One of the methods that have been the most effective for me is to over prepare for each speaking event. Become very familiar with the audience and organization and get to know what their purpose is. Lions Clubs support programs for sight; you might mention something about the program or collect used glasses for their program. The Rotary Clubs have many programs in the community and each club typically focuses on a specific project. Find out what their project is so you are well informed. The Kiwanis Clubs focus on boys homes and other local projects.
If you’re speaking at an organization, research them on the Internet and try to get background information so you will be well prepared. You might interview four to six key members of the group and find out what their challenges are. Be sure to provide your audience with specific benefits but always leave them wanting more.
Most often you will be allowed a copy of the video of the event which you will be able to use on your website in your online media room. Remember to keep adding new video frequently, but keep the clips to less than five minute segments.
If there are particular events you might want to speak at, invite the event coordinator to attend one of your speaking engagements so they will get a first hand impression of your style and ability to engage your audience.
Be sure to ask every event coordinator for a testimonial. Video has the most impact, but you can record an audio testimonial through freeteleconference.com or Google’s Snagit.
One of the ways to increase your income at an event is to volunteer to conduct a breakout session. You can nearly double your compensation by participating in one of the educational programs.
In a word of caution, never ever speak on a topic or at an event you are not qualified to deliver. It will do more harm in the long run. When you focus on your area of expertise, it will create a positive impact.
I’ll typically recommend not speaking at events when the audience is outside of your comfort zone, but at least once a year I’ll speak at an engineering group just to keep myself on my toes.