The true value of public speaking engagements

September 18, 2012

By Bob Johnson, NAID CEO

Universally, sales and marketing experts encourage those representing a business to actively seek public speaking engagements. They rightly point out that such educational presentations, where you show off your industry knowledge without overtly pushing your product, demonstrate to the audience that you are an expert and trusted resource in your field.

There is no disputing this fact but I believe too many people overlook the value of such speaking engagements. Let’s say for a minute a secure destruction specialist speaks to a local ARMA International chapter and about 40 people show up, half of them vendors. Then, there might be 20 prospects in the audience, your firm already services 10 and the other 10 are happy with their current destruction vendor.

At first blush, one might challenge the value of speaking engagement at that event. That would be a mistake, and here’s why.

Forget the audience for a moment. Think about the fact that the 60 percent of the chapter members who did not attend the event saw your name and company name highlighted as an expert on information destruction. Also, your company e-newsletter mentioned your appearance before and after the event. Potentially 2,000 or more local customers and prospects saw you and your company highly regarded by a local professional organization.

The actual message you conveyed to the ARMA chapter members at the event was good but, when played right, the ripple effect is enormous.

Remember, every public speaking event you do is an opportunity to hone your skills and build your confidence. The true value of a speaking engagement goes far beyond the chance to talk to a handful of event attendees.