Starting to speak can be a vicious circle. To get an engagement you need a promo tape or video and some testimonials, but how do you get those without having engagements?
The first year that you’re speaking is like walking uphill. But don’t waste even the little engagements! When you’re giving your first talks, even if you’re not being paid, you can turn these events into promotional opportunities to help you garner more engagements!
In previous posts, I’ve written about how to get more engagements in the first place.
But now I want to talk about how to get testimonials.
Here’s a video I just produced with different testimonials from people. It’s less than 90 seconds, but I think it gets the point across:
You can do this, too!
Next time you speak, bring a video camera along. Ask for permission from people, but when they comment on how great you were, ask them to say it into the camera! Many people get really shy with this, unfortunately, and often the candid comments are better, but it still works!
When anyone sends you an email with comments about one of your talks, keep it somewhere safe so you have a list of all of these comments.
Then you can create a web page just with testimonials listed. You can print them out and hand them out in your promotions package. Or you can do what I did, and create a video and upload it to YouTube and GodTube.
This video took me about an hour to make, and wasn’t that difficult. I use Pinnacle Studios, but you can do it with Windows Movie Maker, too. If making videos is intimidating to you, get your kids to do it, or hire a teen! It makes you look much more professional. And this is free for me, but it looks more expensive than something that I would hand out that is printed.
The best way to get some testimonials is to ask specific questions. When you speak, hand out evaluation forms, and tell people that someone who fills it out will win a prize! On that form, though, don’t just ask them to rate you from 1-5 (although that is useful, too). Ask things like: what did you most appreciate about the speaker? What one thing did you learn? What do you think you will change in your life? Even if you only get one word answers, that’s more useful.
Now you have something that you can use for your own promotion! It also helps to get feedback so that you know what your strengths are, and what your weaknesses are.
When someone hires a speaker it’s a very scary step. I know, because I’m in the midst of trying to hire a youth speaker for a large youth event this spring! I know what I want. I can picture the event in my head. But how do I know that the speaker will do what I envision? How do I know that they’re any good?
That’s why you need testimonials! Don’t be afraid to ask. People are usually more than happy to fill out an evaluation, and some will certainly talk on camera. And this helps ease event planners who may want to hire you.
Do you have any advice on how to get testimonials? And what do you do with them? Let us know so we can help each other!