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Speaking Opportunities for Home Business Owners

by Mary Emma Allen on May 17th, 2007

In the previous post, Add Speaking to your Home Business Activities, I suggested that you start promoting your business and the items or services you offer by taking advantage of speaking opportunities. 

“Where do I find these opportunities?” you wonder.

*Local organizations and church groups often are seeking guest speakers.  They often look to local businesses, craftspeople, authors, and entertainers to share with them.

*Your town library may want local people to present programs.  These aren’t always authors, but someone whose business or interest lies within a topic or theme the library is promoting that month. 

*You may not necessarily give a talk about your business.  Perhaps you have a particular interest or hobby that interests an organization.  You might be introduced as the owner of “such and such” business.  Have business cards handy.  Bring a brief mention of your business into your talk.

*Perhaps a local adult education program (sometimes held at a high school or local college) is looking for someone to teach a workshop about your area of expertise.  I’ve often taught one night (3-hour) writing workshops at the continuing education department of the local college.

*Senior center directors often seek speakers for their group.  I’ve spoken at senior centers about scrapbooking, family history, skin care, and writing local history…all areas in which I’m involved.

*Scouts, 4-H clubs, teen organizations often want adults to share with the youngsters about their areas of expertise. 

*Career Day at local high schools offer you an opportunity to speak with young people and their teachers.  This might not be a formal speech, simply talking with those who stop by your table.  In some cases, this could lead to your being invited to talk to a particular class or the whole school.

*Community television groups often desire speakers from the local area to give a presentation.  When a friend and I wrote a newspaper column about budget shopping, we were invited to talk about this for the local television network.  Several years later, a host for a monthly author program at a larger television studio interviewed me.

These are just a few ideas.  As you begin brainstorming about your local area, you’ll come up with more opportunitie to pursue.

As you become better known around the area as someone who will speak and teach to groups, you’re likely to receive more invitations.  You may speak at first for no compensation or simply a small fee.  Many organizations offer a $25 guest fee.  Many are beginning to increase this to cover your gas travling to their location.  (That’s another reason to start locally…it doesn’t involve costly travel or negotiations for a fee that will cover this.)

Even if you’ve never done much speaking or teaching before, you’ll gradually discover this as enjoyable way to promote your home business.

Tags: , , , libraries, public+speaking, senior+center, speaking

POSTED IN: Personal Experience

5 opinions for Speaking Opportunities for Home Business Owners

  • Darlene McDaniel
    May 17, 2007 at 5:48 pm

    Great suggestions Mary Emma. Years ago when I wanted to become a professional speaker and was unknown, someone said to me, “if you want to speak, start speaking and the money will come.” It was the best advice I could get.

  • Mary Emma
    May 17, 2007 at 5:53 pm

    Thank you, Darlene, for giving your input. I recall hearing Zig Ziglar tell about his early speaking days…speaking for free, then finally getting something like $25…and going on from there.

  • Yvonne Russell
    May 18, 2007 at 5:08 am

    This is a great list of suggestions, Mary Emma.

    Following on from your list, one variation is to find “crossover” interests where your skill can be applied in another area, or you could work in tandem with another business.

    One example is e.g. a writer could run a session for scrapbookers or a genealogy group on writing a family journal or effective creative ways to share written memories etc.

    A variaton is a scrapbooking business, a garden center and a writer could work together to offer workshops, sessions or services around a theme. Once you start brainstorming the possibilities are endless.

    Thanks for the creative juice. :)

  • Mary Emma
    May 18, 2007 at 2:56 pm

    I’m pleased I could inspire both of you, Darlene and Yvonne, to think of other directions for your business, or get back to doing something you enjoy. Yes, Yvonne, there are so many opportunities to co-op with other businesses, if people can get over the idea they’re competing with one another. It can be a “win-win” situation instead of competitive one.

  • Cautions & Recommendations Before You Self Publish
    Nov 10, 2007 at 9:46 am

    […] your business brand and establishes you as an industry expert in your niche. From there, you can offer talks and courses, and of course, work on other […]

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