Should you or shouldn’t you be doing public speaking? When you have been attending events, you might have thought “why do these speakers want to be on stage? What’s in it for them?” You could be wondering what makes them do it. But you could also be wondering if you should go on yourself.
Is it worth speaking at conferences? Either for your own brand or for your company? Does it matter? As a speaker myself, who loves to be on stage, it’s easy to say “yes”. Of course, it’s worth it! And it’s fun as well! But like with many things, you have to back that up. In what way is it worth speaking at conferences?
In two posts I’d like to highlight the benefits of speaking. Both for you as well as for your company. In this post, we talk about the company, in another post here, we talk about the personal benefits of speaking.
Why is public speaking important for your company?
At a conference you can find four types of speakers:
- The independent speakers;
- The speakers who work for brands;
- The speakers from vendors;
- The speakers from agencies.
Why would brands, vendors or agencies take the time to go to conferences and speak? They don’t get paid for it, so there must be something else that makes it worth it. If you fit into one of these categories, here are some reasons how you could benefit from speaking in public.
1. It gets you more sales
The main reason why, especially, agencies and vendors send staff to speak at events is sales. They are hoping to get business out of the event. By speaking they want to attract the attention of possible clients.
When agencies or vendors are pitching their products or services, this backfires. Pitching makes for a bad experience for the attendees. With the consequence that they won’t buy.
More often you do see businesses that ‘get it’. They tell a story, show their brand and based on that, get more business.
When they are on stage they talk about past cases and experiences. With that showing potential clients how knowledgeable they are. At networking opportunities (breaks, drinks, and dinners) they will then make the connection. That is where they can ‘pitch’.
Though most companies won’t get a lot of direct sales from speaking at events, it does set them up for sales. So when sales matters to you, public speaking matters to you.
2. You can showcase thought leadership
Public speaking is an effective way of getting your message across. It can help you to show thought leadership
Your company exists for a reason. That means you have a ‘message’. A message that goes beyond selling your product. It’s your reason for existence. Spreading this message can be part of the marketing strategy. To try and become a thought leader in your industry is one of the tactics.
What better way to get a message across, than speaking at conferences. You reach people who go to the event as well as those who read about it on blogs.
3. They will write about you: free publicity!
Speaking at events can be a great way of getting free publicity. As said, often there are bloggers at conferences. They report on the talks. And they spread what they heard. Get them to write about your talk, and there is your free publicity!
Often the free publicity doesn’t only come from the bloggers. Organisers want to get as many people as possible in the room. To get that, they will create publicity as well. Make sure you are a part of that! Always agree to get interviewed. Write a guest post. Be part of it!
4. You can make your audience think about topics
Public speaking opportunities make that you can make your audience think about specific topics. People need a reason to buy. That means they need to first see a ‘problem’.
If the audience doesn’t see not buying your products or services as a problem, you won’t sell much. To make them aware of that problem, you need to show them that problem. Whether it is at a conference or in a pitch, you need to be able to tell the right story. Get them to see a problem and see that you are the solution to that problem.
Public speaking is a great way of getting people to think about topics. Topics that further on in the consumer journey might lead to people looking for your product.
5. Getting access to sources of financing
Public speaking is a great way of getting the attention of those that can help your business further. These can be investors, your first customers or banks. Once they see you on stage, showing your knowledge, they start to trust you. With the right story, the right financier will think their money is in the right place with you.
So if your company matters to you. You should care about public speaking. Because yes, public speaking matters today. And if you also think it’s important, you better speak up…