Bringing Speaking Opportunities Back to the Physical Stage

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Author: Lindsey Groepper
Lindsey Groepper
Woman speaking to a crowd into a microphone with PANBlast branding

In-person SaaS events are back 

In a sea of infinite news sources and industry voices, we’re always stoked when we secure a speaking opportunity for our clients’ spokespeople and amplify their narratives. 

As in-person conferences, customer summits, and trade shows get back into full swing, it’s time to re-hone your spokespeople’s skills in presenting to a live audience. 

Why? While speaking to a live audience is like riding a bike, many spokespeople have been riding with training wheels when presenting virtually for the past two years. And, with speaking opportunities providing high value to brands looking to establish credibility and evangelize a message across audiences, it’s time to get back onto the stage.

A few refreshers about why you should submit your subject matter experts (SMEs) for speaking opportunities:

  • Securing a speaking engagement demonstrates that others think the topic or viewpoint is worth bringing to the table; it’s a good way to test content or a viewpoint.
  • Whether the speaking engagement is at a conference, a keynote at an event, or a panel during an industry trade show, peers, prospects, and partners perceive the speaker is an expert who can share something new and interesting. They have opted in to attend and are highly engaged.
  • Speaking opportunities usually fall into two categories: forward-thinking, innovative discussions or a recap of lessons learned (a customer case study or internal practice that was changed). Both scenarios look at the industry’s current state and offer takeaways for the attendee. 
  • The benefit to the audience is the opportunity to learn and walk away with something actionable — how to apply that understanding meaningfully. The benefit to the speaker is building credibility as someone leading the industry commentary or as an expert in their field.

You don’t have to be a speaker to get value

While being on stage is the goal, speaking opportunities are limited. Most of us still find ourselves in the audience, listening intently to those under the lights at SaaS events like Dreamforce, SaaStr, and B2BMX.

We’ve all attended an event where a competing company’s SME has secured a speaking spot, right? Consider this an opportunity to lean in — these may be topics you can piggyback on and discuss later on your corporate blog or as a reaction piece in the media.

You may also find that you disagree with your competitor’s message. That contrarian message might make for a great future speaker submission. It’s okay to hold a contrarian or unpopular opinion. 

As you build your event schedule and thought leadership strategy, speaking opportunities can help reach a highly-engaged, opted-in audience. While some may view this as a traditional PR strategy, it’s back in a big way. There’s no better time to tighten your narrative and use the physical stage for its delivery.