Looking For A Place To Speak?

speaking“Sir, are we in for another dismal recitation of what is wrong with the marketing world today?” I asked, hoping beyond hope that I could start a positive discussion today.

“Why Watson, you sound exhausted. Does debunking myths, and correcting half-truths bother you?” The Effective Detective asked in a way that I first thought was sarcastic, but quickly realized had a humorous tone to it. His tone gave me hope as I answered his question.

“Hardly sir, but I think that people would like to hear something hopeful or even helpful,” I said, hoping I had not misread his tone.

“Quite right, Watson! It just so happens that I have stumbled across just such a tool, and depending on your circumstances it can accessed and used for essentially no cost,” The Detective said, raising an eyebrow, and gauging my reaction.

I gave my best encouraging smile and said “Please continue, sir.”

“As you wish Watson. As you might have heard from multiple sources, another excellent way to generate leads, and to strengthen your credibility is speaking and to a lesser extent, writing. However, for some fields it is not as easy as it sounds to get speaking engagements. Since everyone has been told that they should speak, many local organizations are booked out 6 months or more, and some organizations only allow members to speak. And as I said for some fields or niches, it is hard to find your audience at some of the more generic local meetings, so you may willingly bear the waiting only to find your target market is nowhere to be seen at the meeting. But before you start griping that I am being negative again, let me give you some good news,” The Detective paused, and I, in the middle of taking a breath to chastise him for just such an offense, shut my mouth. The Detective grinned.

“As I was saying, Watson, there is a tool that almost everyone should have free access to that can greatly expand your speaking opportunities,” The Detective started up again. “The Gale publishing group has several references related to various organizations and events that they put on. I suspect a large number of public and possibly even college libraries have copies of the ‘Encyclopedia of Associations’ which is indexed both by geographic location – so you can locate what organizations are headquartered near you, as well as by keyword so that you can pick the ones that relate to your subject. The information included should get you started in researching what local chapters there might be, and how to reach them.

“Another similar resource is ‘Tradeshows Worldwide’ which lists many trade shows from the previous year so that you can contact the organizations about the current or even future years shows where you might be able to present. The Gale group also has the ‘National Directory of Non Profit Organizations’ which seems to be similar to the ‘Encyclopedia of Associations’. They even have a ‘Gale Directory of Publications and Media’ so you can find various outlets for your writing related to your field. Ask your local reference librarian for help finding these directories.

“So you see Watson, I am capable of providing resources as well as merely directing people towards or away from certain modes of operation,” The Detective stopped and looked at me expectantly.

“It is quite the miracle sir!” I exclaimed.

“Your virtuosity with sarcasm remains intact, Watson. Shall we get back to work?” The Detective sighed, while trying to hide a smile.

“Of course sir.”