If speaking is one of your must-do goals, then you need to plan now for success.
Whether you want to speak more, get paid to speak, or double your speaking fees having a solid, strategic plan will get you started on the path to achieving your ambitions.
Here’s a start on building your plan for speaking success.
Step 1: Review your previous speaking accomplishments
It’s always good to do a sunset review of how you’re past speaking engagements went.
Ask yourself how many times did you speak in the prior year? How much money did you make from speaking? How many clients have you acquired from speaking?
Did you speak as much as you wanted to last year? Did you speak in front of the right audiences? And finally how well was your speech received?
These answers serve as your baseline for planning your next steps.
Step 2: Answer “how many” and “how much”
Now that you analyzed the year that was, it’s time to look ahead.
Ask yourself these two questions.
Question number 1: how many times do you want to speak in the next year. For me, I know that speaking 15 times last year was a little too much. I would rather be speaking less so my new goal is to only speak 8 times during the year.
Question number 2: how much do you want to be paid to speak? The baseline for answering that question should be the revenue you generated from speaking last year.
I like to develop a percentage of how many paid speaking gigs I expect vs. how many pro bono or fee waived speaking gigs i plan to do. Then multiply how many speaking gigs I want to do by my fee and that is my revenue goal for the next year around speaking.
Step 3: Put resources in place
To make that revenue goal happen, you need to make sure that you have the resources in place to get you there.
You need to know exactly how ready you are to sell your speech so you can get those gigs.
- Is my current speech worthy of $X amount? (If not, hire a pro to turn your speech into a business asset.)
- Do you have systems in place for handling you outreach and requests for speaking? (Or better yet hire a VA to help you)
- Is your speaker marketing buttoned up?
- Do you have a speaking video that showcases the product you deliver?
What do you need to have in place to make that goal happen?
Make a list of resources and start taking action.
Step 4: Develop your target list of speaking gigs & start building relationships
Make a list of places that you would love to speak.
They should be a mixture of places from where you know you have a good chance of selling your speech, all the way up to those places that would be your ultimate.
With that list in hand, start building relationships.
Find out who the conference organizers are. Connect with them on LinkedIN or in groups. Follow them on Twitter. (Better yet create a private Twitter list of all the people you’d like to connect with and check it daily). Share their content. Start conversations on social media with them.
Most importantly, go to the events where you want to speak. Meet the people. Understand the audience. Most speaking gigs come from personal contact not cold calling or emailing. So get out there and go!
Now is the time to make your plan for speaking in the new year. Review the past year, figure out how many gigs you want, put resources in place and start building relationships.
Here’s to your speaking success.
Michelle Mazur, Ph.D. is the CEO of Communication RebelTM, a boutique communication consultancy specializing in the content development of presentations. To steal a lyric from a terrible Bryan Adams song, she firmly believes “Everything you do. You do it for the audience.” Armed with a Ph.D. in Communication, she has helped hundreds of business leaders and entrepreneurs design and deliver presentations from the audience’s point of view. Her speakers have spoken in front of world leaders, First Ladies, and have raised three times the amount of money than expected for charities.
She believes every presentation should leave a lasting impression and the last words of your presentation are the most important real estate in your speech.
She is also author of the Amazon best-selling book, Speak Up for Your Business: Presentation Secrets for Entrepreneurs Ready to Tell, Sell, and Compel and 3 Word Rebellion.
Michelle lives in Seattle with her adoring husband, 2 obsessive felines, and huge collection of Duran Duran memorabilia. You don’t have to fly to Seattle to hang out with Michelle. Come visit her on the blog for all things public speaking, hit her up twitter @drmichellemazur.