Professional speaking is one of the easiest ways to enhance your career. Opportunities abound; no matter how experienced or inexperienced. The more you speak the better you will become. You will establish a reputation as someone knowledgeable in your field and people will contact you for speaking opportunities as a result.
Everyone has to start somewhere. Here are 10 ways learning to be a speaker can enhance your career.
1. When you speak you automatically assume the role of an expert. People are coming to hear what you say, right? That routinely positions you in the role of an expert. The more credentials you add to your “expert” status the more valuable you become.
2. Speakers get high profile visibility. Look to get your name included in programs, brochures, email announcements, agendas and other handouts, press announcements and online posting of conference materials. This is especially important when you are starting out and are not being paid. Ask up front what type of PR they will be doing for the event.
NOTE: Pay attention to important submission deadlines.
3. As a speaker, you get to meet other colleagues and associates. It?s a place where you can chat up your competition without any repercussions. Look to see who’s on the agenda and make sure to meet as many other speakers as you can. Ask them to keep you in mind at other events where they might be speaking.
4. Speaking can open doors to people you want to meet. It?s easy to pick up the phone and ask someone to come to your event or send them an email invitation. Even if they can’t attend it will position you as someone of note. It?s also a great way to follow up with a copy of your name in print as an expert on the program.
5. The media looks for speakers at conferences and events as potential interviews. Make a point of introducing yourself to the media. It gives you an excellent way to follow up for future conversations. Add the media to your master press list and send them announcement any time you are speaking.
Note: Don’t just blast a boring announcement. Spice it up with some clever opening subject line.
6. Speaking enables you to come back with report on other events and activities. Make sure you listen to the other speakers not only as a benchmark to your expertise but to learn something new. If you are an employee, be sure and follow up your presentation with a report to your boss. Send a note to associates on anything you found of interest.
7. Often you can attend other sessions free of charge. Take advantage of this opportunity. Some times conferences are running concurrent tracts. Maximize your time there.
8. As a speaker you get face time with executives that you may not any other way. The higher the level of conference, the higher the level of attendee. You may use this as a vehicle to meet someone you have been trying to track down.
Note: After is better than before. Also use the networking sessions which are commonplace to work the attendees and speakers
9. Recruiters are always on the lookout for high profile candidates. If you are in the market for a job, this is an excellent way to have the best jobs (through a recruiter) seek you out. It showcases your expertise in the best possible way. Don’t be surprised when colleagues call you because they have seen your name showcased in print.
10. Look for an angle to market yourself for free exposure. If there is no money form the engagement, look for other ways to make up for it: a free booth, a place to sell your stuff, additional days at the hotel at the staff rate, discounts for attendees.
Remember, no matter what the opportunity look for the way to spin the exposure to showcase yourself in the best light possible.