How Speakers Can Sell From The Stage Without Scaring Away The Audience...
Adding massive value to a conference audience, whilst simultaneously selling your product or service can be a tricky balance fraught with pitfalls…
It's not for the fainthearted.
I’ve been speaking professionally for the best part of twenty years, though the word ‘professionally’ increasingly means different things.
Professional in the sense that you get paid to speak. Professional in the sense that it can take many years to learn the craft of public speaking, and professional in the sense of how you support and work closely with conference organisers and meeting planners to help them achieve their goals. Professionalism is about constant learning.
No two opportunities to speak are the same, but every opportunity brings a responsibility on speakers to be ‘professional’ and to add as much value as possible to the event - whether it's a huge global conference, small breakout session or a presentation to your local Chamber of Commerce.
As a member of the UK’s Professional Speaking Association (PSA), it’s great to get the opportunity to meet and engage with others who want to speak more and speak better, just as members of the National Speakers Association (NSA) in the USA enjoy similar benefits.
At every PSA meeting I attend, I learn something exciting and new – it can be an engaging presentation technique, a cool marketing idea or perhaps a customer service gem to help 'wow' event planners.
But an ongoing debate amongst speakers at all levels of experience is the one that challenges the merits (or otherwise) of speaking for free.
There are those who passionately believe that speakers should never speak for free. After all, you are being asked to speak at event because (presumably) the organiser believes that you have significant expertise and value to share and that you are much more than just 'competent' in your presentation delivery.
They would argue that your expertise h