How to ensure meeting planners and executives love you!
Whether it's free or paying them a fee, speakers must understand that anyone selecting them to speak is making a high stakes decision.
Their decision represents them and their organization just as much as the speaker and their speech!
Moreover, speaker selection is not only a rigorous process for the speaker but also for the person(s) selecting the speaker. They very likely have many options to consider.
Most of the meeting organizers, conference planners, bureaus and executives I have worked with have admitted to me they have made mistakes selecting speakers in the past.
I know this because it's a question I ask in my pre-event questionnaire:
"Thinking about some of the speakers you have brought in for this event in the past, what was it about them or their presentation that could have been better?"
Wow, the answers I read are all over the board. Some are good ... some are painful.
And this question is just one of several questions in my pre-event questionnaire that has been a gamechanger in my speaking business. If you have access to The Vault, then you have access to my questionnaire.
So speaker tip #1 to help ensure meeting planners and organizers love you as a speaker is to provide them with a questionnaire. Their answers are the direction and focus for you as the speaker to deliver on. Their feedback and insights are exactly how you should tailor your speech content.
And from my experience, they love the fact a speaker cares enough to want to tailor their content accordingly.
So before you even deliver your speech, they love you for having a questionnaire.
Speaker tip #2 is follow a phone script when speaking to them from the very beginning. It'll help ensure you cover all the bases and get selected as the speaker and prepare accordingly.
I've found that a lot of speakers do not ask the right questions. As a result, they do not have the right answers. Their speech suffers as a result.
If you have a copy of PAID to $PEAK, then you have access to my phone script in the private website that I reference throughout the book where I post examples and templates of what's referenced.
(See inside the the book for the passcode ... I don't just give this out.)
Speaker tip #3 is offer yourself to speak with any executives or others on the planning and/or leadership team prior to the event. Most speakers do not do this and it baffles me. Similar to the questionnaire, their insights are how you tailor your content. Plus, it shows them you care.
I have a final call the week prior to the event - I call this a simple "Touchpoint Call" that addresses any loose ends or final logistics that need to be tightened up. Sometimes we can handle it via email but I always offer speaking with them. This is Speaker tip #4 ... offer a final Touchpoint Call.
Speaker tip #5 is show up early and stay late. Whether your speech is in-person or remote, watch other speakers before you. I guarantee you'll not only learn a few things last minute, but you'll also glean an energy vibe and audience tone you would not have otherwise.
Again, showing up early is something most speakers do not do and it baffles me. They miss out on hearing words or phrases that they can incorporate in their own speech as well. When an audience or the meeting planner knows you've been there since the start of the meeting or event, they'll appreciate and love you for it. Again, your presence shows you care, even though you're actually there to help with final, final prep in the moment.
This is one reason I don't book any in-person travel until 2-3 weeks out of any event. Sometimes I just don't have my schedule confirmed until then. My goal is always to arrive early and stay late ... 2-3 weeks out I generally know how/when to book my travel.
Speaker tip #6 is don't be high maintenance. Don't show up with any surprises or requests that were not already discussed and agreed upon. I see this mistake with speakers all the time. Regardless of how great the speech is, a high maintenance speaker will very likely never be hired again.
How do you know if you're high maintenance? Hhmmmm ...
When I worked on college campuses and booked several speakers every semester, I'll never forget THE GREATEST speaker I ever hired was also the most high maintenance. I never hired them again. They showed up just 30 minutes prior to the event, had all sorts of surprise requests that were last minute and even asked for the check before the speech.
We took them out for dinner after an incredible speech and they sent their meal back complaining. There were several other mistakes they made; but point is, regardless of how great their speech was, I never hired them again ... I also did not refer them to anyone either.
Speaker tip #7 is deliver a damn good talk ... this should be obvious. No further explanation needed. Deliver your talk the way you told them you would and described it.
Speaker tip #8 is provide more than what you promised. For example, even if they only purchase option #1 in my speaking proposal which does not include any books, I always bring 20-30 books with me to give away during my presentation to volunteers.
Again, see my private website for book readers/listeners for samples of my speaking proposals and contracts. https://www.paidtospeak.biz/worksheets
Me gifting books to audience participants is not only an interactive strategy, it's a gesture that meeting planners love ... then afterwards, I stay for a book signing and autograph any books. Audiences love it and so do meeting planners and executives ... because they didn't expect it.
The same goes for when I provide them with my slide deck, allowing videography or staying later after my speech. They didn't expect me providing it or encouraging them to take advantage of it.
Speaker tip #9 is follow up first. Send the person(s) who hired you a thank you before they even think about thanking you. This is also a great way to collect testimonials because how they respond to you likely will become one! You must give to get.
I have an entire "follow up" process in addition to my "preparation" process that ensures their last memory of me is nothing but grateful and positive - see inside Module 5 of PAID to $PEAK for several ideas.
Speaker tip #10 is send a hand written thank you card ... immediately. This goes far.
Hope 10 tips are enough ... could easily write another 50. But 10 is sufficient for now.
It's not what we know; rather, it's what we apply. To your speaking success!!
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I've been honored to present for over 1,000,000 people through 1,150+ audiences in all 50 states and several countries. Whether I'm on a stage or in a training room with professionals or students, I absolutely LOVE motivating and inspiring people for higher performance. And in addition to my own speaking business, I have a passion for helping and coaching speakers learn how to catapult their speaking whether part-time or full-time. My book, PAID to SPEAK, outlines a proven model for speakers and is now an online course as well! Click here for online course info!
If you are serious about becoming a professional speaker, explore my coaching and mentorship options. I don't want you to flounder like I did and be frustrated.