How to Build a Better Speaking Page, Part 2

In my previous post, I wrote about how I revamped my Speaking page. I thought I would document the process here, in the event that you are thinking about “going pro.” This is the second of two posts.

A Screenshot of My Speaking Page

If you are an author—or want to be one—I highly recommend that you consider public speaking as part of building your platform. It is a great way to raise your visibility, promote your products, and develop credibility with your audience.

In my previous post, I covered the first four components of my Speaking page. In this post, I will cover the last six. (You might want to open my new Speaking page in another window and refer to it as you read about the components below.)

After creating my call-to-action, welcome video, page overview, and list of expectations (see my previous post), I did the following:

  1. I wrote a specialized biography. In my previous Speaking page, I simply cut and pasted the copy from the About section of my blog. However, as I passed this section through the filter of what’s-important-to-an-event-planner, I realized that this needed to be totally re-written.

    I started with my speaking experience. I also included my media experience, including some of the more noteworthy TV and radio shows I have been on. In my case, the interesting fact is the sheer volume. I have been on more than 1,000 shows.

    Next, I presented my credentials, including my career history, the scope of my social media platform, and my prior publishing history. I ended with a brief personal paragraph about my family and personal interests. I think this puts a “human face” on the bio.

  2. I assembled a collection of video clips. This may be the most important section. It is where the rubber meets the road. At the end of the day, event sponsors want to know how you come across in front of a live audience.

    Frankly, I still need better clips. This is a major focus this year. We try to get every sponsor to record my presentation on video. We are looking for 1–2 minute “moments” that represent me in a live context. It is amazing how many sponsors are willing to record you if you ask.

    Speaking page 3

    I also had a company here in Nashville take all my recordings and create a quick, two-and-a-half-minute video demo. (I plan to write more about them in another post.) This is something that sponsors can use with their committee or other decision-makers. I was very pleased with their process and ultimate product.

  3. I compiled my most requested topics. This required the most work. I had go back through the last three years of speaking and identify the topics that were the most popular and I felt were congruent with my “brand.”

    I wrote a brief description of each topic, then I went through iStockPhoto.com and found a photo that I felt was iconic of that talk. I think the visual element is critical. I downloaded the photo and created a slideshow in iWork Keynote. I then exported each slide to create the “thumbnails” for this section.

    Speaking page 4

  4. I collected endorsements from previous sponsors. These are important as well. Endorsements provide third-party validation. Others are able to say things about you that you could never say about yourself.

    As a matter of procedure, I always ask sponsors to provide an endorsement immediately after I speak. This is when my speech is the most fresh in their mind. It is also the point where they are the most excited and likely to write a testimonial.

    I used the endorsements in two ways. I provide the full endorsement in the right-hand sidebar. However, I boiled down the endorsement to the crème de la crème and include them in a WordPress “slider” in the main body copy. I used NivoSlider for this. It looks like this:

  5. I inserted a calendar of upcoming events. As a speaker, the busier your calendar is the better. It demonstrates you are in-demand. This helps validate the claims you are making elsewhere.

    I used to use a WordPress plugin called GigPress, which I still recommend. It is excellent. However, for this iteration of my Speaking page, I had my web developer write some custom code. I wanted to be able to announce each engagement via a mini-post on my blog and then have that post automatically included on my calendar.

    Speaking Page 5

    I also wanted to show the full list of engagements, providing the event planner (or someone just interested in hearing me speak) with the ability to expand the event and see more detail.

  6. I included a picture of me speaking. Visually, it is important for event sponsors to see you in action. I wanted a picture of me having fun in front of a big audience. This enables sponsors to visualize you in front of their audience. It is important to have a professional photographer take the picture.

    I would think carefully about what you want to portray in the picture, then communicate to the photographer what you are after. I would also ask him or her to take plenty of audience shots as well.

I am sure I will improve this as I go, but this was a major step-up from my previous page. I thought it might be helpful to you as you think through creating something similar.

Questions: What have you included in your Speaking page? What (if anything) do you hope to incorporate after reading these two posts? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
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  • http://www.christianfaithatwork.com Chris Patton

    I did not get to see the previous “Speaking Page,” but this one is very impressive!  

    I cannot imagine an event planner needing  any information that you have not already provided on the page!  You were just as detailed in your explanation to us of how to set it up!

    Thanks again!

  • http://joeandancy.com Joe Abraham

    Thanks for sharing the ‘how-to’ of creating a persuasive Speaking page. I really appreciate your openness and willingness to help other upcoming speakers!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_REYCZFMLUTKNKDGONUG3VJQBDQ Charlie

    Wow! If there is anything I am learning at all from Michael Hyatt is getting me become better at everything he does. Thanks for sharing. I looked forward to this second part and here it is ‘undisappointingly’.

  • http://successbeginstoday.org/wordpress John Richardson

    I really like your speech topics by name feature. The graphic and tagline make it interesting. Almost like shopping from an online catalog. One thing you might want to consider is creating a separate landing page for your speaking information. A page designed specifically to get prospective clients to your site. 37signals did a fascinating study on what type of pages work. I was amazed that a page with a large photo on it was over 100% more effective than one without it. Here is the link. http://goals4u.us/qCMkzx I think a page like this would work well for you.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Good stuff John. Thanks. I will review this at 37 Signals. (I love their stuff but missed this.)
      I am also planning to create a separate page for each speech topic with more detail about what I cover. I will link to these pages on my main speaking page.
      There’s always more to do!

      • http://successbeginstoday.org/wordpress John Richardson

        Here is an idea Mike. How about having individual speech pages featuring a photo of someone who has heard your speech and their quotation about the speech. To give you an idea of what it could look like, take a look at these photo pages done by Anthologie, based on Sally Hogsheads fascinate test. http://goals4u.us/qfFm9S

        Just include  a nice photo of the person, highlight your speech title, and include their recommendation/quotation. I think something like this would be powerful. 

        • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

          Great idea and example, John. Thanks for sharing this.

        • http://twitter.com/jmhardy98 Jim Hardy

          John,

          I thought that they were very professional and very well done. I had not seen that before.

          Jim

    • http://twitter.com/jmhardy98 Jim Hardy

      John,

      thank you for sharing. I am always looking for great advice.

      Jim

  • Lara Krupicka

    As usual, you’ve provided excellent, useful information. Here’s a question as I consider how to work what you’ve suggested into my own speaker page: 

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I think your instants are right. You need to provide a sharp, helpful page but don’t over-represent yourself.

  • http://www.forward-living.com W. Mark Thompson

    Lots of great information. Like your new speaking page. Taking notes for when I get the courage to actually take advantage of these opportunities I get. Gotta have clarity before I can jump on stage and talk for an hour or so. However, if you know of anywhere I can get on stage and sing for an hour show, sign me up.  :)

  • Pingback: How to Build a Better Speaking Page, Part 1

  • http://www.marydemuth.com Mary DeMuth

    I hadn’t thought of compiling some of my talks into one featured video. Great idea!

  • http://www.hope101.net Lori Boruff, Hope101.net

    This is all so great Mr. Hyatt. I stumbled upon your blog  and loving every minute of it! Have you ever posted anything about how to find and/or approach sponsors?  I’m building a platform by speaking 50+ times a year,produce and host a radio show, birthing a book….a sponsor would be wonderful to help take to the next level and spread my message of hope.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      No, I am afraid I haven’t done that or written on it.

  • http://titus2345.blogspot.com ET @ Titus2:3-5

    Thanks for all the practical helps! I think I’ve got 80% of your blog posts bookmarked for future reference.

    I’ve been looking around trying to find your speaking page since the first post, and finally just discovered the tab hidden way at the top of your website. Maybe I’m the only one, but I figured you’d want to know that it wasn’t easily accessible (at least to me).

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Did the link to the page not show up for you in the post itself. It was in both the first sentence and then again in the third paragraph.

      • http://titus2345.blogspot.com ET @ Titus2:3-5

        The link did show up. But I wanted to navigate to it from your home page, just to see where it was at. The navigation menu based on topic is nice and visible, but the link to your speaking page is kinda hidden up there.

        • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

          I may have to fix that. Hmmm.

    • http://twitter.com/jmhardy98 Jim Hardy

      Et,

      I agree, I share so much of what I learn here! Great stuff!

      Jim

  • http://twitter.com/CoachTheresaIF Theresa Ip Froehlich

    This is a timely and superb post!

    I’m just wondering about those of us who are starting out. Even though I had done a fair amount of public speaking, I’m just now trying to think “marketing” myself as a speaker. What’s the best approach when there is only a little to show re: endorsements & bookings?

    Do you hire booking agents who are already connected to event planners?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I think you have to launch with what you have and then add to it as you go. For example, I started with four endorsements and now routinely add to the list.
      With regard to booking agents, yes, you want someone who is already booking other speakers and tied into event planners. You may have to do it yourself for a while. Booking agents are similar to literary agents. They are very selective.

  • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

    Great stuff!  It sounds like you’ve really thought through every step of this.  I know I’ll be referring back to these articles!  Thanks!

  • http://uma-maheswaran.blogspot.com/ Uma Maheswaran S

    Thanks for these professional advice, Mike. It makes me inspired to do anything in my life with perfection and excellence. Just wondered at the level of homework you have done for this speaking page.

  • Joe Lalonde

    I love all of your how-to posts. They provide such great content that can carry over to other career paths.

  • http://twitter.com/jamespinnick7 James Pinnick

    Michael,

    Your are the man when it comes to learning things from you.

    I am going to implement a few things you said about public speaking. I will be ramping up even more after my book is out for the public to see!

    Blessings to you-

    James Pinnick
    Author-The Last Seven Pages
    http://www.jamespinnick.com

  • http://twitter.com/jmhardy98 Jim Hardy

    Very good thank you for sharing. The little things end up making a difference. The details are what separate the  good and the great speakers.

    JIm

  • http://www.lionstand.com Jamie (Lionstand)

    Hey Michael,

    I love your new page, thanks for laying out your process in creating it.

    Just a quick FYI, “speaking” in your top nav menu doesn’t change when you’re on your speaking page like it does with the rest of your nav menu.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks for letting me know. I will have to check on that.

      • http://www.lionstand.com Jamie (Lionstand)

        You’re most welcome.

  • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

    What this post does for me is make me ask two questions. 1) Where have I spoken? 2) What have I said?

    Both questions shape my future by my past experiences. Two questions then arise. 1) Where will I speak? 2) What will I say?

  • http://www.ricardobueno.com Ricardo Bueno

    Hey Michael, 

    I noticed your new speaking page when you initially redesigned it – I liked it! Just catching up on reading this post now and learning a few things from your process. 

    1.) I never really did a good job of capturing videos from my past engagements which I know is a mistake. I guess I was on a roll at one point and so I never really bothered. Now, I realize that was a mistake. 

    2.) I need a better way to hi-light past and upcoming engagements. Currently, I’m doing this manually. But I like your process better. I’ll have to check out gigpress. Assuming it’s updated and compatible with my theme, that just might do the trick. 

    I relaunched my speaking site at: http://www.ricardobueno.info. It’s not perfect, and could use a few changes, but so far, so good. I’ll have to add more video! 

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Even though I am not presently using GigPress, I highly recommend it. It did 90% of what I wanted. It is especially good at allowing you to separate upcoming and past engagements.

  • Rhonda

    Thanks for the great insight. I have a lot of work to do.

  • http://www.sundijo.com Sundi Jo Graham

    On the tabs for the overview information about you – About me, My Video Clips, etc. How did you add the links to that to have them automatically go to that section? Is that something you can do in WordPress or was that done for you? 

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Yes, you can just do them in WordPress. You have to create a “bookmark” where you want to link and then link to that. Here’s an example.

      • http://www.sundijo.com Sundi Jo Graham

        Thank you. 

  • http://www.IWantInstantSuccess.com/ Margie Remmers

    Michael, I notice that your bio is written in the first person.  Have you found that a first person approach works best with meeting planners?

    Thank you!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Yes, I think it works better. It is more personal and intimate. Plus, since this is my personal blog, it is less contrived or artificial. Thanks.