5 tips to build a guest speaker profile

Zeze Oriaikhi-Sao, a specialist motivational speaker at She Leads Africa at Facebook London

The First 15 seconds as a guest speaker are the most important. It is the window that determines your audience attention

Being a guest speaker at an event or conference is a great way to position yourself as an expert in your particular field. While this can provide new business opportunities for you; being in the public eye as a guest speaker can also help you succeed in your industry. Also, the more you become known as an expert in your field who can deliver good speeches, the more likely you are to be invited back to be a guest speaker time and again.

This is how I have been able to build a track record of guest speaking around the world.

Benefits of guest speaking

A guest speaker is able to reach his or her particular target audience and communicate their message and expertise in a particular subject. Furthermore, by speaking at specific events and conferences, you will become known as extremely skilled in your field. It is a great way to pick up new clients for your business. Also, you will build yourself as a reliable resource and increase your visibility. Consequently, the more times you appear as a guest speaker, the more experienced you will become at doing this. 

5 Tips to build your speaking profile

  • Be proactive: Firstly, don’t wait for invitations to speak at events; rather research upcoming conferences where you could be a guest speaker offering informative subject matter and put yourself forward for the opportunity. 
  • Don’t try to sell yourself: Secondly, let your skills and your knowledge do the work for you. Do research on the people who will be attending and direct your speech to add value to what your audience already knows.
  • Connect with your audience: Also important – deliver a speech that provides information to the audience that they are keen to hear and learn. A good guest speaker offers plenty of fascinating insight into a subject and delivers it in such a way that the audience hangs on every word. Make sure to entertain with anecdotes or jokes as well as educate with slides and presentations. Connect before, during and after your speech; by getting to know your audience you will have a better idea of how to deliver your speech and what to say. 
  • Practise: Similarly, every time you are a guest speaker at an event, you can learn, grow and develop your skills. Practise makes perfect. Also, practise will lead to you being more confident in your abilities. Remember, you’re an expert in your particular field. Be passionate about your subject. Engage with the audience: make eye contact and speak clearly. If you love what you’re talking about, it’s likely that those listening will enjoy what you have to say.
  • Vary your content: In addition, the more speeches you can offer on a subject, the more likely it is that you will be asked to return as a guest speaker. Make sure your repertoire is interesting, engaging and includes various details about your field of expertise so that you are top of the list when it comes to inviting a guest speaker to come and educate an audience. 

Conclusion

The first thing you need to remember is: the first 15 seconds are the most important. Just as when you meet someone face to face, those first 15 seconds as a guest speaker will either ensure you hold your audience’s attention, or will be the beginning of a boring talk. So make a good impression. But don’t let that put you off. It’s a known fact – 75% of people suffer from anxiety before giving a speech. 

To be a good guest speaker you need to be confident in your abilities and be able to relate to your audience so that they look forward to hearing you speak. Finally, take notes after every event and try to improve your game so that you become the best guest speaker in your particular field of expertise.

Follow: