Brand, product, and marketing managers all recognize the value of public exposure. Whether gained through media mentions, social shares, blog traffic, or a truck canvassing neighborhoods, eyeballs and awareness gained by increased exposure can improve the chances that your brand or cause will capture new prospects to feed into the conversion funnel.
So why, when given the opportunity to stand on a literal or virtual stage on which to represent their brand, do so many of them fail to wring the opportunity dry?
Skilled public speakers are not only subject matter experts (probably much like yourselves), but they’re entertainers and storytellers who have learned how to generate positive impressions for their brand when given a stage at a live event or microphone at a virtual seminar. These venues – and every podcast, video interview, and Meetup in between – give brand marketing and corporate communications folks a chance to do some persuasive selling in a non-threatening, low-pressure way.
Once you have the venue and the ready audience, how can you maximize the return on the investment (and be sure, there’s costs wrapped up in resource preparation time, if not also hard costs like travel)?
Four ways to squeeze more juice from your next presentation:
- Ask the event coordinator for details about how your panel/session/class is being advertised and promoted. Look for connections between those efforts and your company’s existing marketing. Can you get an ad inserted next to the one for the event? The proximity and size could make your name on the speaker roster stand out more. The take-away is that your panel/session/class falls into a “not to miss” category.
- Find out if a hash tag is being used for the event. Prepare an additional one specifically for your session. Use the two in combination to cross-pollinate targeted Twitter search streams. Include the tags in the footer of your presentation materials or handouts.
- Develop a custom landing page to point attendees to. The page content should be very tailored to mirror the expectations of a visitor prompted by the underlying purpose or philosophy of the event – so take care not to genericize the copy. Rather than simply including your standard URL on your bio slide or even earlier, on the speaker showcase web page, use a specially-prepared URL. It’ll help identify and quantify traffic tied specifically to your participation in the event. Better yet, use the page as a gateway for visitors to access special reports or short industry surveys (tied to an incentive) to capture useful contact information and fuel a future report.
- Upon closing your session, ask the audience if they’ll drop their business cards into the fishbowl located near the door. If you’ve pledged follow-up information, swag, or special offers to attendees, this is both a chance to gather volunteered contact information as well as your next chance to solidify the trust you started earning when you delivered a presentation as advertised.
Next time you have a chance to present, don’t just cull together slides from some PowerPoints and show up on schedule. There are things you can do before, during, and after the presentation to build your brand and even generate new business if you just squeeze hard enough.