Speaking engagements make my top 10 list of best marketing practices. Like writing articles, columns or books, speaking adds the additional advantage of putting you in the same room with potential clients where you can demonstrate your knowledge and expertise AND develop an emotional bond with your audience. Moreover, if the seminar or speech is sponsored by a respected organization, you receive instant credibility because of that association.
The benefits of speaking include:
So, what can you do to put yourself in a position to speak to your target audience(s)? You can start with:
Following your presentation you MUST follow up. Do this by promising to send additional information or respond to questions, if the attendees will provide their email address, business card, or other contact information. And if you obtained contact information from them, send them a handwritten note (preferably), letter, email (last choice), or telephone them about your in-person discussion with them.
Bottom line: speaking engagements are still very effective business development techniques. But you must prepare, present well, and most importantly, follow up.
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