Saturday, November 21, 2015

Speakers Need to Build Social Proof to Make Getting Hired Easier

It’s rare that a meeting planner looking to hire speakers will have seen you speak before you speak at their event.

Most times, speakers are hired by meeting planners who initially obtain a referral or a suggestion from a professional colleague.

But the meeting planner certainly doesn’t just go by the referral, they still need some other data to be able to make a decision that a speaker is right for their event.

There are three things meeting planners and speaker coordinators for events will investigate:
1)    Sample speaking videos
2)    Testimonials from other meeting planners and session attendees
3)    An interview with the potential speaker

Obviously, the interview is just an interview and nothing you need much to prepare in advance, but the other two sample speaking videos and testimonials you do need to invest significant time and effort to obtain.

It is easier than ever to obtain sample speaking videos with smart phone video now providing HD quality. I’ve used a small tripod and IPhone adaptor to shoot video while putting it together with audio from a digital recorder.

On other occasions I’ve bartered with organizations who want to shoot video for their own websites. As part of my agreeing to have my likeness and content used for chapter purposes I permit the video to be shot as long as I am provided a copy for my own use.

On other occasions I’ve hired my own videographer when I needed to get more specific video clips.

But, another vital step in building your professional speaking business is grabbing testimonials from both session attendees and meeting planners.
Here’s an easy way to get those vital testimonials:

1)    Whenever a session attendee comes up to you after your presentation and offers a positive comment, make sure you do two things:
a.    If you have a digital recorder you’ve been using to record yourself, keep it recording until you pack up and leave. When session attendees engage you in a conversation you’ll be recording their comments. You then simply ask them if you can use their name and comments.
b.    When this occurs, the second thing you want is their testimonial on video. If you have a smartphone with video, ask them if they would be open to saying what they just said but on video for you.  Most everyone will agree. 

2)    In the early stages of your professional speaking career you will be speaking for no or low fee. This gives you plenty of leverage to glean a testimonial, written and video, from the meeting planner who hired you.
a.    To get this from the meeting planner simply ask them what they thought of your presentation. Ask if it met or exceeded their expectations, what they liked about working with you and what value did you add to their organization and event. 
b.    Remember, the meeting planner testimonial should provide something other than just about your speaking. It should include what it was like to work with you, how you made it easy for the meeting planner to incorporate you into their event, how your appearance made a difference for them and how you made them look good in front of their organization’s members, etc.

Then, as soon as possible, upload those testimonials to your website. Upload the video and with each video post a text version of a sample short sentence or two. This in case visitors to your website choose not to play the video, they will still get a sense for what the meeting planner or session attendee had to say about you and your presentation. 

Good luck, have fun and be shameless asking for those testimonials!

 Skip Weisman is The Workplace Communication Expert and a member of an elite group of international World Class Speaking Coaches.

Skip works with aspiring speakers to improve their presentation skills and programs around content, organization and delivery, while also working with the owners and CEOs of small businesses with between 6-60 employees to improve communication in the workplace.

The work Skip does with his small business clients can transform work environments in as little as 90-days to create a championhip company cultures that are more positive, more productive and even more profitable.

For more tips on making your speeches even more dynamic go to

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