Securing Speaking Engagements
Henry Dalziel, Co-Founder InfoSec Conferences
– C|EH, Security+, MSc Marketing Management;
– Cybersecurity Pro & Growth Hacker
– Lives in Hong Kong
– Connect on LinkedIn
In this post, we’ll take a look at ways that you can secure speaking opportunities at InfoSec events.
There are some things in life that everyone feels strongly in one way or another. Public Speaking is one of those things.
Some people love to speak in front of a crowd of strangers while some people are completely petrified of delivering a speech.
For people who want to have a career in public speaking, there are a lot more those people could possibly gain then they could lose.
Some people don’t know where to get started but want to book speaking gigs. Those people should continue reading because this will go over every step on how to book speaking engagements.
Cybersecurity Conferences and Speaking Opportunities.
Cybersecurity (“InfoSec”) is one of those subjects in which there is no “master of all”, indeed, it is a complex and ever-expanding subject matter. With its’ constantly evolving content (and technologies) conferences and events are critical for the advancement of the industry.
We list a ton of tech security events here, but what about securing the actual opportunities to speak at popular InfoSec events?
Read on for our 8 Tips To Gey You Speaking Gigs!
1: The Reason People Should Listen
Everyone who chooses this career has a reason why they want to speak to the public. The three most common causes for someone starting a speaking career are:
- Wanting To Sell Your Written Works
- To Promote Services of Teaching
- To Have A Career In Public Speaking
The first step in starting a career in speaking is: deciding why. One question you will want to ask yourself is: What do I have to offer? Do you want to become a self-help author? Do you want to leave your current dead-end job for one where you travel the world speaking? Commit to a reason why you are speaking and why people should listen before you continue the process of becoming a public speaker.
2: Plan Out Your Message
It’s very hard to become successful if you let the places you book decide what you will be talking about on stage. It’s not impossible but it makes becoming a public speaker harder then it has to be. When you decide to talk and you want to book an arena, field or any other kind of scene, you should tell the person that you’re booking with what you will be talking about.
When you book a place to speak, the person you are renting the building from wants to know the speaker will be knowledgeable, assured in his skills and that you are offering something of value to the people who will be attending. You don’t need to write out an essay with every word that you will say on the microphone ready at this time but it’s a good idea to prepare an outline with a few different subjects that you would like to cover. A few different topics covered in public speaking engagements are:
- Everything You Need To Know About Your Business Having A Social Media Presence
- Building A Platform On The Internet In One Year
- Defeating Hesitation And Going After Your Goal
While it’s not a big concern, think about the places you are trying to book and see what message would benefit your audience the most.
3: Become A Member Of The Chamber Of Commerce
This step is optional because you don’t have to join the chamber of commerce if that has nothing with the message you want to deliver. There are different organizations you could join to become a speaker and you want to join one that serves causes you feel strongly about.
After you meet with the people of an organization several times, those people will want to hear you speak on something you know very well This is the time where you test yourself on whether you can handle speaking to the public and you might make some relationships with people that could assist your speaking career in the future.
Another benefit of speaking in an organization is: you will be given constructive criticism so you know what you do well and what you need to improve on before you speak at your first gig.
4: Create Your Existence On The Internet
Something that will help you get your name out as a speaker is creating an online profile. There are websites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and no one says you have to pick one website over the rest. So the next step would be creating a membership page on the platform(s) of your choice and make sure each membership page contains:
- A Picture That Has You Speaking In A Positive Light
- Your Real Name
- A Couple Of Subjects That You Cover In Speeches
- What You Titled Some Of Your Speeches
- The Neighborhood Where You Live
Study the successful profiles of other speakers and make sure your profiles put the best you out there. You want your profile to be easy for people to explore and for people to contact you if they want to offer you a speaking gig.
Your online profiles will be something to show people when you start trying to book gigs so make your profile pages look as best as possible since it will be the first impression most people receive before they hear you speak.
5: Schedule A Place To Hold Your First Speaking Gig
Start getting into contact with different venues where people can book a speaking engagement. Choose a venue depending on why you are speaking.
Unfortunately, you may have to play the waiting game because certain places may not have any openings for a few months. So keep that in mind when you are scheduling the events you are speaking at. There may be particular rules that you have to follow depending on the venue so that is something else you will want to keep in mind.
The first time you go out to book a speaking engagement, you are not going to be accepted right away by the person who is responsible for booking events for that building. Unfortunately being rejected is something you will have to deal with especially when you are starting out. Just go on to the next place you would like to be booked at and don’t stop until you are booked somewhere.
6: Try To Get Booked At A Regional Conference
As you are trying to get bookings close to where you live, you want to attend a meeting place or convention that has to do with the subject that you know most about. How this will differentiate from local bookings is you will receive a bigger audience if you are the one chosen to speak.
Don’t let your social media pages become outdated. This is something you will want to update every time you have a chance. Add places that you have already spoken at as well as the opinions of people who attended.
One more thing to remember about local bookings is while you will be rejected more then you are accepted at first, once you have a few places that gave you a chance, more places will be open to letting you speak if those first few bookings went well.
7: Create A Team Responsible For Recording Your Speaking Engagements
As you keep getting better at speaking engagements, keep in mind that you will want to continue to graduate to bigger speaking engagements as you get more experience. Unfortunately, you can’t get booked if you don’t have yourself at a previous speaking gig on video. If you’re not sure how to have yourself recorded, consider the suggestions below:
- Ask a friend to record you on camera
- Pay someone who films events for a living
- Ask the people who are booking you if they have someone who can record you
- Have multiple people record you on their phone and choose each scene from the video that showcases you best
Once you have some speaking gigs recorded, you will want someone who is experienced in video editing to pick out the best 5-10 minutes of one of your speeches. It would also help if you could isolate clips that don’t last longer then a minute.
Once you have those clips recorded, upload them to the pages that you use for social media. When you are trying to book speaking engagements for the future, the person you want to book you will have content to check out.
8: Book About A Dozen Speaking Engagements
After there are recordings of you on your social media pages, you will want to try and get a dozen bookings over the next 12 months. Some people that have made it this far only hear a yes about 20% of the time.
When you are trying to decide where you will offer your speaking services to, keep the following tips in mind:
- Revisit places you have already spoken at
- Offer your services to places you have not spoken at
- Try to get booked at places that would be a dream to speak at
- Conventions in your country’s region that have something to do with you speak about
While this is simple to do, it’s not going to be easy. After the dozen that you have booked over 12 months, continue to book your speaking engagements if you don’t have someone on staff booking appointments for you.
From this point on, just continue talking where you get opportunities. Some people make four or five figures talking for one hour. Hopefully, as you work on your speeches and continue talking to the public, you can reach that point one day.