In this post, I share 5 things every speaker should know (so you are prepared and do not mess up great opportunities. I should know, right? I have hosted several conferences for many years. Some of my conferences include iEmancipateMe, Authorized and Qualified, Career Upgrade Summit. I have also spoken at events, webinars, and virtual summits.
1. Get a professional headshot.
I can’t even tell you the number of times I have seen selfies, pictures taken in the car or bathroom sent as “headshots.” You have to prepare to receive and invest in your elevation. One of my coaching programs is called Value Your Brilliance.
Part of valuing who you are and what you offer includes giving your best shot.
You have to learn to bring your A game and not allow poor visibility strategies hinder your progress.
2. Have your speaker bio ready.
Get a short bio and a long one ready. You can customize these so that the target audience for the event can relate and be interested in what you will speak about. Conference organizers do not like chasing after speakers for bios. Be prepared to show that you are serious. If there is a deadline to send your bio, do it.
3. Practice and prepare for your speech.
The conference organizers reached out to you as a speaker because they saw something in you that would benefit their audience. Put in the work. Give your best presentation even if it is an audience of 10. Do it as if it is an audience of 1,000.
You cannot give a mediocre experience. Let those presentation slides pop with solutions!
You are invited to give an impactful experience. People should leave the event transformed because of what you have taught or spoken about. Use stories. People relate through stories especially when they can see that you have gone through some struggles and victories.
4. Hey Speaker! Every conference is not for you.
Understand the mission and vision of the event. If it does not align with your message or personal brand, or you can’t provide the solution the audience needs, then politely say no and keep it moving. Don’t waste anyone’s time or try to wing it.
You are invited because your words bring solutions.
5. Be humble on and off that virtual or in-person stage.
Because you are a speaker does not mean you should be arrogant. I have been to several events as an attendee and connected with speakers. Some were approachable, some were not. As a conference host, my team and I observe speaker behavior. Our audience matters to us and we want to deliver with excellence.
Dear speaker, the person who approaches you as an attendee may just be the host (or decision maker, organizer, main point of contact) of the conference you have been wishing to speak at!
Once upon a time, I attended an event and one of the speakers was so impactful that I approached her after the conference. She was amazing, even invited me to her own upcoming conference in Washington DC (I live in New York), gave me a complimentary admission ticket and was so gracious!
I was impressed by her actions that I hopped on the 3.5 hours train from New York Penn station to Washington DC, stayed overnight at a hotel and attended her powerful conference. A few months later, she was a featured speaker at my conference in Maryland.
Additional Lessons Speakers Should Not Forget:
- Be nice to people because the key to your next elevation level could just be sitting next to you or an attendee of the event where you are a speaker. You are one connection away from elevating your destiny. Some event attendees have become my very good friends, prayer and destiny partners.
- Be intentional about your connections and invest in your elevation.
- Give an impactful experience and conference hosts and audience will refer you!
Belinda is a Global Privacy and Cybersecurity Consultant, Corporate Trainer, Writer, and International Speaker with a unique blend of law and technology expertise. In addition, she is a digital entrepreneur, ordained pastor, mentor to women ready to impact their generation. She is the host of Destiny Chats podcast and lives in New York with her family. For consultation , click here
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