Being a talented speaker is only a part of having a successful career. For people to hear your voice, you need to learn how to make it loud enough.
There are far more talented speakers than professional speakers. The difference lies in understanding how to let your talent shine. All the talent in the world won’t do your career much good unless you know how to take full advantage of it.
Unfortunately, this is something that many speakers struggle with. Especially so for those who are at the beginning of their career. There are quite a number of obstacles that you need to overcome in order to tap into your full potential.
But, how do you do this?
You’ll be happy to know that there’s a variety of tools you can use to make sure your voice reaches people. Depending on your goals, you can utilise a variety of channels to grab the attention of your core audience.
The key here is to get as much exposure as possible. People need to recognise your talent for you to make a career out of it. To make your life at least a little bit easier, we have compiled a list of the most effective tools you can use to showcase your speaking prowess.
1. Longer Videos
When creating demo videos, many speakers are afraid to reveal too much. This fear is real, as it can make you give away all the goodies for free. People wouldn’t have a reason to go and see you live.
However, too short of a video can be even worse for your career. If you’re unable to attract your audience, all your efforts will be in vain.
Take a look at your current videos and see if you’re providing enough value. Even more importantly, see if there’s a hook that makes people want to pay to hear you speak. Chances are you’ll see that some of the key points of your talks are missing.
At the end of the day, giving away too much is better than not giving enough. Even if you show too much for free, you’ll still gain exposure that will get people interested in your other speeches.
2. Sizzle Reels
Aside from the videos that showcase your talents, you need to have a short and exciting commercial for your talks. That’s the purpose of a sizzle reel. It’s basically a short compilation of your best and most exciting moments.
In many cases, it will be at the very top of the funnel for your audience to go through. As such, its main function is to grab people’s attention.
If you have previous speaking engagements, go through them and find some of your best moments with your audience, their reactions, and other clips that will serve as proof of your abilities. And if you still haven’t had a chance to speak, your sizzle reel can be about the main topics you’ll cover. As long as it’s inviting enough to make people want to hear more from you, there’s no limit to what you can use for your sizzle reel.
3. A Profile Sheet
Think of a profile sheet as your resume. It needs to contain everything about you that you want your audience to know. Some of the key things that you need to add include:
- Your photo
- Short bio
- Preferred topics
- Links to relevant sources
Every time you want to add a piece of info, think about how it will make someone want to hear you speak. Your profile sheet has to be concise, so everything you put in it needs to add value. Also, don’t be afraid to experiment with the design. Go the extra mile to draw people in with the style, font, background, and all the tiny details that can make a difference.
Most importantly, remember to update your profile sheet every time you improve your skills or speak at an event. Once you have a sheet that you’re confident about, send it out to bookers, event organisers, and other people who can help you grow your career.
4. Presentation Slides
When speaking at an event, SlideShare can be your best friend. It allows you to tease people with some of the key things you’ll talk about. Similar to a demo video, the goal here is to offer just enough information to get people interested.
This is where you should be more careful about not revealing too much. Giving away a bit too much on video isn’t that bad because it still shows off your speaking and presentation skills. Words on a slide can’t do this, so you’ll want to avoid oversharing. Rather, briefly touch on some of the main points but remember to leave enough to the imagination.
This way, you can increase your exposure, as the slides will be there for everyone to see. At the same time, you might be able to connect with other speakers and organisers that can boost your career.
Podcasts are among the most powerful marketing tools for speakers. Whether you’re a part of one or hosting your own a podcast can give your exposure a huge boost.
The reason is that you’re giving people a chance to see your speaking talent. At the same time, you save more than enough for your events, as podcasts lack the visual aspect of your presentation.
The popularity of podcasts has been on the rise for over a decade. According to projections, this trend is likely to stay the course in the foreseeable future. By appearing on a podcast, you can boost your presence and show people what you can offer.
6. Articles and Books
Having ‘the author of…’ next to your name can do wonders for your credibility. Publishing a book or a set of articles can make people see you as an expert on a certain topic. What’s more, it offers more chances to increase your exposure.
Many famous speakers have published a few books over the course of their career. They can promote their books when they give their talks, and the book’s contents might get people willing to pay to see them in action live. You’ll want to get into this cycle as soon as possible.
Speaking and writing are talents that often come hand-in-hand, so this shouldn’t be a hard thing to do. Even if you don’t see yourself as an expert writer, you can always turn to others for help in this regard.
7. A Personal Website
Having your own website is a must if you’re a speaker. Aside from sharing your content all across social media, you can showcase your best work in one place. This gives you a chance to develop a personal brand, the cornerstone of every speaker’s success.
If you take a look at some of the most famous speakers’ websites, you’ll notice how incredibly inviting they are. The point is to create a website that people will love coming back to, and there are many things that you can do to make this happen.
Aside from high-quality content, you need a unique design that makes the website enjoyable to browse. Keep it simple and intuitive, and ensure a smooth user experience to make people bookmark the place where you keep all your valuable content.
8. Content Marketing
Speaking of content, the same rule that applies to your talent applies here. It can be the best stuff ever, but if nobody sees it, what’s the point? This is why having a strong marketing strategy is essential to success.
Your content is the first thing that most people who don’t know you will see. At the same time, it’ll keep your fans interested and make them want to come back and hear you speak again.
The goal of having a marketing strategy is to create a community. You need to find your niche and target it with your best stuff. This way, you can build the sort of following that allows word of mouth to go to work for you.
Of course, your content needs to be of exceptional quality to make this happen. You need to show your expertise while keeping people entertained. Everything you put out needs to make people think that they can learn a lot from you.
Keep in mind that this takes a lot of time and effort. Your content needs to be consistently good, or else people will lose interest.
Spread the Word
Think of your speaking talent as the foundation of a building. There’s a lot of work that you have to do before you can invite people in. If you don’t get the word out there, you risk letting your talents go to waste.
There are all kinds of tools and strategies that a speaker can use to build a successful career. What you see here are only some of the most popular ones. There’s a tool for every speaker, so it all comes down to finding the one that works for you.
After that, it’s just a matter of time and perseverance. Be patient, keep adding value, and you should see your audience gravitate towards you.
Speakers Institute can help you get the most out of these tools and a lot more. Here’s what you can do to get started: