• Wendi Freeman

How To Land Speakers For Your Virtual Event

Updated: Aug 13

Speakers are one of the main ingredients of your event! Brainstorming speakers closely ties into your goals for your timeline. Having a clear understanding of the value that you will provide to your speakers and how their mission aligns with the goal of your event will better prepare you for the pitch.


BRAINSTORM:


Set your timer for 10 minutes and brainstorm all the potential speakers you can think of.

Then organize them into 3 categories:

  • Dream Speakers / Anchor Speaker: These are A-list speakers of your niche. The best of the best. The ones with the most extensive authority and brand recognition.


  • A-List Speakers: These are people at the top of their game that you feel you have a realistic chance of landing. They are viewed as industry experts, have a large following, and are passionate about your topic.


  • Sure Win Speakers: These are the ones you can rely on to say "yes"! Normally, these are people you've worked with in the past, or have a strong connection to.


PREPARING TO PITCH:


Getting speakers who you don't know to say YES comes down to communicating what's in it for them. Explaining what's in it for them typically falls into three categories. When you approach someone in hopes of securing them as a speaker, you should appeal to at least one of these incentives.


The more incentives you are able to convey, the higher likelihood you will have of securing them as a speaker. Typically, you can add each speaker to one or more of these incentive categories.


FINANCIAL

  • Paying them to speak

  • Allowing them to pitch your audience

  • Your promotion of their products and services


SOCIAL

  • Name drop one of their colleagues or common connections

  • Mentioning other confirmed speakers at your event


MORAL

  • They are the solution to helping you audience solve a problem

  • When that problem is solved, what is the greater benefit?

  • Make sure the moral is something that is important to your speaker


Expert Tip: Prior to pitching, engage with your potential speakers content on social media. Comment and re-share their posts. The more visible you can make yourself prior to the pitch, the more successful you will be.



PITCHING


It is important to keep your pitch short and to the point. Sending a video pitch or even a quick audio clip will set you apart from the hundreds of emails your potential speakers are likely receiving.


Your pitch should be about THEM (but dont overdo it)!


  • Why are you reaching out to them?

  • How have they influenced you?

  • What’s in it for them?

Make sure to include a high-level overview about your event, the dates, your target audience (which should align with theirs), and the impact that they will have on your attendees. Make sure to include a link to your event site for additional information. And remember to end your emails with a call to action.



PERSISTENCE AND FOLLOW-UP


You would be surprised how many people send out an email or a video and expect a call back. If only it were that easy! John Maxwell says "Diligent follow-up and follow-through will set you apart from the crowd and communicate excellence". When you start early and allow yourself enough time to secure your speakers that will make the difference between persistence and annoyance.



IT DOESN'T HAVE TO BE DIFFICULT


These are just the high-level basics. If you are stuck wondering where to start, not sure what to say, and want a shortcut, then check out the DONE-FOR-YOU VIRTUAL EVENT TOOLKIT.


It includes a Speakers and Sponsors toolkit that goes into much more detail and provides you with everything you need to pitch your speakers and sponsors including

  • strategy

  • Pitch Scripts

  • Email Templates,

  • Comprehensive speaker toolkit for once your speaker says YES!


The work has already been done for you, all you have to do is implement.


It is not a course or a workshop, it is a SHORTCUT!

The work has already been done for you, all you have to do is implement.



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