Being the Conference Director for BlogWorld has its perks. For example, as the person who is the first stop for speaker proposals, I now know what conference organizers are looking for in their speakers and, also, how speaking at conferences is beneficial to speakers as well.
Every year, we receive close to a thousand speaker proposals for only a couple of hundred speaking spots. For many, speaking at our conference is a way to cut costs as it covers the ticket. However, the rest of our proposals are submitted by those who understand that speaking is a way to:
Build a personal and/or professional brand: Whether you’re looking to speak on behalf of your business, someone else’s business or your own personal brand, public speaking is a way to put you in front of many people at once. In the social media era, this also means they may tweet and share your quotes and blogging about their experience at your speaking engagement. Speaking is excellent exposure and if you do well and know you’re stuff, it will only serve to enhance your career.
Further establish expertise and influence: By speaking in front of an audience, you’re showing your influence and proving that you know your stuff. If you truly rock your session, you will be called on for other speaking engagements, and for consulting gigs, quotes in books and articles. Your social networking follower count will go up, even furthering your visibility as your friends and followers influence others to follow you. As these happen it might lead you to gain a promotion at work, bring in new clientele and even raise your rates.
Share knowledge: Teach. Let others benefit from your wisdom. Sharing is good juju and you’ll feel good afterwards.
Persuade: Want to convert? Share some Kool Aid? Turn others on to a new point of view? When you present at a conference, networking event or other function, you have the opportunity to bring some people over to your side of the fence. Make no mistake, there may be others who will always take the opposition, but presenting your point of view will help them to form a fair and balanced opinion.
Build confidence: As you speak you gain confidence and give your self esteem a boost. It’s scary at first, but once you get started you’ll realize that everyone in attendance is supportive and there because they believe in you. The more you speak, the more confident you’ll become, paving the way for new opportunities.
Promote books, blogs and more: After you present, you’ll gain new fans. Fans who will want to read your latest book, visit your blog or buy what your selling.
Listen to others: Speaking engagements are one of the best ways to know what your friends, fans and community are thinking. Listen to their questions and concerns. Not only can you shed light, but it will offer fodder for upcoming speaking and writing projects.
Help others to achieve a goal: Speaking events are educational and motivational. The folks in attendance are there to complete an action. It could be to learn more to grow their business, or it could be to gain their own confidence. When you speak you’re encouraging others to get out and do something.
There are more conferences, unconferences, summits and networking events than ever. Attending and learning rocks, but wouldn’t they rock harder if you were an actual participant?
Do you speak at events? If so, what are some of the benefits you’ve noticed? If not, why?