flexiblefullpage -
billboard - default
interstitial1 - interstitial
catfish1 - bottom
Currently Reading

How to acquire speaking engagements and hone your skills


How to acquire speaking engagements and hone your skills

Hinge | April 4, 2018

If you don’t have much speaking experience, don’t expect paid opportunities to present themselves right off the bat. You may have to work your way up to the big leagues by accepting some smaller, unpaid opportunities first. Don’t be discouraged, though – small venues can be a great way to connect with an audience and build your reputation so you’ll become a desirable candidate for a keynote.

Start local. A great place to start is within your own firm (offering a lunch and learn) or with local chapters of larger national organizations such as AIA, ACEC or NAIOP. Not only will you be speaking to an audience that is part of your local community, but it can be a step toward finding your place in the organization on a regional or national level.

Hone your skills. As you develop your new role as a speaker, take the time to reflect and hone your skills. You may even consider having a colleague or mentor attend one of your events to give you feedback. Remember, strengthening your skills as a speaker on a smaller stage will serve you well as you transition to bigger events and audiences. Consider joining an organization like Toastmasters to help you gain practice.

Choose the right topics. Though this should go without saying, make sure you choose to speak about topics that are relevant to your target audience, addressing the challenges they face. Think carefully about your purpose and direction so you can make the best impression possible. As you speak about topics more frequently, adapt your approach slightly to discover what is most interesting and relevant to your target audience.

Think big. Once you gain traction and build your speaking resume with smaller local or regional events, begin branching out and applying for large speaking opportunities. Figure out where your competitors will be speaking (typically easily accessed on their website) or make a list of events your target audience is likely to frequent. Even if your proposal isn’t accepted this year, you can always reapply for annual events and spend the interim increasing your appeal as a speaker. Along the way, it’s important to keep track of organizations and titles of past presentations, you’ll need those along the way to demonstrate your own speaking experience.

Eventually, you’ll rack up enough speaking engagements to create a speaker bio page on your website with a press kit. As your visibility increases, don’t be surprised if events start seeking you out to appear.

Adding speaking engagements to your marketing strategy can seem like an intimidating task – especially if you’re starting from scratch. However, starting small and taking the time to hone your skills can put you on the path to becoming a desirable Visible Expert in AEC.

It’s worth mentioning that online speaking engagements are also a great place to start. Granted the face-to-face networking aspect is not there, you can build your audience on a digital platform and gain material and credibility for future in-person events.

Most importantly, stick with it. Every year, there are thousands of breakfast / lunch time seminars, one-day summits or weeklong retreats and each of these need speakers. The lessons you learn as you build your speaking portfolio will be invaluable as you become a sought after featured speaker. Remember: all keynote speakers have to start somewhere.


More from Author

Hinge | May 22, 2023

2023 High Growth Study shares tips for finding success in uncertain times

Lee Frederiksen, Managing Partner, Hinge, reveals key takeaways from the firm's recent High Growth study. 

Hinge | Dec 15, 2022

4 ways buyer expectations have changed the AEC industry

The Hinge Research Institute has released its 4th edition of Inside the Buyer’s Brain: AEC Industry—detailing the perspectives of almost 300 buyers and more than 1,400 sellers of AEC services.

Hinge | Jun 8, 2020

A time for fearlessness: Lessons from high growth AEC firms

As it turns out, one of the High Grown firms’ superpower is digital marketing.

Hinge | Apr 11, 2019

Opportunities and challenges you may face in an M&A and how to tackle them

How do mergers and acquisitions impact a firm’s brand, marketing, and business development?

Hinge | Feb 19, 2019

Strategies and tools to help navigate a successful M&A

Based on Hinge’s industry research, smaller firms typically spend a higher percentage of revenue on marketing and business development efforts for the same return.

Hinge | Jan 23, 2019

7 AEC marketing trends to watch for in 2019

As we enter into the new year, I’d like to walk through seven marketing trends that will impact AEC firms in 2019 and beyond.

Hinge | Aug 20, 2018

Marketing for engineering firms: 3 reasons to embrace the revolution

Firms who still aren’t embracing the fundamental shift away from traditional marketing techniques stand to fall further and further behind the competition.

Hinge | Jul 10, 2018

AEC marketing fundamentals can still have a role in winning new business

In our Internet-fueled world, it’s easy to get distracted by the latest online tools. But the boring stuff is still important, and you don’t want to lose sight of old-school techniques that are just as persuasive now as they were a few decades ago.

Hinge | Jun 13, 2018

How your AEC firm's brand affects recruiting top talent

There is a major shift in workforce demographics as upwards of 80 million baby boomers retire over the next fifteen years.

Hinge | Apr 27, 2018

4 reasons to pursue speaking engagements

We found speaking engagements were among the top ten marketing techniques that AEC firms employ.

boombox1 - default
boombox2 -
native1 -

More In Category

halfpage1 -

Most Popular Content

  1. 2021 Giants 400 Report
  2. Top 150 Architecture Firms for 2019
  3. 13 projects that represent the future of affordable housing
  4. Sagrada Familia completion date pushed back due to coronavirus
  5. Top 160 Architecture Firms 2021