Don't treat your speaking gig 450OMG You’ve been asked to give a talk – on a STAGE! With real people watching you!

What an amazing opportunity for you and your business, more exposure means helping more people PLUS getting more clients, sales and money – right?

Yes, in an ideal world but in the real world… not if you don’t ask for it.

Presenting or speaking is so much more than turning up on the day in your fave lippy and telling people about your service or product to gushing applause and a stampede of clients.

For it to be really worth your while – and theirs (whether you’re getting a fee to speak or not), you need to pro-actively work it to your advantage while demonstrating how else you can help the audience members beyond your presentation.

That is your job as a business-owner, and your duty as a service professional.

The “at school naked” feeling

First of all, you’ve got to deal with the sometimes crippling fear of screwing up and a billion eyes staring at you (practise, practise, practise!)

Then you have to make sure your presentation is killer. NOT death by Powerpoint.

What’s more, you want to factor in the time and effort you’ve poured into your preparation. Creating your material, rehearsal, the time out of your business on the day itself. THEN, the follow up and energy refuel (because the adrenaline-high of the whole experience will empty your tank) afterwards.

It’s a wasted opportunity to leave the follow-up to chance and merely hope you will benefit from it in some way. As my cockney grandma Bates used to say “Spit in one hand, wish in the other and see which fills first.” Tweet that!

You gotta put the work in.

The overall objective of presenting is to reclaim the time investment you’ve made, AND SOME. Make this your intention from the start using the plan I’ve outlined below. It will help you get more clients and business opportunities from stage every time. I guarantee it!

Pre-presentation

You’ve got your talk down, you’ve rehearsed and rehearsed some more. You’ve calmed your nerves. You’re ready.

Remember, regardless of whether you are being paid or not, your intention going in to your presentation is to grow your prospect list by collecting as many contacts as possible. It doesn’t matter whether there are 40 people or 400, the value exchange for your time and effort are those precious contacts and prospects.

Your presentation positions you as the expert, builds trust and likeability while providing valuable info for your audience.

Once you’ve achieved this you want to show how else you can help the audience members beyond your talk. To do that, you’ll want to offer a high value free offer in exchange for email addresses.

So think about what that could be:

  • A mini consult (works really well for service based entrepreneurs)
  • A guide, template or additional info to back up your talk
  • Your slides (only if they are content rich)

Now, how are you going to do the exchange of your free goodie, for their contact details? This will depend on the size of your audience, but here are some ideas to consider:

  • You could have a sign up sheet, (better for small audiences up to 50)
  • You could collect business cards (have a place to leave them, a box or container of some kind)
  • You could direct people to a hidden web opt-in page. Important: the url needs to be simple and memorable

Whatever you direct them to do has to be easy for people to take action. Too many hoops, steps or complications and they won’t do it. Not because they don’t like you or aren’t interested in what you’ve got – it’s because that’s human nature.

In the heat of the moment they all totally believe that they’ll collect the free thing you’re giving away but once they leave that room and get on with life, you can easily lose them.

To guide people to take action, we need to make the process super simple.

The big day

This is your time to shine, darling! It’s likely that the talk itself is the best bit for you once your brain freeze and nausea has passed (it’s ok, roll with it – even Megan Fox gets stage fright). Once you’re on stage, it’s the part you’ll most enjoy. I mean, who wouldn’t want to share their passion with others, right?

But remember your objective, keep it in mind throughout every part of the process like it’s tattooed inside your eyelids!

Charm your audience, you’re in the driving seat and that’s exactly what they want. Plus, who doesn’t love being dominated sometimes? 😉

Cool, confident leadership will present you as the expert. A professional in your field. Ignore your self-doubting monkey brain – this is who you are.

At the end of the presentation you need to pitch your giveaway. And, if that feels icky to you, get used to living off tins of beans. KIDDING!

If the thought of pitching does make your squirm, practise practise practise. You want to present this offer with confidence, so that your audience trust you and have faith in you and your offer. The transition between your presentation and your pitch should feel seamless – there is no change in energy – it’s just another part of your presentation.

You need to do that in 4 steps. Confidently and calmly tell them:

  • WHY you’re offering
  • WHAT you’re offering
  • HOW it will help them
  • HOW they can get it

That’s all you need to do. No over complicating, no confusion. Remember KISS (Keep It Simple Superstar).

A bit of extra help for you

Here’s a short script example you can adapt for yourself. Remember to practise this bit too. Especially if the thought of saying this makes you feel awkward or nervous.

“I wanted to offer you all a way to continue getting support from me after you leave.

Live events like today are massively inspiring and motivating but when it comes to going back to the day-to-day of your business it can be a challenge to understand what is the most important and relevant information to bring into your business.

That’s why I want to offer all of you XYZ {insert valuable freebie} so that XYZ {insert benefit of freebie}.

I’ll be {insert way to leave contact details e.g. passing round a sheet, giving url, leaving place for biz cards} and I’ll follow up with you in a day or so to {confirm the details / see how you got on}”

The day after

Now here’s the piece which is so often missing.

I’ve mentioned before, in business there are NO one night stands. You’ve done the first date leg work, don’t throw it all away by not calling back. (Don’t be that guy).

Continue the relationship with the people in the audience, that could look like:

  • Confirming the free call they asked for
  • Sending a copy of the presentation
  • Having a follow up email series set up for those people who’ve downloaded a freebie

Use your talk as the beginning of a conversation then continue that relationship with the people in the audience. The ROI (return on investment) you’re looking at is long term clients. But, only by asking for their email address in the first place will that happen. No asky, no getty.

Think of the presentation as sowing seeds to make multiple long lasting, mutually valuable connections that will grow your business.

Over to you

I’d love to know what kind of things you’ve offered prospects through a speaking gig and the results you had. Or please share your best tips for pitching your offers from stage so that we can all learn! Let us know in the comments below.

If you’re struggling with cultivating fans and clients for your business, get in touch and book a free Chemistry call with me. We’ll look at where you can capitalise on your opportunities and what your next steps are to taking advantage of what you have.