irtual events have picked up the pace and have evolved as a norm. If you are a speaker looking for paid speaking gigs and getting booked consistently, you’ll have to keep track of itineraries of live events through social media and other connections.
Being a virtual speaker has its own set of challenges, which vary and fluctuate with changing times. The most critical challenge is that you must always be at work, steadily finding new speaking opportunities, paid, or unpaid.
In Virtual gatherings, it is all about visibility and exposure, that is how the audience gets to know you and would look forward to being a part of your next event. Being a speaker is the quickest and best way to get noticed, get popular, and make that impact.
How to prepare for speaking gigs?
When pitching for a gig, have clarity and be prepared with your articulation on these four points:
– About yourself
The answer should be as short, crisp yet concise and very powerful. It should interest your audience and hosts equally.
– Topic or idea for the event
This should suggest the topic and pointers that will be the highlight of the presentation and why it is so important.
– Your experience or expertise on the topic
Share a brief description of how and where you became a master of the subject topic.
– Audience take away from your talk.
Communicate the ultimate goal of the presentation, what the audience wants, and what they gain from the presentation.
How to find and get great gigs?
So now you have the answers in place. But to grab opportunities, there’s still more work to be done. Here are the seven ways to find great gigs that will take you a long way!
1. Actively look for prospects
Be online and keep searching for prospective events. Have clarity in mind regarding the topics of interest and connect with people having a common interest. This way, you’ll connect with the right community of people, gather resources and more information, which will eventually keep you in the loop of events.
2. Join the community of seasoned speakers
If you are a beginner, keep an eye out for seasoned speakers and the events they are speaking at. If you can join an experienced speaker, then you may derive a lot of learning and opportunities to speak in events. In the virtual world, it is easier to find seasoned speakers and work with them. Once you make the right connections, you will in due course, find more virtual gigs, on your own.
3. Connect with event planners
Stay connected with event planners who organise corporate level or industry level events. They have plans for upcoming events and keep seeking the right speakers to help out their clients. You can search, follow, and subscribe to their social media channels to connect with them. Usually, the leads generated are shared only on their social media. You can be a resource to them and vice versa.
The only thing to remember is “Be Specific”.
(a) Twitter: Twitter is a great platform to find speaking gigs. You can watch out for the conferences or events on Twitter by following the event planners and related accounts.
Keep a closed eye on the hashtags and recommendations by Twitter to segregate and follow the useful ones.
(b) Facebook: upcoming events and speaker’s profile keep showing up on Facebook. Look for those which are coming up, and follow them.
(c) Instagram: Another platform to find meeting planners, speakers, and attendees through hashtags and search. You can search for some hashtags like #keynotespeakers, #highprofilegigs, #eventprofs, #events, #conferences, etc.
(d) LinkedIn: You can find many links to speaking engagements, events, and speakers on LinkedIn too. Search for the hashtag terms and features that interest you.
If you are looking for corporate speaking gigs, you can join some associations in the relevant industry. When you browse their site, you get to know about all the events they promote and can contact them for speaking opportunities. You may also come across their directory that might help you to connect with some influential people or find more associations to contact.
5. Google search
Google is a universal problem solver. So, leverage it to by targeting the right search keywords to find speaking gigs for you.
6. Google alerts & Talkwalker
Google Alerts & Talkwalker are free tools that allow you to set up alerts of all social mentions, and the information is emailed to you. It monitors every single mention of your brand, search, and keywords across the internet, which includes blogs, news platforms, websites, and even forums and social media.
To look for the speaking gigs, you may set up alerts for keywords like events, conferences, etc. Once it’s done, opportunities will be directed right to your inbox.
7. Success stories of other speakers
Keep a close eye on your dream gigs and the speakers who got the job. Analyse why they got the opportunity and not you. Do a SWOT analysis. This will not only help you to up your game but also help you find other related opportunities.
For instance, if you wish to target TED talks as a speaker, keep track of the speakers and how they reached that height. You might learn that before speaking at TED talk, they first spoke at independently organised, local TEDx. In the process, you will learn to try for local first and contact organisers who might be more approachable and then aim for the bigger picture.
Virtual events have picked up the pace and have evolved as a norm. If you are a speaker looking for paid speaking gigs and getting booked consistently, you’ll have to keep track of itineraries of live events.
To summarise, gear up your research and thinking skills, and look for opportunities online. Stay connected virtually with event planners and inspiring speakers through social media channels. Your next virtual big gig will be within your reach soon.