By sticking around the event, you may get a chance to
have a longer conversation with the meeting organizer.
While he or she is usually busy throughout the whole
event, if you’re visible at happy hour, coffee breaks, or a
meal, the two of you could have a chance to chat in detail
about your impact on their conference.
Hanging around with the audience can also lead to
more referrals from attendees. People like to refer those
they know, like, and trust. But they can’t really get all of
that from watching your presentation. If you’re the best
speaker they have ever seen in their lifetime, then your
speech alone may be enough. But, otherwise, having a personal chat can get people comfortable to the level where
they will tell others about you.
Many conference attendees like to meet the speakers,
but won’t rush the stage once you are done. If you’re present at lunch or happy hour, that gives them access.
Hanging out in the hotel bar the night after you speak
can be networking gold. People will come up and chat, and
the conversation goes much deeper than “great speech.”
This is a good opportunity to have meaningful conversations with people who are interested in learning more about
your speaking business. They may bring you into their company or tell another meeting planner about your content.
Be Part of the
Some speakers are at the airport within an hour of finishing their presentation. While this makes ense for celebrity speakers, others who talk and
run might be leaving money on the table.
The speaking business, as with many industries, is
a business of relationships and referrals. The more you
network with people, the better chance you have of getting
invited back the next year or finding spin-off business.
But what is networking? The word “networking” has a
bad reputation. Many speakers hate the term, and do not
see value in schmoozing clients or audience members. But
for networking to work, it’s never about self-promotion.
Successful networking is simply the creation of long-term
and mutually beneficial relationships where all people
involved find more business opportunities. That’s why
networking is never only about selling yourself. It requires
finding ways to help others.
MAKE YOURSELF ACCESSIBLE
Spending time around a conference before and after your
speech provides valuable opportunities to talk with people
and see how you can be of service beyond your presentation.
When you do this in the right manner, people are far more
likely to recommend you to another event.
NETWORKING TIPS FOR SPEAKERS
BY THOM SINGER, CSP