»It becomes critical that you’re diligent about collecting business cards,
keeping track of what you offer, following up with the people you meet, and
making sure you honor all of the promises you toss out at networking events.
BOOKING BUREAU BUSINESS
Speaking more also works if you
want to get booked by bureaus. The
common anecdote is that bureaus
won’t book you until you don’t need
them. That is, they won’t have an
interest in what you’re doing until
their clients start asking for you. But
there’s another way to get to bureaus—
get recommended by the speakers they
Speaking more means other speakers will see you, too. Mark Sanborn,
CSP, CPAE, explained at the 2011
NSA Keynote Lab that the bureaus he
works with often ask him to suggest
speakers. He is protective of his bureau
relationships, so he’s careful about
his recommendations. But when he
sees a great speaker on the circuit, he
feels he’s doing his bureaus a favor by
passing the name along.
» Partner with successful local speakers
to do an opening act for them.
» Speak at local colleges, community
groups, churches and synagogues.
Besides generating exposure, speaking more also gives you more stage
time. As Malcolm Gladwell wrote
in Outliers, true mastery only comes
after 10,000 hours of concerted
effort. How much time have you
spent giving your talk?
Speaking more by speaking more
doesn’t work if you squander opportunities. Because your audience is
enamored with you (thanks to your
great speech), they will be that much
more appreciative when you follow
up. They’ll also be that much more disappointed if you don’t do what you
promise. Therefore, it becomes critical that you’re diligent about collecting
business cards, keeping track of what
you offer, following up with the people
you meet, and making sure you honor
all of the promises you toss out at networking events. If you tell someone
you’re going to send a copy of your
audio book, do it. If you promise to
e-mail the opinion paper you wrote on
their industry, do that, too. Even if you
only shake hands and stick their business card in your pocket, they deserve
a personal thank-you letter.
Once you’ve been considered for a
gig, you can speak more by scheduling
a conference call with your poten-
tial clients before they book you. Let
the executive director and confer-
ence manager know they’ll be in good
hands if they hire you. This strategy
has proven so successful that we ask
our speakers bureaus to arrange con-
ferences whenever they’re considering
us for a particular gig. When we talk to
potential clients, we’re more likely to
hear what they need, and we can tailor
our presentation to match those needs.
We’re able to provide details on any
relevant business or experience we’ve
had that could convince the client and
close the sale.
Comedian and actor Steve Martin
says that becoming a millionaire is
simple. All you have to do is start with
a million dollars. Becoming a successful speaker is simple, too. All you have
to do is speak.
Bruce Turkel has worked with Nike, Discovery Channel, Baptist Health, HBO, MetCare, and Miami. He has spoken at MIT,
Harvard, and hundreds of conferences, has
been on NPR, FOX and CNN and
featured in Fast Company, The New York
Times and Communications Arts. He has
published three books on advertising,
including his latest, Building Brand Value.
MAKE THINGS HAPPEN
If you’re a beginning speaker still
looking for your chance to get up in
front of people, you can still speak
more by speaking more. Get aggressive about finding chances to speak
wherever you can, and lower your fee
when necessary so you don’t miss your
chance to get on the lectern. You can:
» Offer to speak for charity fundrais-ers, especially if they cater to the
industry in which you are an expert.