Professional Speaking Trends for 2013

3973783991_55b9207f54As 2012 comes to a close Primeau Productions has seen the beginning of many trends that we believe will be expanded on in 2013.

The first trend is the widening gap between the amateur or beginning professional speaker and the experienced veteran professional speaker. It usually takes up to three years for an aspiring professional speaker to have perfected their craft. This includes performing pro bono on just about any stage that will allow the opportunity to polish your craft. Professional speakers and professional orators know that they must have a rock solid message to communicate to a captive audience that’s interested in hearing that message. Amateur and beginning professional speakers must learn how to polish their craft in order to become sought after and memorable in order to get referrals because word of mouth is the most important tool in transition from an amateur to a professional. When people start talking about you and your message to other people in the industry, like meeting planners and speakers bureaus, that’s when your business will hit ‘critical mass’ and you will make the transition from amateur to professional.

Another trend that we see is the role of the speaker’s bureau. Speakers Bureaus must evolve with the times with the help of the professional speaker. We envision professional speakers having a more active role in helping bureaus market themselves to meeting planners and corporate clients, more so in 2013 than ever before.

Let’s face it, the Internet serves as a source of information about hiring professional speakers for corporate meetings and events. If I’m a meeting planner or corporation looking for a professional speaker I can get on the Internet and search website after website until I find exactly what I’m looking for. Shopping for a professional speaker has become easier because of the Internet and the speakers bureau role is changing from supplier of professional speaker to helping facilitate the professional speaking process within the meeting. In other words, we see speaker’s bureaus working closer with their professional speaker clients and the meeting planners in forming relationships that help coordinate the success of the professional speaker/meeting planner relationship and that being the solid backbone to help the speaker bureau to evolve.

We also see professional speakers referring leads that they receive to speaker bureaus, more often than before. Because if the speakers bureau helps the professional speaker develop their relationship with the client that they referred to the bureau, the percentage of the speaking fee the bureau will receive is well deserved because of the activity the bureau takes in coordinating this relationship.

Another trend that we see at Primeau Productions is for professional speakers to record themselves while presenting their message from the stage. First of all, the recording helps the professional speaker polish new material. Second, the recording helps avant-garde and spontaneous portions of the presentation to be reviewed and remembered, because a lot of times the professional speaker will react based on what the audience responds to during their presentation. However, that can easily be forgotten after the presentation when the professional speaker leaves the stage. And by ‘recording’ we mean audio or video – an amateur recording, something that could be referred to later on by the speaker in order to hone and polish their message.

Another trend we see is professional speakers utilizing video marketing to help build their visibility on the Internet. The more places and the more video content that the veteran professional speaker distributes across the Internet, the more likely they are to be found by the meeting planner or corporation that is looking for a professional speaker to bring in to their meeting or event. Plus, video marketing shows the depth and breadth of the speaker’s knowledge, skill and ability.

The last important trend that we see for 2013 is the professional speaker – especially the veteran – writing more content and printed material; creating books; writing blogs, and being a guest blogger on a purposeful blog to help themselves market and show the depth of their expertise. There is no better way than writing and creating printed content to help develop your message as well as prove your expertise to your demographic.

We’ve encountered many amateur ‘professional speakers’ who have not written any books or written very little blog content. Their excuse is they don’t have time. Well, that’s because they’re spending all their time trying to figure out where their next job is going to come from so they can pay the bills. It’s very important, in our opinion, to have published written content on your expertise in order to not only be found on the Internet because books and written content are another category for Internet marketing, but they also help support you, the veteran professional speaker, as the expert. And experts who speak professionally are the most sought after professional speakers.

Look at your competition in professional speaking. Who are the ones who are getting the ‘big bucks’ and all the speaking engagements? What are they, as a veteran professional speaker, doing different than what you are doing as an amateur, or an aspiring professional speaker? Do they have sponsorship opportunities with major corporations who they help reveal their brand in the professional speaker’s marketing efforts? What have they published to help position them as an expert in their category? What can you do in 2013 to follow some of these trends to help boost your professional speaking business?

These are trends that we’ve noticed in 2012 and before that have become more prominent and grown during 2012 that we see as very solid business pillars in 2013. Don’t be distracted by living in your own world and doing the same things that you’ve always done and expecting to get more business. Take a chance, try to identify some trends that you believe in, and change your business activity just enough to help your business grow in 2013.

photo credit: Speech prep 4 via photopin (license)

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One Response to “Professional Speaking Trends for 2013”

  1. Lois Creamer says:

    Great post Ed! I do think video is more important than ever and always love the work you do for speakers! I would add that speakers should never become over dependent on bureaus. No one will work harder on your business than you will!

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