Continuing on from “Getting invited,” it is important to make your mark on the hosting organization, the audience, and any prospective clients or customers in the room.
- Once accepted as a speaker, be as low-maintenance as possible. Send in everything you are asked for as soon as you can – blurbs, bios, photos, and equipment requests. Do not make the administrators chase you. A reputation as a cooperative speaker, combined with good evaluations from the audience, tend to ensure repeat offers to present.
- Arrive at least 15 minutes early to your presentation room to make sure you understand the physical conditions and can test the equipment and confer with the tech support and administrative support handling the room. This early time allows trouble to be detected and fixed.
- If there is nothing to prepare, you will have time to personally greet the early arrivals in the audience, which they will appreciate, especially if you ask them about their specific interest in the topic, or any question they might like you to address. Many of the audience are shy in front of presenters, and would not speak with you afterwards. These are particularly appreciative of being welcomed before the presentation.
- When presenting, follow the requests of the organization: make sure audience questions are repeated or are asked into a microphone, so that the recordings are valuable. If you are asked to make announcements (for example, to fill in evaluation forms), comply graciously.
Follow up and marketing outreach:
- Write a thank-you email to the host of the conference, reporting on the success of the presentation, your enjoyment of the event, and your interest in presenting at future events. This should be sent no more than 2 days following your presentation.
- Send a follow up email to your other panel speakers, appreciating their insights. (If you chaired the panel, then thank them for their expertise).
- Send a follow up email to anyone from the audience who gave you his/her card and/or spoke to you afterwards. This email must be sent individually to each person, and you must reference what issues they shared with you, which you should have noted on the card during or after your conversation with each one of them.
- Although you can use standard paragraphs in this email, at least one paragraph must reference that you remember the conversation. Do not send a mass-mail, form email except to those who may have taken your card, left theirs, and did not speak to you. This email must speak to your regret in not having a chance to speak to them directly.
- In the email’s content:
- Reference access to your website.
- Engage them in further conversation about your product or service or consultancy without selling.
- Send a “trinket” – some blog article of yours, or others’, which extends the conversation and will be of use to them.
- If you plan ahead, you will offer your audience access to this trinket if they will give you their card after your presentation. The trinket can be delivered via email or via a link in the email, which drives the audience to your site to access it there with a password, created for this audience.
Much of this is basic etiquette, but it goes far in making your way into new relationships and in creating new loyalties.