get these people to hire me or buy my stuff!”
Service mindset: “I’d love to continue to grow the relationship. If it makes sense, let’s touch base and see if I can help. In the meantime, here’s something cool and useful.”
Getting the digits
Sometimes organizers will share the event registration list with you. If they do, you can send an email or really surprise attendees with a printed-paper-in-the-US-Mail follow up message.
However you make contact, express appreciation to the attendees for giving you the gift of their time and attention. You might recap the main points of your talk or presentation. And then give them something.
Sometimes event organizers do not share the registration list with you. In those instances, you have to find a way to gather that contact information yourself.
How? Ask the audience members to give you their name and email address. Offer a gift as an enticement and to show your appreciation.
(To those of you getting slightly sweaty, thinking about all the work involved in creating a stellar giveaway, please take it down a notch. I’ve got some counterintuitive advice that makes it totally doable. )
The freebies or gifts that get people panting to add their name to a list are not huge, elaborate multi-part video series shot with two cameras, lights and sound. It’s not the 275-page book that you spent three years of your life crafting.
The freebies people love the most are the simple, easy to implement and solve a problem they have.
It could be a checklist.
A list of resources you use in your work.
An exercise they can do independently that will get them A Desired Result. You do you.
2. Connect on LinkedIn
And maybe Facebook, too, if that’s appropriate.
Your goal is to become part of their world, so that you can continue to build a relationship.
3. Ask for a testimonial
Don’t wait for the reviews to roll in, ask for them! Follow up with event organizers and attendees and ask them to give you a testimonial about your talk.
Then, be sure to:
- Add it to your website, especially in the speaking section.
- Add it to a flier or one-sheet about your speaking topic.
- Post it on your LinkedIn profile.
4. Upload slides to Slideshare and share the link
If you use slides in your presentations, upload them to Slideshare. Send a link to the slides to everyone who attended.
Also, send a link to the organization that hosted your event for their members. Organizations love having value added material to share with their membership.
You can also:
- Embed the slides on your website or blog.
- Embed them on your LinkedIn profile.
If you’re concerned that posting your slides gives away your “secret sauce” and that no one will want to see you present live, darlin’, I have four words for you:
You’re doing it wrong.
Your slides should never replace your speaking. The audience is there to have an experience. An experience facilitated by you.
Not to read slides.
(Or quelle horreur, to sit in the audience while you read slides.) Ain’t nobody got time for that.
Slides should enhance and spark interest in your presentation. They are not your presentation.
5. Rework your presentation into a blog post
Get more mileage from your presentation by turning it into a blog post or a series. Write your main points and include attendee’s biggest takeaways.
(Bonus: this gives you another opportunity to subtly let people know that you’re available for speaking.)
6. Ask for more speaking opportunities
Turn one speaking gig into several by asking organizers and attendees to let you know about other organizations that could benefit from your information.
One of my favorite small business advisors uses a form at her presentations. The form includes three business-building elements:
- A checkbox to join her email newsletter list.
- A space to write a testimonial about her presentation.
- An invitation to suggest the names of other organizations that might benefit from her topics.
It’s smart to make your ask right after you’ve delivered value to the audience, rather than as part of your follow up. You’ll get much better results when you’re top of mind.
7. Make an offer.
When’s the absolute best time to let people know that they can hire you, buy your book or get a sweet deal on a program you offer?
When you’ve just rocked their world.
People are most excited about doing business with you when they are still in the afterglow. Don’t wait until life gets in the way!
Your Fame Boosting Assignment:
The next time that you book a presentation, speech or talk, review these rules. And put your game plan in place to execute them. You’re on your way, superstar. [Cue the fan-girl tears and lighter cell phone wave.]
Lori, you totally get my Hero Of The Day Award for this post.
In two weeks, I’m presenting a break-out session at the annual EntreFest conference in Iowa City. They’re expecting nearly 1000 attendees, and Seth Godin is THE keynoter, so this is a great opportunity for me. I’m going to print out your post and make notes that specifically apply to me and this particular speaking engagement.
Thanks for helping me kick speaking butt!
These are some GREAT ideas about how to connect with people after a speaking event. Especially love how you point out it doesn’t have to be a huge elaborate things – just something really useful.
Seven great tips, especially #5 reworking presentation into a blog post – what a good idea. Thank you!
Lori, you are amazingly helpful with all your posts. Thank you. I particularly appreciate the distinction in mindset when following up. I am terrible at keeping in touch with people. It is a skill i’ve never really mastered and still hope to learn.