Have you ever pitched for a speaking gig?

I remember when I first resurrected my speaking career. It started a few months before I landed my TEDx gig. I did a google search for all the events that were happening in and around my area, got the email addresses and sent an email to the organisers asking if they were looking for speakers.

What I didn’t know back then, which I have learned along the way, is that you need to do a whole lot more than send an email asking for an opportunity.

Since announcing my first ever real life event Entrepreneurial Leaders Live, I have been inundated with requests from people to speak. The majority of people pitching are doing exactly the same as I did back then: ‘‘If you are looking for speakers I’d love to be considered.’

Top Tip – if you want to land a speaking gig, tell the organiser about you, what you would speak about and why you are right for the event.

I plan on doing many more live events so I want to know this information. I want people to pitch! But the thing is I had already hand picked the speakers before even announcing EL live.

I have had some feedback that this is unfair as everyone should be given a fair shot. So wanted to give my reasons for choosing the line up I did. It may be handy for when you put on yours!

1. I was totally inspired by them

I hadn’t even planned on doing a live event until I attended the World Class Leadership conference in February. Ann Daniels, was speaking at the event and gave the most spine tinglingly inspiring talk. As soon as she finished I bounded up to her and asked her to be key note speaker for my event (that I hadn’t decided I was doing until that very moment!) Thank goodness she said yes. My decision to ask her came straight from the gut. That’s what speaking has the power to do. I am inspired by every single speaker at EL live. Their stories, work and journeys have all impacted me in some way.

2. The speaker and talk perfectly align with the theme

The theme of The Big Breakthrough was decided after confirming Ann Daniels and Lewis Raymond Taylor as keynote speakers. Both have experienced such incredible breakthroughs and are now using them to impact many people’s lives. My expertise lies in helping entrepreneurs stand out, get recognised as experts and win more business through stories and speaking, so it was a perfect fit. After thinking of the theme, I set to work picking speakers that would perfectly align.

3. There is a mix of different stories and angles

An event about breakthroughs could mean similar stories are told. Many people have stories that follow the classic Hero’s journey formula. I wanted to mix things up so that each talk has a different message for the audience. So I spoke with each speaker individually to outline a talk that would deliver the best message for their story. There are also two experiential learning sessions on day 1 (run by the wonderful Kerry Davey and Nicola Arnold) and 3 practical workshops on Day 2 (run by myself, Jessica Lorimer and Sally Bunkham) to help transfer the learning into action.

4. Not everyone has the same level of speaking experience – and that’s a good thing

There are some truly amazing speakers in the line up. Ann Daniels delivers talks all over the world. Toby Moore has an extensive background in speaking and helps hundreds of people share their stories through TEDx. Julie White has won the pitch of her life in The Dragons Den and has given extensive talks since then. Georgia Varjas has an incredible background in performing arts. Katherine Hickman is used to giving talks and lectures as a GP and coach. Kerry Davey shone out on my speaker programme with her incredible talks and has delivered them in a corporate environment. Nicola Arnold is used to presenting, training and coaching people within her learning and development role in the NHS AND as a life coach and founder of the Happy to be Me Hub. Lewis has been sharing his story with incredible feedback. Paul Bunkham has just been through a gruelling process to land one of the most awesome jobs in the world, and speaking was a big part of that. And Sally along with Jessica have appeared on the news, Good morning Britain, have spoken at some big gigs and know what is needed to deliver a message. Not too shabby right?

But it’s not all about how many talks a speaker has done. I have attended events where some of the best speakers were doing their first or second talk. The thing that makes each speaker great regardless of the experience their experience is the stories they have to share. I want to give a platform to every kind of storyteller out there, whoever they are, wherever they come from. It’s the best way to flex the speaking muscles we all have inside us.

5. They know how to craft and deliver a stand out talk
Although everyone has different levels of speaking experience, each speaker at EL live knows how to make an impact with their words. A big part of what I do is to help entrepreneurs share their stories and messages through speaking. I have shared the way that this can be done for maximum impact through my free and paid trainings.

I saw the women on my Stand Out Speaker programme open themselves up to the challenge to craft and deliver a compelling talk based on an important message they had to share. Even more reason to give some of them the opportunity to share it in front of others. So it won’t just be a off the cuff set of talks about nothing in particular. These speakers know how to make an impact with their words. You are in for a TREAT!

Early bird ticket sales for Entrepreneurial Leaders Live end 30th April at midnight. Book your ticket here http://helenpackham.com/entrepreneurial-leaders-live/ You can take advantage of a 10% discount using the code ‘Emailloyalty’

Much love

Helen x

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