the lookout With more and more live events being back on the agenda this year, I am excited to see that more speaking opportunities are opening up for women. This is really a long-awaited time for many to return to some normality of events and in-person networking.
A study of the global forecasts for American Express Meetings & Events shows that 64% of event professionals globally speak of an increase in their budgets for 2022 – could this be a fresh start for event organisers and speakers globally?
So what do you need in order to become a successful speaker and land some of these speaking opportunities as the world comes back to live events?
As an events organiser who receives a region of 400-600 speaker applications every year, we have had to develop selection criteria in order to help us choose the right candidates for the right event.
Speaking is becoming an increasingly competitive space, as more and more entrepreneurs and business leaders are aspiring to make an impact and build their personal thought leadership.
A savvy entrepreneur knows that public speaking is one of the most powerful personal branding and marketing tools to help them elevate their authority and reach a new audience.
If you are a woman in business, a coach, an author or someone who wants to elevate your authority, you probably looking to:
- – Book speaking opportunities on a much more regular basis
- Reach a new audience with your message
- Strengthen your brand and become a sought after expert in your niche and industry
- Be recognised as a credible and influential speaker and thought leader in your topic of expertise
- Advance your career or attract your ideal clients
So, what are the selection criteria that you can expect event organisers to have when choosing their speakers?
- – Speaker story that has a powerful message and a teaching point
- A Powerful talk title that attracts the audience to attend that talk
- Speaker bio that positions you as an expert and a thought leader
- Your credibility and experience track record in your industry
- Influence, personal brand and your social reach
- Your network of connections/email database
- Your personal branding, thought leadership and self-representation
Is it a dealbreaker if you do not have these things in place already?
Not always, some events or stages may have different criteria for their speakers but many will want to see some of the above already in place or more, depending on the speaking opportunity. But if you want to become a credible expert, coach or speaker, you definitely want to start working on preparing for those opportunities early.
Events and speaking opportunities for women can open up very quickly as many times organisers look to fill in last-minute speaker slots, but if you are not ready or professionally positioned these opportunities will likely pass you by, as quickly as they come.
I personally interview approx 100-150 speakers before we select 30 speakers for our annual Women Thrive Summit that happens every March – and the most heartbreaking thing is to say ‘NO’ to a speaker who is incredibly inspiring but is not ready.
What are the timelines of speaker intakes?
With events, you always want to pitch yourself as a speaker early, that means paying attention to when the speaker applications happen and being the first one on the list. Many events start speaker applications approx 3-6 months prior to an event and close the intake at least 4-8 weeks in advance. So always be on a looking for speaking opportunities for women at the Women Thrive Summit and other annual and other events.
So how can we help you prepare for speaking opportunities for women?
After 5 years of hosting events, we have now launched the Women Thrive Speakers Academy – where aspiring and existing speakers can work on improving their speaking skills as well as preparing for speaking opportunities.
In the 6 months program, our aspiring speakers can become professional speakers and start getting consistent speaking opportunities, elevate their authority and earn money doing it.
One thing is for sure, speaking is the fastest way to get your message out to a much larger audience and start creating a name for yourself in your industry that will quickly advance your career and open new windows of opportunity.