If you are comfortable in your field, if you are seen as an authority, then speaking engagements are an effective way to market yourself. If you are able to, there is no better opportunity for exposure than getting up at that podium and sharing valuable information.
And if you are a very comfortable speaker – DO IT! Not only will you market yourself and your business as an industry leader, it also positions you as an expert. When presenting the speech, make sure the topic is on something new. Nobody wants to sit through a speaking engagement hearing something that they already know. Do your research. Find something that you know interests people, and interests you. Become an expert in it. Then go out and speak about it.
You can also get used to the idea of speaking in front of people by pairing up with a complimentary professional to offer smaller workshops, be a guest at someone else’s presentation – offering a short one or two slide presentation inside of their larger presentation or join a round table – where there are several “experts” on a topic answering questions delivered by a moderator.
Where? Good question. If you are new to public speaking start small and local. Look to your local library, your community’s business groups and local networking groups to see if they need a speaker for a fundraiser or an event.
You can learn a few things too. While those who attend your speaking engagements stand to gain from your expertise, the insights they provide can help to enlighten your view on your business. Ask questions of your audience, they might give you an idea of how they want to be sold to, what they really need from you and what you can do better to win their loyalty.