The impact of carefully positioned executive speaking opportunities is often forgotten, in no small part to digital communications. Well planned and executedspeaking engagements serve several key functions. They help increase visibility by giving the brand a face, personality and identity, establish thought leadership through pre-established platforms, and position the brand as credible and trustworthy through perceived intimate interaction.
Speaking opportunities work through a tiered approach, meaning that not every mom-and-pop shop around is going to be accepted as a keynote speaker at the World Economic Forum. Brands must build credibility, visibility and thought leadership (professional organizations and university speaker series are good venues to do that) in order to be invited to address larger conferences and seminars.
Another approach to land coveted speaking opportunities is to create them. Sponsoring and promoting industry roundtables are burgeoning trends. Large and small companies alike are realizing that this approach is advantageous and are inviting influencers to join them in speaking about current industry trends to groups of targeted stakeholders. This approach ensures companies are able to invite and reach a desired audience while dictating the tone and content of the event.
Having a clear and succinct message is also important to being seen as a successful and credible source. Executive speakers should undergo presentation training and have a clear message outlined prior to engaging in any opportunity. The topic of the presentation should provide clear and actionable takeaways, insights on relevant trends or new and interesting industry content. PowerPoints and other aides should be used as a guide and not a crutch in the presentation.
Benefits of topical speaking opportunities don’t end at the door to the venue; adroit organizations repurpose content from these events to produce collateral and promote the company’s message. This can be done in newsletters and blogs following the event. Another practice gaining currency is to video the event and post it as a webcast- PR pros are catching on to this trend quickly. A well placed webcast is the gift that keeps giving with increased SEO and a source of fresh and engaging content that furthers brand and corporate messaging.
Public speaking continues to be a sound and relevant way to position corporate executives to increase brand visibility with minimum investment and maximum ROI through heightened reputation and advancement of corporate messaging. How do you feel about speaking engagements? Share your thoughts below!