Today’s blog post is written by Colin Sprake, CEO of Make YOUR Mark Training and Consulting.  Colin will be the guest speaker at NSA-Michigan’s September 12 seminar.  You can learn more about the seminar and register online here.  

In the past few weeks, I have met with students who were doing presentations for associations, organizations, networking groups, etc.  What I found interesting was how focused they were on delivering a great presentation, and not really focused on the massive opportunity of the audience sitting in front of them.

You have to realize that the window of opportunity is the widest open when the audience is sitting right in front of you. It does not matter how big or small that audience is, you MUST determine what you are going to offer, sell or give away to ensure that you have massive success. Yes, you have to create a powerful and value filled presentation, but do not forget about the opportunity. You may think that you can get the list of attendees from the event, and that you can email them after the event. This takes a lot of work and many hours!

At Make Your Mark, I often forgo the upfront speaking fee in order to be able to giveaway a course, and get people registered at the speaking engagement. I know what our results are once a person comes into our funnel.

There are a number of things you can offer from the stage that can be very soft sell – the goal is to get the audience’s contact details ethically and legally:

  1. You can sell a course, webinar, etc. but this is often frowned upon.
  2. Give away a course that feeds your funnel – you must know your numbers in order to do this.
  3. Give away a webinar.
  4. Create a prize and send around a fish bowl to collect business cards, and do the draw at the front of the room.
  5. Giveaway a door prize, and collect people’s business cards.
  6. Have them like your Facebook page to win a prize.
  7. Put a QR Code up on screen, have them scan it to win a prize, and drive them to a landing page where you can collect their name and email address.

The most important part is whatever you are giving away or selling has to be directly related to the presentation you were doing on stage, as this must be something they really want, and relevant to your presentation topic. In fact, if you can seed the product or service that you are going to offer all the way through your presentation, then it makes it even an easier sell at the end.

The most important part of all of the above, is to negotiate with the organizers upfront as to what you want. It is exciting to get paid to speak, yet you may make substantially more by having clients come in to your funnel for the long term. I would much rather have $100,000 over the next 12 months than have a speaking fee upfront of $15,000. The math is simple!