WASHINGTON, D.C. — If you want to grow your business and reach a lot of people quickly, consider developing your skills as a professional speaker. As a featured speaker, you receive instant credibility and establish yourself as an expert in your field. Stephanie Chandler, author of several business books and founder of BusinessInfoGuide.com, offers 10 tips for breaking into the speaking circuit:
1. Write a brief and interesting description of your presentation and what attendees will learn.
2. Contact local trade associations that reach your target audience and let them know that you are available to speak. Also, consider soliciting a partner in a related field to help you.
3. Pack your presentation with useful information. Do not make it a sales pitch for your business! If the audience likes what you have to say, they will want to learn more about you and your business.
4. Your presentation doesn't need to be formal. Write an outline for your own reference and keep it with you while presenting so you stay on track.
5. Engage the audience by asking questions and soliciting their participation.
6. Use props for visual interest.
7. Give attendees something to keep such as a single page hand-out with tips or a booklet. Be sure to include your company’s contact information.
8. Respect the time allotted. It’s better to finish early than late — then you can open the floor for questions.
9. Wrap up with a brief pitch for your business and let them know you'll be available for questions after the presentation.
10. Send the event coordinator a thank you note!
Source: National Federation of Independent Businesses