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How we get business when talking at a conference 5 Minute Marketing - Tips and Ideas, 6 Increasing Response and conversion

In this post I will not be covering how to present like Steve Jobs or how to make your content riveting. Other people have covered that very well. Instead, I will reveal a few simple and effective strategies that I have developed by speaking at various conferences and events over the years.

It is very easy to get a speaking slot talking to a willing, captive audience for an hour. What you don’t want, is thinking was it worth your time a week later. Since then, you have heard nothing more about it. No one came back to you with feedback. You received no sales leads. So what exactly did you get for your time and effort? Leads, press, feel good factor, made more contacts … Nope? Then read on and become a conference ninja.
Even if you do not get the keynote or the biggest standing ovation, you can come away with more value than those guys if you follow these steps.

Below you will find 3 simple steps to ensure you get the most from your speaking event

  1. People talking about your presentation online and off
  2. Capture your audiences’ contact details to follow up with them later and keep them in your marketing loop
  3. Attract new readers and prospects by spreading your talk to all four corners of the globe.

1. Make it Tweetable

Dan Zarrella in Hubspot did some interesting research on this. Chris Penn does it well. On each presentation screen condense your key point into a 140 character long tweet.
Example “@alanorourke says 68% of men snore in bed compared to 20% of women. Who are the remaining 12%? #conferencetag”
And tell the audience TweetThis:
Not only will you have your audience sharing and talking about you but it helps condense your key points to take away with them.

2. Capture the listener

When I started out I was so proud that I managed to get up and talk in front of an audience.
But I would get back to the office and my business partner would ask was it worth it and I would struggle to say yes. Realistically, it is very rare for an audience member to leave a talk and immediately call your company to buy your product or service. Most likely they will write down a few things and make a mental note to look at your website and follow up with you later. Then they get back to the office to catch up on the work they missed. Consequently that mental note to call you slips further and further down the priority list until it is forgotten completely.
This is where you need to take the initiative and maintain that contact. But how do you get their details in the first place?

Here are a few ideas I have tried in the past:
I have put resources online such as a downloadable ebook, report, planner, calculator, even a free graphic template. Anything you think would be useful to your audience. Mention these resources in your talk and tell your audience where to download them for free. In return they must provide an name and email address to complete the download.
One example that has really worked well for me is offering an ebook, that ‘normally’ costs $39, free for conference attendees.
Not everyone will go online so take a few printed copies of your eBook with you and tell the audience to come up afterwards to get one. Then ask for their business card to email them in future. If you have nothing to offer then offer a copy of your presentation itself. Ask them for an email address and you will send them a copy of the slides and audio after the event.

3. Talk once publish EVERYWHERE

I love squeezing additional value out of work I have already done. It is very satisfying.
So what else can you do with your presentation? A quick list:

  1. Record the audio (I have used the voice recorder in my iphone for this)
  2. Record the video (more work but can be worth it)
  3. Send the audio for transcription (I have used Odesk for this)
  4. Upload the audio, transcription and presentation to
  5. Then embed it on your website.
  6. Upload the video and transcription to YouTube (and other websites)
  7. Turn the transcription into a blog post
  8. Turn the blog post into an eBook
  9. Distribute your eBook to through sites like Amazon etc.
  10. Send links to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn every time one of the resources above is published.

Related reading: Save $180,000 on your next tradeshow and beat Microsoft.

Photo: Alastair McDermott

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  1. Tweets that mention 3 steps to business success from your conference presentation. « Toddle Stuff – Beautifully Simple Email Marketing --

    February 17, 2011 @ 5:33 pm

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by alanorourke and Beautiful Email, Toddle Email. Toddle Email said: How we get business when talking at a conference [...]

  2. Alastair

    March 3, 2011 @ 6:18 pm

    No photos of yourself? Ya cheeky git :)

  3. admin

    March 4, 2011 @ 10:33 am

    Too busy talking to take photos of myself :)

  4. Donncha Hughes

    March 8, 2011 @ 3:29 pm


    Will consider the tweetable content the next time we are asked to do a presentation. Last friday I wrote a blogpost and embedded my presentation via Slideshare into my blog which I had set up to go live as soon as the talk was delivered. Technically it was so easy to do.

    On point 2, do event organisers and attendees mind if you video the presentation?


  5. Una Coleman

    March 15, 2011 @ 5:27 pm

    Thanks Alan. As you say, speaking at an event has its own challenges, which can be overcome with practice but as important is the marketing before during and after.

  6. admin

    March 15, 2011 @ 5:49 pm

    Hi Donncha, great idea on timing the blog post.
    I gave the tweetable content a full trial last week and it went very well. Many more tweets than normal. I am looking for ways to tweet it myself during the talk to make it easier for people just to retweet it.

    At talks I have done to date event organisers love it. It makes them look good and gets the word out about how successful their conference was.

    Absolutely Una.


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