If you are tapping into a completely new market, and new circles of event organizers, chances are the event organizers will have never seen you speak. The single most important marketing tool for getting new speaking opportunities is to have a great demo video.
If the organizer has not seen you speak live, this is the number one way of getting high quality, paying, speaking opportunities.
Perhaps someone told you somewhere down the line that “video quality doesn’t matter” or “the only thing that really matters is that you are on camera”.
This is not true.
Video production quality is crucial, and tells the event organizer a lot about you as a speaker.
A cheap looking video tells the event organizer: “I’m not worth much.” Or it says “I can’t be bothered to do this correctly” and gives the impression that you don’t care. A low quality video makes you look cheap. If you look cheap, the organizer probably won’t take you seriously or disqualify you, immediately.
Top notch professional speakers make sure their videos are the highest possible quality. They seldom settle for “good enough.”
So, what makes a great speaker video?
Think of it like a movie: tell a story and engage the viewer immediately. Describe your expertise, credentials, and experience in a unique and compelling way.
Understanding what an event organizer is looking for.
Empathy goes a long way when it comes to creating a video for an event organizer. Imagine that you are the organizer, and you have to find twenty speakers for an upcoming event. Imagine how many hundreds of videos that mean you would have to watch.
What do you think would be their main concerns?
What would they want to know about you as a speaker?
How fast should you get to the point?
The organizer will want to know the following from your video:
- Can you speak fluently about the topic?
- Are you engaging, insightful, funny and do you have enthusiasm for your topic?
- Will the audience like you?
Your video should answer all three of these questions quickly, with a unique spin: something that will stand out from the other hundred videos they will watch.
Keep it short, or get to the point quickly
Sorry to break the news: it is unlikely that the event organizer will watch an entire hour-long video of your presentation. Even a 17 minute video is probably too much.
A much more realistic time frame is 1-2 minutes.
That means you’ve got to make a great first impression, get to the core of your values and topics, and give the event organizer a very good reason to keep watching before that 2-minute mark.
One of the least effective openings is a long, drawn out title sequence, and starting up your talk with a long-winded introduction. Imagine this more like speed dating, but with an event organizer: be charming, engaging and enthusiastic, and do it fast.
Here are some of the things to include in the first 2 minutes:
- Short clips of you presenting your most insightful or best points.
- Humor or interaction with the audience.
- Perceptive sound bites, miming moments and enthusiastic audience reactions.
- Testimonials from other event organizers, or the audience.
- High quality graphics, and modern, upbeat, interesting music clips.
Work with the right people
There are three people you are going to want on your team to make your video noticeably higher in quality, ensuring you start getting new leads.
Every great speaker has had some coaching along the way. Whether they are a close friend or mentor, or a professional performance coach: the feedback and training they offer can give you a whole new perspective on how to effectively deliver your message.
Top athletes, actors, musicians and CEOs all seek out the best specialized training they can, which helps them reach new levels and become the top in their industry - it is the same for speakers.
Even if you are the top expert in your field, it doesn’t necessarily mean you are a top presenter. Great speakers need great coaches. Have your coach work with you on your session before you grab the video camera.
Find a videographer or production crew who specialise in creating demos. Note that this is different from documenting a conference, you need someone who will be able to show you in the best possible light, quickly.
A great videographer is someone who has an overarching idea of what the message you want to get across is. This is different from simply recording you giving a presentation: the difference can make or break your demo video.
Filmmakers’ whose background includes making documentaries, commercials, and music videos makes them uniquely suited to filming speaker reels.
A great editor
A skilled editor will review and rewrite the story in order to show it in the best possible light.
Even if you do not have the best footage, or your pieces do not seem to fit together: the right editor can take the different elements to weave the story in a way that is often better than than the original.
How much is production going to cost?
Filming a speaker’s presentation doesn’t need to be an elaborate production. This being said, you want to make sure that you work with people who know what they are doing, so that you end up with a fantastic, engaging video.
In most cases, two cameramen – one recording the presenter, and one capturing audience shots – is enough. To hire a two-person crew, pay for the camera and sound equipment rental, and have someone edit your video will cost about $2,500 to $3,000. If you want to have them record multiple sessions, this will double or triple.
Professional video editing rates range between $75 to $150/hr. Make sure you have a clear idea going in of what you need, and if you are going to make a video from multiple sources, that you or your videographer know which parts specifically you’d like to feature. If possible, work out the budget before you get started, and whether changes to the edit will be a part of the budget.
A reasonable editing budget for a 3 to 5 minute speaking demo video that was cut from 2 hrs of source footage at the rate of $100 to $125 /hr would be between $3,000 to $5,000, though once you have the raw footage, this can be severely reduced if you outsource the editing process.
There are production companies available who specialize in speaker demo videos, and you maybe able to get a better rate by going through them instead of hiring different individuals separately.
Top tip: When working with a production company, watch a selection of their sample demo videos before selecting the company, and if you find one that fits your style, make sure you are going to be getting the same production crew who made the video that inspired you to hire them.
Where to show your video
After you’ve uploaded your talks to YouTube or Vimeo, it is time to start promoting it.
Although view count will not make or break the chances of you being shortlisted: it certainly doesn’t hurt. Posting the video in multiple different places will increase the likelihood that the right person will see it.
Here are some ways to promote your demo video:
“Ask” your personal network:
Write personal messages to everyone in your network asking them to help you bring in more views. A best practice is to give them a few simple and clear steps, such as
“See my newest speaker video here: it’s short and insightful. If you like it, please "like" it, or retweet it, or forward to your network.”
Some speakers have attracted hundreds of views on their demo videos simply by writing to people in their networks.
After a week or so of sending the video link personally out to your network, share it on your social media platforms.
Share it on your SpeakerHub profile page:
Posting your demo video to your SpeakerHub profile could not be easier.
Simply go to “Portfolio” and drop any video link from Vimeo or YouTube.
You can upload up to 3 pieces of media (such as photos, slides or videos) for free, if you would like to upload more than this, you can upgrade to a Premium or VIP Account (find out more here.)
Showcase your speaker demo video link
Make the link to your video readily available and shareable.
Here are a few suggestions on where you can add the link:
- Social media profile pages, this should prominently be displayed in the “About” section or in your bio. Get creative here: of course it should go on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, but also add it to places like your SlideShare and Medium account.
- Add it to the front page of your personal website.
- When you are asked to speak at an event, see if you can add the video into your profile page or bio.
- Add it to your email signature.
Your speaker demo video is one of the most important marketing tools for showing event organizers exactly what they can expect by hiring you.
Successful professional speakers who are getting consistent, high paying speaking opportunities have well produced, effective speaker demo videos. It is more important than ever to make sure your demo video shows you in the best light, so you get more bookings.
Want to find out more about how you can get more speaking opportunities? Sign up for SpeakerHub today.