Want to be a great marketer? Become a great presenter. My 6 Tips

This summer I’ve been coaching entrepreneurs and business owners who want to use “public speaking” as a marketing tool to attract clients and customers to use their services.

Initially we focus our time on writing the speech. After the speech is crafted we design a “speaker’s marketing piece” that will get the attention of meeting planners, and event program directors.


They get booked to speak at a networking luncheon or even a local conference…terrific!

Things are going great- they are up in front of sixty or so people giving their presentation and they start to stray off the prepared speech and dive into making sales pitch (yuck!)

The hard truth is that no one comes to a networking luncheon or a conference to hear a speaker market to them. If your talk is really a “HIRE ME” to solve your problems, sprinkled here and there with a few tips, you are going to turn off your audience and never be asked to speak.

Here are some of my secrets that will help you get what you want! For me it’s to get booked to speak again and again, for you it might be to sell your services, your book, or your products.

Just Remember- Don’t Sell or Marker from the Platform!

1. Know your audience and make your program relevant to their needs. One speech doesn’t fit all audiences. Change it up! If you are talking to realtors find examples that reflect their challenges.  Present your material as though you were one of them. That works better in these situations opposed to you telling them the 10 things they need to be doing.

2. Give-Give- Give. Give away some of your best information (I give them my slides) and stop worrying that they are going to go off and DIY or steal your talk.  Here’s a little secret-very few people actually go and do what you suggest.  Eventually, if you made a great impression, they will hire you to help them get where they need to be.

3. Get Good! Just because you wrote a great presentation doesn’t mean you can deliver a great presentation.  Speaking is an art and practice is a huge part of the deal. Today audiences want to hear presentations where the speaker is comfortable and as ease rather than someone reading scripted materials or delivering memorized speech. Practice so that your words flow, have some animation, and remember that your energy (good or bad)  is contagious.

4. Leave Time for a Q and A. Here’s where we separate the novice from the pro.  How you sound in the Q and A quickly establishes your expertise- or not. Do your homework and keep on reading and doing research on your topic.

5. Make it fun and make it easy for the audience to connect with you. After I warm the audience up I say, “Here are the rules, Open your phone or laptop and Tweet about this presentation. And I hope you tweet good things about me.” (hopefully I get a laugh!)   Everyone starts to buzz!  Then on the screen is a slide with my Twitter handle K_McCullough and my email address [email protected] ! Again on my last slide I say, “Stay connected and I again give my email, Twitter handle and my Facebook and Linkedin name.  It works!  Some connect immediately while others drop an email when they need me.

6. Stick around. This is something that I have learned from the top pros. I get more inquiries for my speaking services after I have presented.  Right after the speech there is usually a group of people that swarm wanted my card, asking questions and giving me their cards and information.  I try to stay a few hours after my presentation and talk with people in the halls and hotel lobby. My goal is not to nail a booking right then and there, but to created the space for a relationship to grow.

In Closing…

Want to be a great marketer? Become a great presenter. When people discover that you really know what you are talking about you will attract business.  Your are leaving your listeners with the thought that they should get your  card and check our you or your business.

Today your audience is savvy…they will find you on line. It’s not that hard.

As a speaker I would love your opinions-

What annoys you about speakers?

What makes you want to learn more about a speaker and give them your business?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Karen,

    Great tips – especially about selling from the platform as audiences do not want to be sold to. Thanks for your great advice!