How do you gain contacts from a speaking engagement?
The name of the game in providing speaking engagements is to gain more contacts to add to your list of potential clients. Speaking is only one way of attracting business. By providing an engagement, you have opened the door to potential clients in a way that will no longer seem like a cold call. You will now have something in common with an attendee in your audience. They have heard you speak about your expertise and they may want to follow up. I look at speaking engagements as getting 100 or more cold calls completed all at the same time. Your contact list will grow and you will be able to offer other speeches to your audience.
Large or small groups will not matter. The difference will be made by the content of your speech and the word-of-mouth reaction of the value you brought to the table. You can find your initial audience through volunteer organizations. These organizations are often looking for speakers, but you must be careful not to make your speech a commercial. If you do, you will not likely be invited back by other branches of their group nor will you likely do business with the members of the group. Remember, however you get your information out, you need to retain a list of the attendees for following up.
Once you have a few speeches under your belt, your contact list will grow considerably. You must be careful of how you deal with the list, make sure you have permission from each person to keep them on your mailing list for future events. It is a slow process but you will be better known for your integrity and your expertise rather than being a selling machine that has no regard for the privacy of others.
Bette Daoust, Ph.D. has been networking with others since leaving high school years ago. Realizing that no one really cared about what she did in life unless she had someone to tell and excite. She decided to find the best ways to get people's attention, be creative in how she presented herself and products, getting people to know who she was, and being visible all the time. Her friends and colleagues have often dubbed her the "Networking Queen". Blueprint for Networking Success: 150 ways to promote yourself is the first in this series. Blueprint for Branding Yourself: Another 150 ways to promote yourself is planned for release in 2005. For more information visit http://www.BlueprintBooks.com