In this video, I share:

  • How to empower friends or colleagues so they can introduce you to people they know who run events
  • Ways to approach event organizers to make a meaningful connection that might lead to a speaking opportunity
  • Why you don’t want to hand an event host that you’ve never met a brochure upon first meeting (I may have made this mistake at one point… )
  • The numbers game approach that has been successful for some of my clients (this is one you can do regularly along with other outreach approaches to increase your chances)

Adapted transcript of video:

Hi there. Michelle Barry Franco here.

We are continuing on the theme of how to get great speaking gigs. Today we're going talk about how to get the attention of meeting organizers – these very busy people who are regularly approached about speaking. How do you let them know that you are actually a really great choice for their next speaking opportunity? This is assuming, of course, you've already gone through what I talked about last week – Is this a really great speaking gig? Is this a good opportunity for you? So, once you decide “yes, it is!” then how do you get the attention of these meeting organizers?

We're going to talk about three ways that you can get the attention of a meeting organizer.

#1 – Like all great new opportunities, you may personally know someone who is a meeting organizer and they have already have gone through a filtering process. “I know who you are. I know what your message is. I like the way you communicate or maybe they've already seen you speak.” Awesome. Ask those people directly. They already have the example. You can then make a really good case for how you will serve their audience well.

It could also be someone who you know who knows the meeting organizer. Do you know anyone who knows people at this event? Ask that person to introduce you. Be sure you empower that person with a clear message you know will serve the audience at this event – a quick summary that is customized for that audience so the person who's introducing you can introduce you in a way that is really compelling and exciting for the person they are connecting you with.

Be sure to let all your friends know that you're speaking. We think our friends know what's going on in our lives, but they're super busy with their own lives, right? If speaking has become a really important part of your work, make sure your friends know. You might just say, “Hey, I'm trying to do as much speaking as I can this year. It's a thing I'm really working on or it's a way I really want to serve, so if you see or know of any opportunities, will you let me know about them?” That way your friends are all out there looking for these opportunities right along with you.

#2 – Meet the meeting organizer, or someone associated with the people putting on the event at an event that you love, and just go up and compliment them.

Of course, I'm assuming this will be a genuine compliment otherwise why would you want to be speaking there? Approach the organizer, or other people on the team, and tell them what an awesome time you had at the event and offer to serve in some way. You probably don't want to walk straight up and say, “Hey. I'd love to speak at this event next year” unless you have the credibility to support that, where they already know your name and they know your message and they'd be like, wow that's so awesome, hooray. I did this once by the way many years ago. I walked up to a meeting organizer at this awesome event and said, “I would love to speak here. Here's my brochure.” That tells you how long ago it was. I had a brochure. I have to tell you these stories because I have learned a lot over the many years, the 10 years I've been doing this.  You don't want to do that. She literally looked at me like, “Okay. Thanks.”

I do recommend to meet the organizer, give them a compliment about the event, and ask how you can serve in some way at this event so that you can get connected with the group. Let them get to know you. After you get to know them better over time, and when the time is right and you've made a good connection, you can offer to speak.

#3 – Offer to speak directly through the event website. There is usually a call for speakers link down at the bottom of their website that will lead you to a guidelines page about how to submit to be a speaker. Do that. This option is if you don't have any other way to make the connection. #1 and #2 are better, but if you don't have any other way, then go through that link and submit. Do that with many events because it becomes somewhat of a numbers game and one or more of them will come through.

I have clients who do all of these and get some awesome speaking opportunities, even from the cold outreaches. So those are three ways that you can get the attention of meeting organizers so you can get great speaking events. I'll see you next week.