Guest Speaking for Business Growth

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Host Jennifer Henczel sits down with Speaking Coach Bri Williams to chat about how experts can get booked for more speaking gigs

Speaking Strategist, Bri Williams, helps expert entrepreneurs launch speaking businesses, become paid speakers, and market their offers from dream stages. After nearly 20 years in talent development, she began her paid speaking career utilizing her learning and coaching experience to speak on diversity, leadership, and women’s development through speaking confidence and executive presence.

Find out about:

  • What sort of speaking has the biggest impact on your business growth?
  • What should experts focus on when they do have the opportunity to speak?
  • Stories are a huge part of connecting with your audience and landing more opportunities.

Strategies for Securing Paid Speaking Gigs:

  1. 1.Know What You Want (So You Know How To Get It)
  2. Ask For What You Want
  3. Focus on What Your Audience Wants (the sales will come)

Episode Highlights

  • Distinguishing between using speaking as a marketing tool and seeking paid speaking opportunities.
  • Utilizing speaker associations as valuable resources for networking and discovering speaking engagements.
  • The influential role of referrals within the speaking industry.
  • Harnessing the power of storytelling to captivate and land speaking opportunities.
  • Tailoring messaging to resonate with target audiences for successful speaking engagements.
  • Utilizing feedback to shape speaking topics based on audience preferences.
  • Unveiling the significance of well-crafted pitch kits for speaking applications.
  • Essential components of a pitch kit: attention-grabbing hook, concise bio, professional headshots, suggested interview questions.
  • Adapting pitch kit content to align with the podcast or event’s theme for greater impact.
  • The art of conveying impactful information concisely while optimizing engagement.

Connect with Jennifer Henczel, Host & Founder of the Women in Podcasting Show

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Transcript: Bri Williams Interview

[00:00:00] Jennifer Henczel: Welcome everyone to the women in podcasting show. My name is Jennifer Hensel. And today I have speaking strategist, Bree Williams with me today, and she helps expert entrepreneurs, launch speaking businesses, become paid speakers and market their offers from dreams. Stages after nearly 20 years in talent development, she began her paid speaking career, utilizing her learning and coaching experiences to speak on diversity leadership and women’s development through speaking conferences and executive presence, Australian born.

[00:00:32] Jennifer Henczel: And after a decade of living in London, Brie is now based in the South of France. I’m excited to hear some of the tips that Brie has to share with us today.

[00:00:49] Bri Williams: Welcome to the Women in Podcasting Show. Enjoy inspiring stories, interesting interviews, and powerful strategies from women around the world. Jennifer Hensel Spotlights. [00:01:00] Today’s Top podcasters, new podcasters and Expert Guests. Get tips for leveling up your life, gaining visibility, growing your business, monetizing your podcast, and so much more.

[00:01:11] Bri Williams: We invite you to support women in finding their voice and sharing their passion. It’s all about women, empowering women.

[00:01:21] Jennifer Henczel: Well, welcome Bri. Thank you so much for being here with me. Now we first met through. Katie Brinkley’s summit. And you did such a great session in her summit that I wanted to bring you on to the Women in Podcasting show to share about paid speaking.

[00:01:36] Jennifer Henczel: And so thank you so much for being here.

[00:01:38] Bri Williams: I’m so happy to be here with you. And like I said, speaking in real time is always fun as well. I’ve watched your masterclasses. That’s for sure.

[00:01:47] Jennifer Henczel: Oh, that’s so great. Yeah. And so now you’re in, so everybody knows you’re in the South of France.

[00:01:53] Bri Williams: Right? Yes. Yeah. It’s, uh, pouring with rain right now and not at all the sunny, [00:02:00] uh, idyllic future that a lot of people have, but yes, southwest of France from Australia originally.

[00:02:07] Jennifer Henczel: Tell us how you got started then in the speaking

[00:02:09] Bri Williams: industry. So I have been speaking for a very long time within a corporate function. I started out strangely, um, perhaps for some as studying counseling, uh, and then went into HR slash training education. And throughout that, I always focused on communication and the topic that I taught more often than not.

[00:02:32] Bri Williams: Was presentation skills and then got into leadership and executive content like that. So I have been speaking for a very long time. And when my adventure brought me over to France about 5 years ago now, and I started my own business. And I was focused on the speaking side of things and supporting as a public speaking coach.

[00:02:55] Bri Williams: And I thought that was a perfect time to go out there and start making the [00:03:00] most of what was my internal experience and working with with clients as well. So I mainly speak for corporates who are looking for leadership and public speaking. Speakers and and also the coaching that goes along with that as well.

[00:03:17] Bri Williams: And of course, I thought that was just going to be super simple. I was, you know, always presenting in my internal positions and I had a lot of experience doing that. And then I had to figure out this marketing piece, which was the, uh, the, the big challenge that a lot of new entrepreneurs face. Uh, so I turned to what felt most natural to me and that was speaking.

[00:03:41] Bri Williams: And that’s a part of how you and I met. I’ve definitely utilized speaking to market my business and turn that into paid speaking as well.

[00:03:50] Jennifer Henczel: Oh, that’s great. That’s great. Well, good for you. So, so can you give us some tips then give our listeners some tips about getting paid speaking gigs?

[00:03:59] Bri Williams: [00:04:00] So a lot of people will sit in the space of using speaking to market their business.

[00:04:04] Bri Williams: And of course, loads of people in your audience are already doing that podcasters utilizing summits and also free stages where you get to perhaps sell from stage as well, whether you run your own events or it’s an industry type event and the space when people are ready to move into paid speaking is typically when you’re ready to add that As a line in your business, they’re really treating it as, as another income stream.

[00:04:32] Bri Williams: And that includes strategy messaging and the processes around that. So the marketing, the sales, the operations that support that. So it’s not super sexy. In fact, for a lot of it, uh, beyond, uh, having that strategy and focusing on a particular stage and really. Getting your, your messaging down pat is creating these processes that make it repeatable, consistent, and also that build your [00:05:00] brand as a speaker, as well as the expert that you’ve, you’ve been building your brand as for however long you’ve been in business.

[00:05:09] Bri Williams: Um, so really those elements help, uh, to, to find the paid speaking, but of course, narrowing your focus is probably the thing that people struggle with the most. And if you have an educator’s background, like I do, and like many confident speakers do, you probably have been asked. To speak on a number of different topics, and, of course, you can, uh, you know, if you have that speaking confidence, you probably have an encyclopedic kind of, oh, yeah, I could talk about this, or I could do that.

[00:05:39] Bri Williams: And that can actually challenge be a challenge in terms of finding paid speaking work, because you are essentially a trainer for hire, as opposed to a paid speaker that. can then command, uh, you know, higher fees, if you like. So it really does depend on what you’re looking to get out of speaking. [00:06:00] Uh, but if you want someone to say, Hey, listen, we want you to come speak on, you know, this particular topic, um, you know, and really be known.

[00:06:08] Bri Williams: As an expert or a thought leader in that specific, uh, field or topic, then really narrowing your focus is the first step and picking one, maybe two topics that you focus on. So you can really deepen your brand in that particular area. Oh, that’s helpful.

[00:06:27] Jennifer Henczel: Now I, at different times before I became a full time entrepreneur, I had a, my business was a side gig and I worked full time and I had a number of different roles over the years from corporate to nonprofit.

[00:06:39] Jennifer Henczel: And I had some of my roles were in HR. An employee development, and we would hire speakers. And so 1 of the places we would tap into if we didn’t have a direct referral was the speaker associations and things like that. Do you have anything you can tell us about

[00:06:53] Bri Williams: that up until this point? I have not been affiliated with any speaker [00:07:00] associations.

[00:07:00] Bri Williams: I’m based in France. My difficulty is that. I’m not finding French speaking business. However, what I would say is if you’re based in North America, um, or if you are even in, uh, your home country, your native language, then the speaker associations are absolutely a great place to tap into. And not only to find those opportunities, but, um, to also grow your speaking network because referrals are a massive part of the speaking business.

[00:07:31] Bri Williams: I know that if I can’t do a gig for whatever reason, I have, you know, 2 or 3 people that I reach out to regularly and say, hey, listen, I can’t do this. time of this date. Is this something that you’d be interested in? And it works the other way around as well. So if people know what you speak on, um, there was a really interesting stat that came through in speaker flow state of the speaker industry report from last year.

[00:07:55] Bri Williams: They were looking forward to what comes through in the next report, but they were, [00:08:00] they were saying that, um, 67% Of the speakers surveyed were, um, saying that the majority of their paid speaking opportunities came through referrals. So, you know, before you worry about chasing leads or doing a bunch of cold outreach, that’s really the number 1 place.

[00:08:19] Bri Williams: To tap into look at who you already know. And Jennifer, it’s interesting. You talk about your background because I find that people who have an HR background, a corporate background, we seem to find each other. I know that Katie’s back is also similar. And there’s just something I think about the way that you present yourself.

[00:08:36] Bri Williams: Based on the industry or the type of work that you’ve done previously, that attracts people that have a similar background and, you know, so being, uh, very much yourself and tapping into your own style and what you know, works can be a huge benefit as well, when you do find yourself on those stages or those side of stage

[00:08:55] Jennifer Henczel: opportunities, Referrals are my number one.

[00:08:57] Jennifer Henczel: So I agree with you a hundred percent. So did you [00:09:00] have any other tips for getting speaking gigs on podcasts or stages or anything like that?

[00:09:06] Bri Williams: The, the first tip I’d offer is just getting really clear on the stories that you want to share from the stage and thinking about what is going to best communicate to your particular audience.

[00:09:19] Bri Williams: So, if you are someone who’s speaking from stage to market your business, you’re a coach or a course creator, a business owner, talking about the stories of transformation, people that you’ve been able to help previously, and really being able to I’m going to speak to the details of that are going to help potential clients in the audience reach out to you.

[00:09:39] Bri Williams: And of course, if you’re if what you’re looking for is more speaking gigs, then obviously referring to other times when you’ve been on stage and the experience of working with you as a speaker is a great. Great thing to be able to do. Um, and just really focusing on, um, a couple of topics. So if you are pitching, uh, if you are [00:10:00] reaching out to people with different topics, see what gets you booked.

[00:10:04] Bri Williams: Uh, you may have a couple of ideas up your sleeve, um, but oftentimes the market will tell you what they’re interested in. And so, you know, go with, go with what, um, your audience, what your hosts, the event producers are really. Biting on, uh, essentially, and once you get that first booking, look at what is a, like audience or a like event.

[00:10:27] Bri Williams: Um, so if you get, uh, like my, my client recently got a university gig and I said, alright, so this university, this topic. Where else can we, where else can we go with this? We looked at similar universities, similar departments that would be looking for the same sort of talk that he delivered so that we could turn that into more opportunities.

[00:10:49] Bri Williams: Every opportunity should turn into more sales, more clients, more speaker bookings. Cause they’re all out there.

[00:10:56] Jennifer Henczel: That’s a great tip. That’s a really great tip. I know we did that [00:11:00] with my husband in a way that has helped him go from an injured male worker to an international speaker as well. Gotten him on all kinds of stages from, you know, universities to TEDx and, and all of that.

[00:11:10] Jennifer Henczel: So storytelling really is key. I love that tip. Yes. So where can people connect with you because you’re an awesome guest and here’s the thing, you submitted. Such an amazing application. So we have an application process where people can submit their info. And I wanted you to come on the show anyways, because so your application was pre approved, but you filled it out so perfectly.

[00:11:31] Jennifer Henczel: Now that’s one of the things we should touch on maybe really quickly is, um, you know, people need a hook. They need to have their brief bio people that submit a page and a half bio to me. I know they, they aren’t focused. Right, they haven’t refined it enough yet that we’re going to be able to have a proper discussion in a way that’s going to be beneficial to the audience in a short amount of time or shorter.

[00:11:57] Jennifer Henczel: Right. And so, yeah, do you have anything you [00:12:00] can say about that? What you’re going to submit?

[00:12:02] Bri Williams: Yeah. So the pitch kit essentials. And of course, there is a certain element of, um, you know, you’re using a lot of this information in a similar way for every application that you do. The hook a title your 100 word bio.

[00:12:19] Bri Williams: Typically, it’s not going to be much more than that. If anything, your hopes might ask you for less than that. A couple of professional headshots and then having a couple of questions that the host can ask you, or at least give some direction for the conversation where it’s going to go. And and what I would say is that you can have all of that information prepared.

[00:12:42] Bri Williams: In advance, and you may well utilize very similar information from application to application. But when you’re looking at the podcast, when you’re looking at the summit, for goodness sake, what what’s it all about? You know, are they talking about profit? Are they talking about growth, influence, visibility?

[00:12:58] Bri Williams: What is it [00:13:00] that they’re really focused on in terms of these keywords? And it’s kind of like doing a job application. You know, if you just copy and paste things across. You can tell, right? If you spend a bit of time and really think about who the audience is, and what would make it super easy for that host to put you in front of their audience, knowing that it’s going to be a perfect match.

[00:13:21] Bri Williams: That’s, that’s how I’d approach it and how I encourage my clients to approach it. Brilliant.

[00:13:26] Jennifer Henczel: Absolutely brilliant. Thank you for sharing that. Yes. And when I get an app, it’s so much easier to choose the person if they’ve got all their Pieces in place, you know, so even if someone doesn’t have a signature talking, you might not, you might be wanting to go on podcasts where you don’t really most podcasts, you don’t just deliver your full signature talk, but just going through the process of writing that out, you know, and working through it and developing it.

[00:13:48] Jennifer Henczel: It’s not about having a script, right? It’s about getting all your wording and kind of economizing your words so that you can make the most impact in, in a concise way. Right. Yeah. So how come [00:14:00] people connect with you then? And because you’re an excellent guest and I can tell everybody you’re the package you submitted to be a guest is outstanding.

[00:14:07] Jennifer Henczel: So, um, yeah, how can people connect with you and have you as a guest and, or have you as a, do you, so do you do speaking coaching

[00:14:14] Bri Williams: them? I do. I offer speaking coaching. I have a program where people, uh, come and. Launch their speaking business, so if you are thinking about speaking to either market your business or paid speaking, I have the pro speaker income launch program, which is a great launch pad to get the strategy, the messaging, including your signature talk and also all of those processes in place in terms of marketing yourself as a speaker.

[00:14:40] Bri Williams: Contracts, all the all the fun stuff, right? Getting getting down to brass tacks with negotiating price, all of all of those things. I’d love to connect with anyone who’s interested in in any of those elements on LinkedIn. I’m Brie Williams, Pro Speaker. I’m sure the link is somewhere in around, uh, this, [00:15:00] this video or this, this, um, episode.

[00:15:03] Bri Williams: Um, and LinkedIn is really the place where I’d love to connect with you and ask me any questions that you have about your speaking, um, interests, your expertise in the industry that you’re trying to get into. Yes.

[00:15:15] Jennifer Henczel: LinkedIn is so great. I think we’re connected over there. Yeah, we’re connected over there and we have a women in podcasting group over there too on LinkedIn as well.

[00:15:22] Jennifer Henczel: That’s really growing rapidly. So yeah. All right. Yes, we will put all of your links in the show notes at women and podcasting dot show. So thank you so much for being here today, Brie.

[00:15:34] Bri Williams: Thank you so much for having me. I appreciate it.

Jennifer Henczel: Bye for now.

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