Featured Contributor

5 things you need PRIOR to applying for speaking engagements by @KerryHeaps

by Kerry Heaps  | Featured Contributor

Almost every event that you apply to will require the five following items. Any topic that you are an expert on, you should have the following items in place.

A Topic(s) that is eye catching.  The topic of your speech is very important. It’s the first thing most Meeting Planners see in your submission.   Your topic should be catchy, drive home a point and should be applicable in today’s market. If you’re struggling creating a title, start jotting down a few samples on paper. And try replacing some of the words with buzz words or action words. This will get you started on creating a topic that stands out.

A Summary. Your summary is just that, a few sentences or short paragraph describing what you are going to talk about. It’s important to note that your description, should you be chosen to speak, is typically copied verbatim into the marketing materials of the event. Meeting Planners typically will not change anything that you have put in, as you are the expert on this topic. Your description and 3-5 takeaways should match what you teach at the event. Attendees typically will complain if they sign up for a workshop and the instructor teaches everything but what was in the workshop outline. Make sure whatever you put in your description is what you plan on teaching.

3-5 takeaways. Finally, for each topic and description you will need to provide three to five takeaways or learning objectives. What will the Attendees learn by attending your keynote or Workshop? Meeting Planners like to see a specific format, such as:  attendees will learn how to, attendees will walk away knowing how to implement, or attendees will learn the difference between, etc. Have a minimum of three and no more than five takeaways, it’s very rare for a meeting planner to ask for more than five. Make sure the learning objectives that you built into your description match the takeaways.

An updated Bio.  Your bio or Entrepreneurs resume should be kept up-to-date, highlighting your great achievements, you should consistently be adding to it throughout the year. If you haven’t added anything to your bio this year, start looking at potential achievements. For example, if there is an award or contest within your industry that you can apply for and win, compete. If you can get a writing column, or the potential to get featured on a major media outlet, go after it. These are the things that you should be adding to your bio on a consistent basis. Try to review your bio every 6 months, adding new accomplishments and deleting items that are over five years old.

A current head shot.  Finally, your head shot. Meeting Planners want to see an updated head shot, when you walk through the door you should match your photo. Meeting Planners do not like to receive photos that are not recent, as this can cause confusion when you’re being introduced, and you look nothing like the photo in the brochure. I recommend having head shots taken once every 6 to 12 months, it’s an investment in your speaking business.

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