marketing is about brains over brawn. Guerrillas use energy, ingenuity, and
effort—rather than big bucks—to win. And no matter what business you’re in,
public speaking is one of the most potent guerrilla marketing tactics.
The demands of
speaking are substantial, but so are the potential rewards. Research shows
that, in selling, a demonstration is 50% more effective than the most
glowing testimonial. A speech demonstrates what you and your business can
do. It also lets your audience see first hand how you think and work.
leading a seminar or delivering a keynote address, you have the rare chance
to meet people who want to learn about you and what you have to say.
And you don’t have to find them—they come to you.
many business people fail to capitalize on the real marketing potential of
public speaking. They go to an event, present their speech and ride off onto
the sunset. To reap the full benefits of speaking, the guerrilla manages a
speech, not as an event, but as a marketing process.
Of course, you
must hone your public speaking skills before you jump in with both feet. But
being a great speaker is just one piece of the puzzle. To ensure that a
speech delivers a marketing ROI, keep these five tips in mind.
Marketing Process from Beginning to End
It could be
months from the moment you identify an opportunity to speak until you finish
the event. Use all of that time to solidify your presentation and
build relationships that will turn your speech into a worthwhile marketing
been hired to speak, meet with the event planners, including the host
organization’s executives and the event staff. Usually, they know who will
be in the audience and what the audience wants. Test your ideas on them and
ask for their insights on how to customize your presentation. This is a
chance to meet the event planners when they are most receptive. After all,
it’s in their best interests to help you deliver a great speech.
network as you polish your speech. Interview other experts in the field,
including those in academia. Also try to meet with your clients’ customers.
Discuss their problems and elicit their opinions. That will produce richer
and more perceptive information, including first-hand experiences, on-point
stories and real-life solutions.
input will forge new relationships and strengthen existing ones. By asking
others to pitch in with your speech preparation, you’re likely to boost your
visibility in your industry.
Landing a Speech
The word is
out. The advantages of public speaking are no longer secret and the
competition is fierce. Thousands of wannabe speakers are now vying for a
limited number of slots, and many are accomplished performers who put on
highly entertaining shows.
Industry associations, corporations and non-profit organizations regularly
need speakers. Check Web sites for events and look for directories with
information on groups. For example, the Directory of Associations, which is
published by the Concept Marketing Group, provides information on over
Organizations frequently issue requests on their Web sites for proposals (RFPs)
from speakers. They will be looking for speakers on various subjects, and
will ask you to submit your biography and a brief summary of your speech.
While you’re looking for RFPs on Web sites, also check schedules of upcoming
events for other opportunities.
remain the best way for you to get speaking engagements, especially
recommendations from people who have heard you speak. Therefore, it’s vital
to build a network of people who will recommend you as a speaker to their