How to Find Speaking Engagements That Build Your Brand

Personal Branding

What’s your favorite and most effective method for identifying speaking engagement opportunities that will help build your brand?

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1. Look for Industry Trade Shows 

“Trade show presentations offer “red carpet” customers an introduction to your brand and offer you an opportunity to close new business. I spoke at a beauty conference and positioned my agency as an expert in that niche. Many of my clients are beauty and fashion e-commerce websites, and their key executives and decision makers are all present at trade shows.”

Matthew Capala, Alphametic

2. Use the Event’s Website to Apply

“You might be surprised by how well this simple tactic works. The first step is to look for industry-related events that might benefit from your expertise. All you need to do then is visit the event’s website and use the contact details you find there to express interest in taking part as a speaker. If there’s an event in your vicinity and you know the organizer, the process gets considerably easier.”

Derek Robinson, Top Notch Dezigns

3. Partner With Schools

“Speaking engagements at universities can help build brand awareness while establishing you as a thought leader. Universities are often hosting courses, labs and events that could benefit from your input as an entrepreneur. Partnering with schools or even hosting educational events at your facility are easy ways to get video, feedback and testimonials with minimal buy-in.”

Brandon Stapper, Nonstop Signs

4. Record and Share Your Own Videos

“My advice to anyone looking for a creative way to find speaking engagement opportunities is to start speaking on your own first. You can start by creating and sharing videos of yourself speaking on a variety of subjects that you’re interested in. If you do this regularly, attract a following and demonstrate the ability to entertain, people will come to you with speaking engagement opportunities.”

Bryce Welker, Accounting Institute for Success

5. Follow Leading Blogs and Social Media Accounts in Your Industry

“Keeping up with blogs and social media accounts in your field will help you stay informed about upcoming events where you might want to speak. You should also look for TEDx events, which are now held in many cities. If you want to establish yourself as a speaker, don’t overlook the possibility of creating your own opportunities by offering to speak in your area or organizing an event.”

Shawn Porat, Scorely

6. Know Your Ideal Audience

“When you’re first starting as a speaker, you need to be speaking to lots of different audiences at different events to test and see who responds best to your message because you don’t want to be sharing it with people who don’t care. Over time, you will home in on your ideal audience, who your message resonates with and which opportunities will pay off the most in terms of brand growth.”

Justin FaermanConscious Lifestyle Magazine

7. Look at the Event’s Track Record

“The last thing you want is to accept a speaking engagement only to speak to an empty room. Find out the attendance of previous events and what people were saying about it on social media. You don’t want your brand to be associated with an unpopular event. Take your time to research it before agreeing to speak.”

Chris ChristoffMonsterInsights

8. Join Local and National Associations

“If you’re a pillar in your community, the chamber of commerce and fraternal organizations are a great way to publicize your business locally. Positioning yourself as an expert in your field and speaking at relevant associations and trade shows will elevate you as the go-to expert. Networking groups, local coworking offices and business incubators look for experts to advise their attendees.”

Daniel Griggs, ATX Web Designs LLC

9. Ask Those You Respect

“I look to my mentors, as well as respected colleagues, to find engagements that align the most with my brand. Usually, they will have spoken at an event that they can recommend and refer me to. Getting a referral to a high-level event can be a great foot in the door.”

Adrien Schmidt,

10. Seek Out Small Conference and Group Opportunities

“Finding speaking engagements can be easy. Your marketing department probably already has a list of all the conferences in your industry. If not, a quick web search knocks it out. Also, there’s an abundance of small localized organizations and associations with monthly meetings. Many of these groups have trouble finding good speakers. Show that you are prepared and knowledgeable, and then you’re in.”

Jeremy Jacobs, Enlighten

11. Sponsor an Event, and Ask for Stage Time

“So far, our most effective way of getting speaking engagements has been simply asking the conference organizers if we can get some stage time. We typically are sponsoring these events, too, with a booth where we hand out company swag and talk to the attendees. Since we’re giving the conference money as a sponsor, they’re usually pretty open to letting us speak as well.”

Justin CookeEmpire Flippers

12. Ask Yourself Whether an Opportunity Aligns With Your Goals

“I think the first step in deciding on speaking engagements is to figure out exactly why you’re speaking. Does it align with your short- or long-term goals? Will it bring awareness or new business opportunities? If the answers are yes, then you know it’s a good potential speaking opportunity.”

Jared AtchisonWPForms