In July, my assistant asked if Paul Mallett and I would be interested in speaking at a local automotive company about our success in business. After some debate, we agreed and were scheduled to speak at the business in October.
We began preparing in September, and then gave our presentations last week. Both of us were completely blown away by the advantages of this free opportunity, and we ended up speaking with over 80 engaged and enthusiastic managers!
This was certainly a terrific opportunity to share our stories, but it did not come without a few lessons for us as well:
ever second guess a free opportunity to speak with people! I considered turning down the opportunity because I was unsure what else would be on my calendar when the event rolled around in three months or how many people would even attend our presentations. What was I thinking?! That would have been so foolish! Any free opportunity to get in front of potential clients is non-negotiable.
Prepare, prepare, prepare. Two weeks prior to the event I had my assistant give the event organizer 20 copies of my book, Unleash Your Mojo: A guide to developing inner strength and power, so the attendees could review it prior to my presentation. Much to our surprise, two executive managers completed a full report of the book to share with everyone in the room prior to my presentation. Long story short, never underestimate the power of being prepared!
The event was free; our time was not. We spent hours preparing our presentations and were emotionally and physically exhausted when we finished. Although the event was free, it still took energy, education, and practice for us to be prepared properly.
When possible, tag team live events. Of course not all live events require PowerPoint presentations, handouts, live question and answer sessions, etc. However, if the structure of the event allows for it, make an effort to tag team it with colleague. If you’re the only one in your office, recruit a friend or family member to pass out books, help direct questions, pass out freebies, and even flip through your presentation slides if you don’t have a wireless clicker. Remember, just because you are the speaker it doesn’t mean you have to do it all.
Again, never pass up a free opportunity. In today’s world of social marketing domination, do not pass up a free opportunity to be in front of people one on one. We spoke with so many more people than we imagined last week, and all that it cost us was time and energy. It was by far the best return on investment that I’ve made in a long time. After all, I got to speak with over 80 potential clients for “free.”
What is the most beneficial free event you have attended?
Submitted by: Dennis M. Postema, President & CEO of Postema Marketing Group, LLC
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