When it comes right down to it, if a speaker wants to keep getting speaking engagements, she/he can’t ignore the fact that they have to connect with their audience. If they don’t connect from the stage, they don’t get recommendations, testimonials, or referrals; but more importantly, they don’t get new clients or customers either.
Think about it—when you do take the stage, you’re probably a stranger to most of the people you’re about to speak to. By the time you get off the stage, your audience can be broken down into three groups: the people who loved what you had to say and can’t wait to continue the relationship in one form or another; the people who are interested but not convinced or committed; and the people who were never destined to become fans anyway.
Chunking your audience down into these three groups allows you to concentrate on the people who “get you.” These are the people you have a real shot at connecting with. To make the most of your efforts—and with the permission of the event planner—here are seven tried-and-true methods for providing participants with plenty of opportunities to say, “Yes! I’m interested in learning more about you and what you have to offer!”
- Collect business cards for a raffle – In many cases raffling off a favorite book will do the trick—especially if you’re the author. In any case, just make sure that whatever you chose to raffle, it’s something the people in your audience will enjoy.
- Share your contact information – Create a handout of some sort that includes your contact information, and come up with a way to share it with your audience.
- Let your feedback form do some of the work – Most people think of feedback forms as being anonymous, but there’s nothing wrong with providing a place for people to supply their contact information if they wish to.
- Invite people to sign up for a free consultation – If this is appropriate for your business, this is a great way to get a conversation started.
- Offer a free report in exchange for an email address – People love free content! Just make sure you have a quality report ready to go before you make this offer. You could also just have a “Subscribe to My Email List” sign-up sheet available.
- Connect on social media – Invite the people in your audience to go to your FB page, LinkedIn profile, or another one of your social media channels, and take the appropriate action to connect.
- Offer to share your presentation – Let your audience know that you will be happy to share your PowerPoint slides with anyone who would like a copy so they don’t have to concentrate on taking notes during the presentation.
In my next newsletter, I share strategies for keeping in touch with your audience after the event. And, as always, your questions and comments are welcome, encouraged and very much appreciated.
I wish you a fun, safe, happy 4th of July weekend filled with celebrations with family and friends.