Thursday, February 25, 2010

So, You Want to be a Professional Speaker? III

The third and final part of my professional speaker series!

In case you missed the others - Part One & Part Two

If you've been following along, you have your platform, speaking topics, and know where you want to speak!

Now to the detail items...

There are a few items you will need before you start calling on prospective clients.

1 - Business card

You may have one representing you, the author - but you need one that represents you, the speaker!
Now, these can be one and the same if you do not use your book cover on the card. Why not? Well, you're not talking about your books, remember? You are a subject matter expert! Your card will look more professional without your book cover.

Just for an example, I scanned in the front and back of mine:

It's not the perfect card, but it gives you an idea of what information you want to include.

Go for quality! High gloss & color. And NEVER put your home phone number on the card - use your cell phone or dedicated line.

2 - Brochure

You can land gigs without one - I did  in the beginning - but as you expand, you'll want a professional brochure if you hope to land bigger gigs. Discuss your uniqueness as a speaker, what you can do for that business/organization/etc, list your speaking topics, short bio, and contact info.

Again, just for an example, here is one side of my tri-fold:

On the inside, two flaps list my six seminars/speaking topics and the other flap has my bio. That is also where I mention my books.

3 - Website

Again, as you grow, you'll want a professional website dedicated just to you, the speaker. What went into the brochure goes on the website - plus a press room, appearances and references, articles, etc. Yes, you can list your books here if they pertain to your topic(s.) My site has my non-fiction book, but not my YA series. A video of you giving a talk is a must when you really start to grow. (No, I don't have one up yet - it's on my to-do list!)

Again, just as an example, my speaker site is at Spunk On A Stick
You want to see some really good ones, Google speakers such as Tony Robbins, Joyce Meyers, etc.

You may need props for your topics, so don't forget your visual aids.

A great organization to consider is the National Speakers Association. They have chapters in every state. You must qualify to be a member though, by making so much as a speaker or speaking at X amount of paid events a year. (That gives you a goal to shoot for!!)

Here's another bonus to professional speaking - back of room sales. And when people can hear you speak, if your book relates to your topic (especially if it is non-fiction) they will be more apt to purchase your book.

Now, you are armed and ready and know what you need!

Next week - the wrap-up. How Spunky got started... and some funny stories along the way!


Unknown said...

Oh this segment is great! Looking forward to next week's!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Oh, wow...

The Old Silly said...

Great stuff here, Spunkster! Hey really cool brochure too. :)

Marvin D Wilson

Helen Ginger said...

Great series, Diane. Very helpful. Thank you for sharing. The visuals were great.

Straight From Hel

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Okay, now I've got promo material envy! I haven't gotten the bookmarks done for my last book yet. I have got to get cracking.

Mystery Writing is Murder

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Thank you everyone! My husband designed the brochure and card.

Arlee Bird said...

Your website is really fine-- very comprehensive and engaging. Likewise the brochure is excellent.
The business card looks very professional, although as a matter of personal preference as far as functional use I prefer a card that is blank on one side. This was brought to my attention while manning booths at trade shows. Often when I meet someone who gives me a card, I want to make notes about the person, what they asked for, or other information. When the card is glossy on both sides with pictures and a lot of other stuff, it looks nice, but then I have to write notes on a separate piece of paper, which does not always work and can get separated from the card. So I'm of mixed feelings --love the cards that are like mini-brochures and with pictures, but a plain heavy stock card is less expensive and allows for a lot of note taking.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

True, Lee - it takes a really pointy pen to penetrate a glossy card. I do leave enough room on the back to do so though.
The choice is personal. I've stuck with the gloss because every time I hand it to someone, the FIRST thing they comment on is professional gloss and quality of the content & design.
And I actually get my cards for really, really cheap...

Rowan said...

Very nice! :) least I have a business card =)

Creative Chronicler said...

More awesome advice! So many people only use one side of a business card and that's wasted real estate. But Lee makes a good point about leaving a little space to write on.

I actually have several business cards for my different "hats", but I'm getting ready to redo them and do a blog business card, because everyone around here wants to know my site link and scrounging for a pen & paper is getting old.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Ashmodai, good for you!

CC - want to know an awesome printer? Check out They do everything for me!

Jane Kennedy Sutton said...

I'm behind. I'm going to go back and read the previous parts as I find this a very interesting topic. I hope I get to hear you speak in person one of these days.

Allyn Evans said...

Also, if you are not ready to shell out big bucks for a custom made website, you can use a blog as this purpose. It is far less expensive to get someone to do a blog header than a full-blown website. I paid between $45 and $70 for my headers. is an example. Tekeme Studios ( helped me and are very talented. BTW, I don't get anything for telling you this. I just think they are REALLY good and reasonably priced.

And forgive me, Diane, if you have already said this. Add a calendar or listing of events to your show that you are busy and working! If you haven't started booking many events yet, then list past bookings.

Carolyn Howard-Johnson said...

Just like anything else, if you want to do well, you need to promote! Great series, Diane.
Carolyn Howard-Johnson
Blogging at Writer's Digest 101 Best Websites pick

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Allyn, I had not mentioned that yet! Good point.
That's why we are all here - to help one another complete the picture.

Jane, you've had other things going on - I appreciate your interest though.

Jai Joshi said...

Thanks so much for this series on professional speaking. A lot of these tips I hadn't even considered, like having a brochure or website dedicated to my speaking. Makes a lot of sense.


AngBreidenbach said...

The brochure is beautiful and the comments above mine have excellent tips and feedback. One tip: if you have gloss cards, just use a fine point sharpie :-)

Diane, you have done a great job. You should keep this going with in depth on the simple things for you that are not so simple for others. Like when did you set your fees and how did you choose them? How do you actually contact the potential target market? What do you say? Do you send a speaker kit first or after you call?

Break each thing down and keep going. This is excellent :-)

SyedMuddassar said...

Business cards can also be for the media promotion of a product, and services.
Discount Cards.