How Do I Set Up Speaking Engagements?

Invite the press to your speaking event
Invite the press to your speaking event (Image: Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images)

Setting up speaking engagements is an effective way to bring about business or brand awareness for your company or practice. Whether you're an author, consultant, fitness professional or CEO, you can use speaking engagements to pitch new products or build a reputation with your target audience or customers. You may need to start with small, local events, but over time it's possible to fill up a large venue and even charge people for admission to your speaking events.

Research community organizations, schools, conferences or expositions that may have speaking opportunities. You might do a speaking engagement at a conference where there are other speakers, or you might do one at a community organization and promote the event yourself. For example, if you are a fitness professional, you might be able to host an event at a local gym. Find any opportunities you can, regardless of how big or small they are. Make a list of those you'd like to target.

Find the contact information for the person managing the event. Usually, it is best to contact people who work in the community relations or marketing department first. If you can't find the right contact, call the organization directly. Someone should be able to put you in touch with the right individual.

Reach out via email or phone to the organizations on your list. Have a short pitch prepared about your business or practice. Explain why you think you'd be a good fit or why the organization's members or customers might benefit from your expertise.

Commit to a date if opportunities are available. Follow up with your contact and fill out any paperwork necessary. Often, a missed deadline or form can cause you to lose your spot or delay the speaking engagement. Work out details such as seating, set-up or microphone usage.

Ask if you can do set-up the night or day before the event. The room or space might be available ahead of time, and a practice event can help you see what issues or hiccups need to be addressed before the actual speaking engagement takes place.

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