Finding a venue to present your talk can be a challenge. You’ve prepared and researched, but with countless events taking place at any given moment, that first step may seem overwhelming. If you’re trying to decide where to start, these 3 simple tips will get the ball rolling, helping you find exciting opportunities to present your topic.
There are thousands of professional associations and meetups eager to have new speakers share fresh material. Successful Real Estate entrepreneur and podcast host Joe Fairless says, “No matter how mainstream or obscure your interests might be, there’s a meetup group for you.” He then states that Meetup.com, one of the nation’s largest meetup sites, “…boasts a membership of 32.3 million people participating in over 288,000 meetup groups across 182 countries.”1 Talk about opportunity!
Presenting within a local group has many additional benefits as well, such as the chance to better understand your audience, hone in your message and work your topic before a live crowd. African American historian, professor and pioneer, John Henrik Clarke once said, “A good teacher, like a good entertainer first must hold his audience’s attention, then he can teach his lesson.” Practicing your talk will help make it perfect, so find some local organizations to attend and practice away!
Remember, you never know who you are speaking in front of. Individuals attending these gatherings may be able to introduce you to someone within their network, providing you with more opportunities to share your message. Which brings us to our next topic…
A study conducted by the Stanford Graduate School of Business found that underestimating the willingness of others to help is a common mistake people make.2 Your network, however small, is there to help you succeed—just as you are for them. Let your connections know what you are hoping to achieve, asking which conferences or meetings they believe your topic would compliment, as well as if they would introduce you to a person of interest or provide you with a referral.
LinkedIn Co-Founder and Executive Chairman, Reid Hoffman, once said that networking is often confused with making cold calls to strangers for assistance, whereas it is actually about contacting “…the people who already have strong trust relationships with you, who know you’re dedicated, smart, a team player, who can help you.”. Your network is ready to help you move forward, all you need to do is reach out to see where it leads.
There is a world of information at your fingertips, with opportunities for you to search for various trade shows or conferences taking place anywhere. Use basic search engines like Google, Yahoo, or Bing, as well as conference aggregators such as Eventful or AllEvents, to find an event that well suited for your topic. You can keep your searches as broad or specific as you like, listing geographical locations, dates or criteria that work well for you.
Alexander Gregg once said, “There are three things to aim at in public speaking: first, to get into your subject, then to get your subject into yourself, and lastly, to get your subject into the heart of your audience.” By practicing with local audiences, networking within your field and performing some targeted searches, you are certain to find a forum to present your topic (and do a dynamite job).
Jiffy Events wants to help you make your next event a success. If you would like to learn more about our speaker management, call-for-papers, and committee review tools—you can do so here.
Photo Credit: (Knight Foundation)