Is speaking making you or costing you money?

During my holiday in Thailand, I was thinking about something I’ve seen way too many times in the past 10 years: businesses struggling to make money out of conference speaking and pitches. I came up with a solution…

This week it’s Brighton SEO (where I will also be speaking). It’s a great conference and I’m really looking forward to it. It’s a place to see friends, to meet new people and a place to do what I love most: speaking.

For many businesses, it’s much more than that. For them, it’s a place to connect to potential clients and to showcase themselves. When conference season starts, you know that businesses get nervous again about the conferences.

Of course, they want to make the most out of it. For me it’s a lot simpler, I’m not looking for new clients at conferences, for them, however, it sometimes it’s a matter of life or death.

So it’s understandable they want to be at their best at conferences. Either by sponsoring, networking and in many cases speaking as well.

Speaking is the most direct way to get visibility. And leads. If they see you speaking on stage, it’s much easier to come up to you. And you can showcase your knowledge. It’s a win-win situation.

In the ideal scenario, a business has one or more of its employees speaking at a conference like Brighton SEO. They speak about case studies and teach the audience. After the conference, the leads will come pouring in. Because they made a big impact.

As with ideal scenarios, this hardly ever happens. I’ve seen from up close, in all the years that I’ve been speaking, keynoting several events and working with businesses around the world, that businesses actually struggle with this.

More than often you can hear businesses talk about whether or not a conference ‘was worth it’. And most of the time the answer is “no”.

Why is that?

There are several reasons why conference speaking isn’t ‘doing it’ for a lot of businesses. Sometimes they are targeting the wrong audience. Sometimes they are too sales driven. Sometimes it’s just not their day.

A lot of the times, however, it has to do with the speakers.

Don’t get me wrong. The speakers work hard for it. They make an effort to create great slide decks. To tell a story.

Yet so many speakers can’t deliver. They don’t connect to the audience the way they could. They lack experience, confidence or just that little bit of professionalism.

And you can’t blame them. It’s not their job. At least, not the main part of their job. Even though it’s part of their job, often the speakers are practitioners sharing their experience.

This would make for an ideal talk. Because it’s always better to hear from those actually doing the work. The problem, however, is that being a practitioner is one thing. Getting the message across is a completely different story.

A great footballer doesn’t automatically make a great coach.

But we would like the practitioners to get that message across, wouldn’t we? Because of that, it would be the ideal mix.

So why aren’t we helping them?

All too often inside businesses (agencies, vendors, brands, you name it), the list is made of where the company should be present and speaking. Names are added to it. And if they are lucky people get time to prepare their talks.

Almost never you hear about a company actually helping their practitioners become better speakers. Better at delivering the story they build. Better at presenting.

Why? It’s just plain stupid they don’t. Because now the talks will be ignored. The speakers will work hard, but won’t have the result for it. They are left with the applause after a talk.

And if you think a bit deeper on this it is not just at conferences like Brighton SEO where this is costing the businesses money. How is a pitch decided? A big part of the decision is made based on how the company presents themselves. If they have lousy speakers presenting the pitch…. imagine how much money gets lost there…

Why do businesses not care? Why aren’t they spending time and effort on this? It could make such a big difference in the outcome of a conference. They could actually make a LOT of money on

Why aren’t they spending time and effort on this? It could make such a big difference in the outcome of a conference. They could actually make a LOT of money on conferences. If they would only care.

Start helping your staff become better speakers for crying out loud!!!!

Or do they care?

Maybe they do. Maybe they just don’t know how. Maybe it just takes away too much ‘work time’ from those within the business to help the speakers. Maybe managers want to focus their efforts somewhere else.

Or maybe they lack the knowledge themselves.

So what to do?

During my holiday I was thinking about this problem. So many times I’ve wondered what on earth those businesses were thinking.

And I realised it was just that: time and knowledge.

They don’t know how and they don’t have the time to put the preparation into it. So they just let it slide. And hope for the one employee that is a natural at speaking.

This is when I realised I could help them. I’m an extremely experienced speaker that gets great reviews every time I speak. But I’m also a trainer. I was born with the teaching DNA, with a family full of teachers.

Why not share my experience with those businesses? Why not take the problem of lack of knowledge and lack of time away from them?

So after my holiday I went to work. Building on my experience as a speaker and trainer, in the past weeks, I developed a training course for speakers. A course for businesses in which I can help everyone can become a better speaker. One that actually engages and gets leads.

This course is specifically developed for those that want to excel in speaking and benefit from it business wise. The course comes in different formats, depending on what it is your business needs.

I’ve detailed everything around the course here

The course can be completely customised to the needs of the business. Looking at what they need most.

I can help speakers be more captivating, Get them to speak with more confidence by teaching them how to use body language, how to tell the right story. Speakers will be able to move the audience and have strengthened their speaking techniques. And very important: the speakers will make their companies more money.

Are you going to help your staff?

The choice now is yours. Are you going to choose the path of least resistance and stick with the way of working you are used to and lose money on conferences? Or are you one of those companies that dare to help their staff become better at speaking? One that will make a difference?

If you want to take that road, take a look at the description of the course. Even if you think this course isn’t for your business, I would urge you to help your staff become better speakers in whatever way fits you best. If it is of your interest, do get in touch, by emailing me: basvandenbeld@gmail.com or the form on the website. I am happy to answer any questions or think with you on what is best for your business.

Or just come say hi and talk to me at Brighton SEO or any of the other events I will be speaking at this fall!

See you in Brighton?

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