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Many motivational speakers watched their careers screech to a halt when Covid-19 first hit. Canceled events, conference and gigs quickly became the norm. While many conferences opted for a virtual approach, others decided to just “hold off until next year.”
Now, the time has finally come that speaking at networking events is a viable opportunity once again. Unsurprisingly, speakers are swarming opportunities to get out on stage again and seek to prove themselves to conference organizers, corporations or colleges who may be looking to hire.
This high level of demand, in tandem with lower speaker and event budgets after such a challenging couple of years, shows that re-entering the speaking circuit must be done strategically. Here’s some advice on how you can insert yourself back into speaking world — offered by talented speakers who are already doing just that.
1. Utilize Covid-19 as your proposed speaking topic
There’s nothing quite like timeliness. One potential angle is addressing the elephant in the room by creating a talk that blends your own expertise with the reality of Covid-19. While the worst is hopefully behind us, we are still very much a world that is reeling from the aftermath of the pandemic. There’s an urgency to this topic that can be appealing for conference organizers.
Take Eric Feng, who did just this in a way that linked back to what he does for work: social selling. “Talk to your target market and find out about the challenges they are facing as a result of the global pandemic,” Feng advises. “Create a speech that provides them with practical solutions, and if you can include success stories, it will add credibility to your speech.”
In other words, don’t shy away from the pandemic — address the problem. It’s what everyone’s thinking about, so it won’t fall on deaf ears.
2. Get vocal and show conference organizers why they need you
This piece of advice is especially applicable for new speakers. It’s okay if you’ve never graced a stage before. As long as you can prove you have something to say, you can earn money through speaking engagements. Many individuals utilized the quarantine period to begin sharing their thoughts, opinions and expertise online. Even if you haven’t done this yet, it isn’t too late. The online space is only growing more robust.
3. Create your own speaking opportunities
With many virtual conferences still happening, there’s never been a better time to create your own speaking opportunity by hosting your own conference. People are more than happy to tune-in for virtual events, and it’s a way of getting your message out there with low overhead costs, especially when compared to traditional in-person conferences.
This is what serial entrepreneur Wilbert Wynnberg did. “When I wanted to reach out to more people to share my message during the pandemic, I simply created such a platform for myself,” Wynnberg says. “You will be surprised at how easily you can find help, at little to no cost, by reaching out to like-minded people who share the same vision as you.”
This is also a great piece of advice to brand-new speakers. “Unless you personally know someone who can help you secure a speaking engagement, or you’re an influential figure with a large following, begging platforms for a speaking feature usually never works,” Wynnberg cautions.
Sometimes, the hardest part is just getting started, and if you can give yourself that start, you’re off to the races.