Trending Now

Marketers must be professional speakers

These days, marketers must do whatever they can to distinguish themselves and their companies. We talk a lot on this blog about how to do that in social media, in search, and in other digital ways, but I find that public speaking appearances are an overlooked way of getting your name in the spotlight. Now I know that public speaking isn’t for everyone, but it might be for you. If you decide to go that route, however, please make sure that you do things in a professional way. Most marketers make lousy public speakers, because they are more concerned with selling their product and pitching then with helping the audience, or they treat speaking as something they do every day and walk in cold. Read on to see the three things that professional speakers do that you should, too.

  • Understand the audience before your speak. I always pump the event coordinator about the backgrounds of the people who will be in the audience. Sometimes, such as when I am speaking to an industry event for an unfamiliar industry, or in a new country, I call several expected attendees before the event and speak with them for ten or fifteen minutes. Whatever it takes to understand who you are speaking with is worth the time.
  • Understand what problem you solve for your customer. The event coordinator might have many different reasons for booking you. You could be comic relief between two serious academics in the agenda. You might be there not just to get people to think, but to take action. You might be there because she wants her executive to approve some initiative. Find out what your event coordinator is trying to accomplish with your speech and then help her do it.
  • Be prepared. Preparation means different things for different people. Everyone needs to arrive early to deal with logistical problems, but professional speakers know whether they need hours of rehearsal or need to be a little unrehearsed to make it seem fresh. Pros know what their preferences are (water, A/V, positioning, etc.) and ask for them ahead of the event. The best speakers make it seem effortless because they are ready for anything to happen and they keep their cool and go with it. The audience doesn’t expect perfection, but they do expect professionalism which starts with being prepared.

It’s not enough to be the one on stage. Truly helping your brand is about the impression you leave when you step back down to the real world.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Mike Moran

Mike Moran is a Converseon, an AI powered consumer intelligence technology and consulting firm. He is also a senior strategist for SoloSegment, a marketing automation software solutions and services firm. Mike also served as a member of the Board of Directors of SEMPO. Mike spent 30 years at IBM, rising to Distinguished Engineer, an executive-level technical position. Mike held various roles in his IBM career, including eight years at IBM’s customer-facing website,, most recently as the Manager of Web Experience, where he led 65 information architects, web designers, webmasters, programmers, and technical architects around the world. Mike's newest book is Outside-In Marketing with world-renowned author James Mathewson. He is co-author of the best-selling Search Engine Marketing, Inc. (with fellow search marketing expert Bill Hunt), now in its Third Edition. Mike is also the author of the acclaimed internet marketing book, Do It Wrong Quickly: How the Web Changes the Old Marketing Rules, named one of best business books of 2007 by the Miami Herald. Mike founded and writes for Biznology® and writes regularly for other blogs. In addition to Mike’s broad technical background, he holds an Advanced Certificate in Market Management Practice from the Royal UK Charter Institute of Marketing and is a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business. He also teaches at Rutgers Business School. He was a Senior Fellow at the Society for New Communications Research and is now a Senior Fellow of The Conference Board. A Certified Speaking Professional, Mike regularly makes speaking appearances. Mike’s previous appearances include keynote speaking appearances worldwide.

Join the Discussion

Your email address will not be published.

Back to top