Whether you’re in the process of starting a speaking career or you’re already a seasoned professional speaker, every speaker should be equipped with a well put-together speaker sheet.
Your speaker one sheet will be in the hands of the person who has the power to say “yes” or “no”, so it’s important to have a kick ass speaker sheet that can speak for itself.
In this post, I’ll show you step-by-step the 5 most important things your speaker sheet must have to help you book more speaking engagements.
(Note: I’ve put together a printable PDF checklist of these instructions that you can download here.)
1. Kickass titles and descriptions to your talks/workshops.
Step 1: Use unique and/or results-oriented titles.
Example: Cameron Russell’s title to her TEDx Talk is intriguing and memorable.
(Speaking of TED Talks, they have a great guide on promoting your talks showing you how to come up with creative headlines, detailed descriptions, and more.)
Step 2: Use well-chosen keywords.
Use words that are focused and interesting! Keep in mind these questions when choosing keywords:
1. Are they relevant to your audience?
2. Are they relevant to your industry?
3. What buzz words exist in your industry?
Step 3: Consider your audience when writing your descriptions.
Most of the time, your speaker sheets will be in the hands and eyes of decision-makers at an organization. Your speaker sheet should be written for these people. This means your talk/workshop descriptions should address what the decision-makers want, whether its a call-to-action for each of their attendees, or a specific organizational shift in culture. Whatever it is, decision-makers want to know exactly what they are getting in return for their investment. So show them what you’ve got!
2. Social proof that kicks ass.
Step 1: Use testimonials.
There’s no doubt that positive reviews and testimonials can land you more engagements. If you’re wondering how to get those testimonials, especially when you’ve just started, consider trying these:
1. After you’ve finished with a speaking engagement (paid or unpaid) and you hear people speaking highly of you, ask them “Do you mind if I include that in my portfolio?” If they say ‘yes’, write that good shit down. If you didn’t catch it all, you can have them approve it via e-mail or via phone if you’re feeling adventurous.
2. If you have not yet had a speaking engagement, you can ask your employers, professors, or fellow co-workers or other people that seem somewhat important for a testimonial on the value of your expertise or work.
3. After your speaking engagement, you can ask your audience to share their thoughts about the event on social media. You can then choose the posts with the most excitement and positivity, and quote them on your speaker sheet. You don’t need their permission if it’s posted publicly, but if you’re a better-safe-than-sorry kind of person, go ahead and ask.
Step 2: Spice up your testimonials section.
This section doesn’t have to be titled “Testimonials” – that’s kinda boring af.
Here are some creative ways to introduce your testimonials:
– “People working with [your name] say…”
– “What people are saying about me”
– “Some words from my clients…”
– “I get people talking”
– “Companies like you who have had success with [your name]”
– “Don’t just take our word for it… take theirs!”
Step 3: Display the logos of organizations that have hired or worked with you.
This section starts with something like "What my clients say..." "People who have hired [your name] say..." "I've worked with..." or other similar introductions.
Step 3.5: Display the mastheads of organizations or programs you’ve been featured in.
This section starts with something like “In the news…” “As seen on…” “As featured in…” or other similar introductions.
Never been featured in any publications or news outlets? No problem! You can build this section by joining HelpAReporter.com
How To Join HelpAReporter.com
Step #1: Sign up with HARO.
Step #2: After completing the sign-up process, go to your account and make sure you are signed up as a “Source”. You can also change your preferences for different industry-specific queries you’d like to receive.
Step #3: Receive daily e-mails with industry-specific queries from reporters looking for sources in your industry, expertise, or personal experience.
Step #4: “Pitch” to reporters with your response and information through the e-mail listed in the query.
Step #5: If a reporter is interested and reaches out to you, and uses you in their publication, you can then update your speaker sheet with their masthead! Rejoice with a celebratory fist pump.
Add logos of blogs or podcasts you've appeared on as a guest
Contact blogs or podcasts with similar audiences or interests and write a blog post for them, providing value, and building on your credibility. If you’re lazy like me, you can search for blogs and podcasts on findblogs.com or allpodcasts.com.
3. Ass-kicking results and benefits.
Step 1: Show them the value they get when they hire you.
This section (well, it’s not really a section. It’s more like something that’s embedded in your program descriptions or throughout your speaker sheet) should, ironically, be more about your clients than about you.
In other words, how can your prospective client relate to the results and benefits you can bring to the table? Are these results and benefits solving an existing problem in their organization? Do you have past results that will address their concerns of return on investment?
Remember: ROI’s are more powerful in numerical form, but don’t forget to add non-tangible ROI’s. Examples include employee engagement, motivation, creativity, etc.
Step 2: Paint the picture of success.
Are your program descriptions portraying the type of success and change that your dream client is looking to achieve? What’s in it for the organization’s stakeholders? Help them envision what that success will look like after hiring you to speak! Consider these three questions:
1. What’s in it for the participants?
2. What’s in it for the leaders/decision-makers?
3. What’s in it for the organization as a whole?
Step 3: Authenticate your authority.
How do you show your authority and expertise? List your books, publication, conferences you’ve presented, blogs, etc. (pick the ones that are most relevant to your talk. Don’t go overkill.)
4. A badass bio.
Step 1: Have the must-have’s.
1. Your area of expertise
2. Your company (if applicable)
3. Your audience (Example: Mrs. Jane Smith has inspired high schoolers all over the U.S. to…)
4. Contact information (website, social media, e-mail or telephone number).
Step 2: Check out “How to Write an Author Bio That Doesn’t Suck” on Hubspot.
It’s basically the same concept for speaker bios.
5. A nice ass design.
In the words of Thomas J. Watson, CEO of IBM from 1914-1956, “Good design is good business.”
1. …can increase people’s perceived value of your work.
2. …should communicate your personal brand (e.g. professional, quirky, fun, etc.)
3. …should subtly lead people to take a specific action (e.g. request a quote, book you for their next event, etc.)
4. ….should make a lasting impression through uniqueness, memorability, and engagement.
That's it! When you're done crafting what goes into your speaker sheet, you can make a basic speaker sheet with my Clean Speaker Sheet Template. (If you make one, I'd love for you to comment with a picture of your speaker sheet!)
If you're interested in having a custom speaker sheet made, you can hire me to design your speaker sheet. You can e-mail me at email@example.com