Using Speaking Engagements to Build and Raise Awareness

Scheduling speaking engagements is an effective, yet sometimes overlooked, way of spreading the word about your products, services, or business to prospective clients. Unlike advertising efforts, speeches place a face next to a company and encourage audience interaction. The personal feel of a speaking engagement will win your potential client’s trust in a way that other advertising campaigns cannot replicate.

Speak to the Right Audience
If your current speaking engagements are producing little results, examine the audience you are addressing. Even the most convincing sales pitch will leave the crowd inactive if you aren’t addressing your company’s target customers. Before agreeing to a speaking engagement, compare your potential audience with your company’s ideal customer. If the demographics aren’t lining up, reconsider the event.

Creating Opportunities
So you know who your ideal audience is—don’t wait for its members to contact you; create your own speaking opportunity. Contact relevant local groups and pitch your ideas for speaking engagements. If your company specializes in energy efficiency, look for environmental groups that might appreciate your expertise. You can also organize your own events, opening them to the entire community. Do you run a tutoring service? Offer regular talks about preparing for the SATs, applying for college, or mastering time management.

Call to Action
Although the majority of your speaking engagement should not be advertorial, you can slip in a subtle call to action, usually near the end of your speech. You can also open up the discussion with a question and answer period, encouraging the audience to learn more about you and your services. Don’t let your listeners leave empty-handed—provide each audience member with a reminder of your business. These small tokens don’t need to be expensive; they can range from pens to thermoses with your company name and phone number on it. As the audience begins to gather their belongings and head home, make sure you are approachable for one-on-one talks and more information.

Need some pointers for an upcoming speaking engagement? Our network can provide advice on every step of the process. To learn more about how we can help your marketing efforts, please visit our website.

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