I spend a lot of time speaking at local events. Big ones, small ones, associations, companies, it doesn’t matter. The beauty of a local/regional speaking gig is there are no travel costs and that means less time away from my business. Win/win.
I think you should do it too, and here’s a few reasons why.
1. Because it’s great practice. The more I present the better I get in front of a crowd. I have aspirations of wanting to speak professionally for a living someday so this is great practice.
2. It helps me create new content. I now have two standard decks/presentations that I can present cold without rehearsal with no problem. As I get asked to speak about different topics, I will build more. More content = more branding opportunities.
3. I get business out of it. Lots of it. I pick up jobs immediately following my presentations, and weeks and months after too. And I do it without selling my business at all. Just present high-quality information and try to be memorable.
And here’s a little trick. Make sure you leave a printed hand out with everyone in the audience. Make a one-page hand out that asks people to leave you a testimonial. Give them instructions on the sheet about how they can email or fax it in after the show. It works.
4. I get promotional material out of it. I tape everything with my Flip camera, and I also use Ustream.tv to live stream/record the event. That way I have footage of myself on stage that I can use as I wish for promotional material on my sites or to get future speaking gigs.
Here’s one of the presentations I did this week. Recorded on Ustream.tv and broadcasted live to the globe at the same time.
5. It’s fun. I really enjoy being in front of a crowd. The bigger the better. You may not feel the same, that’s ok. But if you can muster up the courage to do it, the benefits of being good at it are great.