Aristotle once said “Man is, by nature, a social animal”. Humans are most comfortable when we’re connected and sharing our emotions. When we’re face to face we’re able to match each others emotions instantly, without even realizing we’re doing it. That is something you can’t completely get on a Zoom call.

Digital Meetings

In a survey from the Professional Convention Management Association, 62% of meeting planners said they did not feel that digital meetings would cannibalize live meetings and events, but would exist with them side by side.

I was just reading over a post I published in January regarding the insight of live meetings and events in 2020. It said that 70% of meeting planners had a very positive feeling about the state of meetings in 2020. What a difference 3 months makes!

That goes to show that you simply can’t predict the future based on statistics and surveys. Because the future will always change, and life is very unpredictable.

Popular Speech Topics

There were a few things that still are relevant in the post. Health and wellness were predicted to be a big topic. That is even more important today than it was 3 months ago. Another thing that was listed is that most planners believed that technology would play a bigger role. That has literally been forced on meeting planners as many events have had to go online.

Just 3 months ago I was being hired by corporations to help companies recruit and retain employees. Unemployment was the lowest it had been in 50 years and even companies that were paying great salaries and had wonderful benefits were having a very hard time finding employees. Management was complaining that applicants would come in and demand everything for the highest salary possible. That literally changed overnight as 26 million people lost their jobs.

Speak for Free

Everything in life shifts back and forth from buyer to seller, then back again with each having the stronger position. Speakers, who were finally getting past the whole “speak for free” thing, are now thrown into a tailspin as meeting planners have their own issues to deal with in regards to cancellations and safety issues. As much as speakers may be stressed about the situation, meeting planners are also dealing with uncertainty and a never-ending process of putting out fires.

Virtual for Now

Zoom calls and live streaming are perfect for where we are now. That does not mean all meetings and events will be online forever.

Live meetings and events have been shut down before in history and they may be again. But human beings are social animals who crave the closeness of others. And that will never change.

The speaking industry is in a bit of upheaval right now, with conferences being canceled and so much uncertainty about the future. As a speaker you should always have backup plans. Most people just think in one direction, when there is a lot of money to be made as a speaker who has an expertise that executives and others need. I mean, you are an expert in your topic, right? If not, you need to take this time to start honing in on what you have that is of value to your audience.

I’ve been hearing about speakers doing their speeches through online videos, which is great. But a faster and easier way to make money right now is with consulting. Companies may be hunkered down with their employees working from home, but they still need outside help, maybe even more right now.

I remember my mother worked as a consultant for a tech company when I was a kid. She would find a quiet spot in the house with a “Do Not Disturb” sign on the door and schedule a couple of consulting calls. Since she was also a writer, sometimes she would even write booklets for them on her topic, which she sold in volume.

One advantage of being a consultant over being a live speaker is that you usually get more work out of it. With a live event, you do a speech and then it’s over. Consulting contracts are usually longer and more intensive. Once things settle down and events are booming again, you will have a great add-on service to complement your speech. You’ll get paid extra and you will be ready and primed to do it. Just like speaking, consulting takes some practice to do it well.

Here are some ways to get started as a consultant and speaker:

  • Hone in on your niche – Now is the time to really start thinking about your expertise and become even more knowledgable and up to date with your info. Study the trades in your specific topic. What knowledge do you have that companies need?
  • Who needs your expertise? – Instead of randomly throwing everything against the wall to see what sticks, spend some time thinking about who needs your knowledge the most.
  • Research your audience – Before you think of contacting anyone, find out what they are looking for and what they need that you could supply.
  • Get certified – If you need certification to add credibility as a consultant, do that first. Find out what licenses and certification would be valuable to your target audience. Having these credentials should also help you as a speaker.
  • Add hard skills to your resume – A backup plan should include some hard skills along with soft skills. What hard skills can you add to your resume?

Everything goes in cycles, but right now consulting is a good skill to have on your resume regardless of which direction the speaking industry is going in. The speaking industry is in a constant sea of change, so be prepared to cover all angles.

 

 

 

 

Speaker Directory

A speaker directory listing is one of the most effective and least expensive ways to get targeted traffic. And it comes from the exact customers you’re trying to reach. Search engines put a lot of weight on topic related backlinks. Being listed in a high ranking speaker site, which is monitored by humans, is invaluable.

Benefits of Being in a Speaker Directory

Keyword focused, quality, one way link

Link building is one of the most powerful things you can do to to drive traffic to your website. But not all links are equal in the eyes of the search engines. A good quality, one way link from a reputable, high ranking directory in your target niche market is one way to assure the search engines will love you. And you can never have too much link love.

Extremely targeted traffic

Just being in a speaker directory with others in your industry helps drive traffic to you. If a meeting planner comes to a site looking for a speaker, she will also see you. Being listed in the same place as your competition can be a good thing. A meeting planner who needs one speaker will also be looking for other speakers. This is one reason being listed on a niche speaker directory is better than a general directory. Expose yourself to new clients every day. In the search engine’s opinion, being on several good, quality niche directories is better than being on 100 general ones.

Much cheaper than advertising

You could easily go through $100 in PPC ads or other forms of advertising, and it’s something you have to continuously keep up. If you run out of money, your ad goes down. With a directory, that same $100 would last you for a whole year and would be driving traffic on autopilot. It reaches exactly the customers you’re trying to reach.

Tax deduction for a Speaker Directory

Being listed on a directory is a business write-off for speakers, authors, consultants and entertainers. Look at it as an inexpensive marketing tool that can be written off on your taxes.

Control

You have the control to change or add content to your online listing whenever you want. You can’t do that with a printed directory.

Thought leadership

Being in a targeted industry directory with other people who are thought leaders, puts you in the same category.

Being listed in a niche directory in your target industry is one of the most important marketing tools you can use as a speaker.