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How To Become A Speaker & Grow Your Business


🌱 Do you want to grow your business?

🗣️ Would you like to learn how to grow your business via speaking on stage?

🎯 Speaking on stage can be incredibly scary at first (I was petrified when I started). But, with practice, it is one of the most powerful tools you can use to drive leads and sales for your business. Anyone can do it, even you!

In this article, I’ll firstly break down how speaking will benefit your business and then show you how to become a speaker to help grow your business (from my experience as an international speaker).

How To Become A Speaker and Grow Your Business

 

How will speaking on stage benefit your business?

The #1 benefit to speaking is that it will drive leads and sales for your business (when done right). I’m proof of that, Chris Ducker is proof of that and many more (just ask Google)…

For the record, I hate it when people sell anything on stage. I quiver inside. It gives me a bad taste in my mouth.  The secret to selling on stage is not to sell, but to impress and intrigue.

When you impress enough, audience members will capproach you wanting to work with you. This is how you can grow your business via speaking.

Speaking on stage has a raft of other benefits for you and your business including;

 It drives brand awareness

 It positions you as an industry expert

 It increases your credibility

 It gives you a huge buzz

 It gives you respect from others

 It gives you a sense of achievement

 It provides content to share online

 It increases your number of loyal fans

 It drives more traffic to your website

 It can directly provide income (I wouldn’t advise you to try and become a paid speaker as your primary job. Even the most prestigious events don’t always pay speakers).

 

How To Become A Speaker

Right now, the thought of speaking in front of people on stage probably makes you feel sick (it did for me when I started out).

The thought of making a mistake on stage. What if someone asks you a question you can’t answer? What if your mind goes blank? What if people aren’t interested in what you’re saying?

These were all fears I had when starting out, I feel you! But now, I step on stage and I friggin love it! Trust me, with a bit of hard work and patience, you will too.

 

Step #1 Consume educational content

Before jumping on stage, you need to set yourself up for success. The way you do that is to become a sponge. Soak up as much educational content as possible.

Here are some of my favourites.

Books and Audiobooks

Personally, I love listening to audiobooks on Audible as you can multi task whilst consuming them. If you’re a book worm, you can find these as hard copies too.

Ted Talks: The Official TED Guide to Public Speaking | BookAudioBook

How To Win Friends and Influence People | BookAudioBook

Talk Like TED: The 9 Public Speaking Secrets of The World’s Top Minds | BookAudioBook

Videos

One of the best ways to learn how to become an incredible speaker is to watch and learn from other incredible speakers on stage.

The video below made me roar with laughter when I first watched it. It’s a bit of fun but it mocks a common structure speakers use on stage.

From watching this, I learnt that it’s so important to be you, be unique and don’t just copy what others do, learn from them but develop your own style.

How to sound smart in your TEDx Talk | Will Stephen | TEDxNewYork

This video is fun, informative and super useful when it comes to building your confidence.

Be a More Confident Public Speaker

This analysis is a great way of learning how speakers can execute specific best practice tactics via a real life example.

6 Public Speaking Tips To Hook Any Audience
Articles

Here are 4 of my favourite public speaking articles that you MUST read;

7 brilliant ways to start any presentation – Business Insider

My Top Tips for Public Speaking (Richard Branson) – Virgin

13 Public Speaking Pros Share Their Best Tips and Horror Stories – Shopify

6 Ways to Look More Confident During a Presentation – Harvard Business Review

Another great way to find the best articles about public speaking is to use Buzzsumo.

 

Step #2 Develop your own public speaking topics

It may seem early on to be developing your own public speaking topics, but this will get you in the right frame of mind when looking to land your first speaking engagement.

You’re setting yourself up for success if you show others that you have interesting things to speak about before you even try and land a speaking slot.

The best way to develop topic ideas is to reverse engineer them based on your audience’s problems, interests and needs.

Use the steps below to come up with interesting topics;

STEP 1 Write down your target audience’s 10 biggest problems.

e.g. If you are a florist, one problem could be not knowing how to effectively look after flowers.

STEP 2 Draft solutions to these problems. These solutions have to be super useful. You probably know these solutions anyway because you overcome them on a day to day basis.

e.g. You could come up with 5 useful ways to look after flowers which not many people know about.

Writing these solutions down will help imprint them in your mind. When you talk to people, these solutions will come out more naturally.

PRO TIP: I’ve found that writing a regular weekly blog, which shows our audience how to overcome their problems, helps us come up with new public speaking topics very easily. This also helps me to reel off valuable answers to complex questions very easily in public as I’ve already got the answers in my head.

 

Step #3 Land your first small speaking engagement

One of the best ways to land your first small speaking engagement is to join your local Chamber of Commerce. These organisations run regular, small networking events and are always looking for interesting speakers to fill a 20 minute slot.

Follow these steps to join and land your first small speaking engagement with your local Chamber of Commerce;

Step 1 Google search “[enter your location] Chamber of Commerce”.

Step 2 Go to their events tab and book onto a few free/ low cost events.

Step 3 Whilst at the events, start to build a relationship with the organisers, attendees and speakers (this will take time).

Step 4 After attending 3+ events and forming the basis of a relationship with the event organiser, ask them what you need to do to speak at one of their events. Pitch one of your problem solving ideas for a talk to them. Show your passion and communicate how you will make the event better than any others they have run and why the audience will love it.

Step 5 You could well fail first time, but when you land your first speaking engagement make sure you practice and gain feedback before you step on stage.

 

These events may not attract your ideal audience, but at this stage, you are primarily looking to gain experience and build your confidence.

Here’s some more channels you could use to land your first small speaking engagement;

👍 Your old school or university

👍 Business networking groups

👍 Meetup.com

👍 Lanyrd

 

Step #4 Get feedback and repeat steps 1, 2 & 3

This step is skipped out by so many people, but it’s incredibly important and very simple to execute.

Take someone you know well enough to tell you the truth, even if it hurts.

Ask them if you did anything weird on stage, ask them the worst bits of the talk and why, ask them about the best bits. Ask them what the audience said about them. Ask them how you can improve. Ask them every possible question you can ask to help you learn and improve.

Also, get them to film you on their smartphone. This will help them point out specific bits of feedback.

And repeat…

Doing one small speaking engagement isn’t going to get you very far; you need to do as many as possible before you can land a bigger one. After 10 small speaking engagements, you’ll be amazed at how far you’ve come.

 

Step #5 Create & promote content related to you speaking

To land bigger speaking engagements, you need to not only communicate to the outside world that you are an industry speaker, but show them you rocking it on stage.

One of the best ways to reach a ton of people is to use this wicked tool called the internet (lol).

But seriously, there’s loads you can do, here are some ideas and examples;

Promote videos of you speaking on social media

I still love Chris Ducker’s video, it’s fancy, but really cool.

You don’t have to be as fancy though, Lloyd created the video below from videos and photos I shot with my Smartphone when I spoke at Social Media Summit Ireland.

Storytelling with Social Media (Big changes!) - Social Media Summit Ireland

Here’s a guide you may find handy which shows you How To Create Epic Social Media Videos on Your Smartphone.

Promote images of you speaking on social media

One thing I’ve loved doing this year is creating cool images of me speaking on stage combined with a large chunk of copy sharing an inspiring/ useful message or tip as shown below.

I create these images with some AMAZING tools on my smartphone which you can learn about in our How To Create Epic Images On Your Smartphone That Get You Noticed guide.

We’ve also shared how these images can be used to Maximise Views and Engagement on LinkedIn.

Write a blog about events you’ve spoken at

Rounding up cool videos, photos, GIFs and more in a blog is a great way of showing the cool events you’ve spoken at.

In addition, this helps build stronger relationships with event organisers as you are going over and above to help them promote the event.

Check out some examples below;

Social Day Birmingham 2017

Social Media Summit Ireland 2017

Get Social Kent 2016

Live stream yourself speaking at an event

Live streaming part of your talk to give people a taster is a great way to show people what you’re made of. Well known growth hacker Vin Clancy is great at doing this, as shown below.

 

Do be careful though, some events don’t allow live streaming of speakers at their events (which is kind of understandable if it is a paid event).

Talk about your speaking engagements on a Podcast

Before talking about your speaking engagements on a Podcast, you need to know how to land a podcast interview in the first place. The two articles below are super handy for that;

7 Tips for Getting Interviewed on Top Podcasts in Your Industry

The Ultimate Guide to Pitching Podcasts (And Being Featured)

Once your on the podcast, wait for a suitable question which leads nicely onto you talking about your speaking engagements.

I did this when I was on Chris Ducker’s Podcast (teaser below).

Chris Ducker Podcast with Dan Knowlton - Understanding the Power of Digital Storytelling

 

Step #6 Build relationships at industry events

If you’ve executed steps 1 – 4 well, you’re now well on your way to landing yourself a bigger speaking engagement.

The next step you need to take is to go to events you’d like to speak at in your industry and start building relationships with the event organisers as well as other speakers and delegates.

This is all working towards you connecting with the kinds of people who will help you land your next big opportunity.

 

Step #7 Land a bigger speaking engagement

You’re ready, but how do you land your next big speaking engagement?

You go out and get it! You need to be proactive.

Carlos Gil and Chris Kubby share some incredibly useful tips around how to get bigger speaking engagements (start at 13:05 of this video).

 

Step #8 Repeat steps 4, 5 & 6

Following these 7 steps once will not make you the world’s best speaker. It will not help you grow your business as much as you want it to grow.

You need to do this stuff consistently!

I’m still growing and learning, people that have been doing this for 20 years are still growing and learning.

Consistency is king my friends, keep at it and you will gain leads and clients via blowing people away with your speaking on stage.

Have any further questions, comments or tips to add to the table? Comment below.

Daniel Knowlton
Daniel Knowlton
Dan is the award winning Co-founder of KPS Digital Marketing who was named #12 Most Influential Digital Marketer on Twitter in the world in 2016 by Onalytica. Dan is a contributor for a variety of key marketing publications including Social Media Examiner, Content Marketing Institute and Jeff Bullas’ Blog. He is also a keen speaker and has spoken at events internationally for a variety of organisations including NatWest and The Royal institute of Chartered Surveyors. Dan has a passion for helping others learn how to get to grips with Digital Marketing and is obsessed with providing value for his community.