B2B marketing is dominated by thought leadership. A survey from Marketo revealed that the main objective of over 50% of marketers is for them to position their organisation as a thought leader in their particular industry. In order to achieve this, marketers utilise the knowledge, passion, and talent within their company to solve the bigger problems that exists within their target audiences.Public speaking is one of the best strategies in thought-leadership marketing. Speaking provides a platform for companies and thought leaders to engage audiences, build a reputation, and demonstrate advanced knowledge. The result of this is an opportunity to build and maintain relationships in a non-sales and neutral environment. As well as building awareness of the brand, this strategy creates trust that can lead to valuable business opportunities.
Possibly, the most important benefit of a speaking engagement is that it is capable of driving targeted leads into your sales funnel. These speaking engagements require a great deal of planning, however. Here are the basics.
Identify the right opportunities
There’s no shortage of speaking opportunities for companies to position themselves as experts by sending out their most charismatic and knowledgeable employees. Whether it’s a conference, industry event, podcast or webinar, finding the right one for you, however, requires research and time. Get in touch with industry associations to identify any meetings and conferences coming up that may be looking for presenters. Ask for the name of the person who books the speakers and once you’ve done some research, introduce yourself to them. Check websites of associations for speaker presentation guidelines and conference themes. There are also organisations that sponsor webinars and their event coordinators are typically on the lookout for speakers.
Get your message right
Before enquiring about speaking opportunities, it is crucial that you choose at least one relevant topic for the target audience you’ll be speaking to. Oftentimes, speakers who can only offer a single topic miss their chance to be considered. Conference and meeting planners are not different to everyone else in that they like to have a chance, even if their options are similar in scope. When putting your proposal together for a webinar, conference, or other event, include the following key components.
Engaging title: Make it interest-generating, punchy, and short. Also, provide the audience with a hint as to what they can expect to learn or how the presentation will benefit them.
Overview of presentation: Write one paragraph as a summary and include a list with bullet points of the most important points your speech will cover. This will help meeting coordinators assess your presentation’s value, along with your topic’s suitability for their audience.
Point out the benefits: All presentations should provide the audience with a reason to attend. Whether they learn something new that can help them at work, improve their education, or assist their professional or personal development, it doesn’t matter; as long as you clearly state the benefits and they are relevant to the target audience.