One of the best ways to establish yourself as a leading authority in your area of practice is to consistently speak for groups. Standing in front of a group and sharing interesting content can establish you as an expert and a reliable resource for prospective clients. Whether you are an experienced speaker who is not getting significant business development results from your speaking or you are a beginner interested in using speaking to attract clients, asking and answering one simple multiple-choice question will help put you on the right track.
Before Speaking, Ask and Answer This Question
What Type of Speaker Are You?
- One Audience, One Topic
- One Audience, Multiple Topics
- Multiple Audience, One Topic
- Multiple Audiences, Multiple Topics
For example, a speaker who focuses on speaking to parents of children with special needs on the topic of special needs trusts is a “one audience, one topic” speaker. A speaker who presents on personal bankruptcy issues to accountants, real estate transactions to brokers, and employment issues to owners of small businesses is a “multiple audiences, multiple topics” speaker.
Choosing a Speaking Model – Pros and Cons
One Topic. Whether you are presenting for multiple audiences or just one, speaking on one topic allows you to perfect your talk, easily keep up with new developments, and quickly become known as an authority on one type of issue. Once you have offered your seminar, you will be so familiar with your content that you won’t need to spend significant time preparing for any particular speaking engagement. All it will take is a quick brush-up on your presentation and review of new trends and recent changes in the law.
One Audience. Speaking for one audience gives you the opportunity to really get to know the needs and concerns of its members. You can focus exclusively on the challenges of that audience so that your listeners look to you as someone who “really gets us” and calls or refers you when the opportunity arises.
One Topic, One Audience, however, limits your ability to use speaking to connect with members of that group because it necessarily reduces the number of times you will be invited to speak. An organization may have you come in once a year or every couple of years, but is not likely to invite you back more frequently if you are only prepared to present in one area.
In contrast, a choice of Multiple Audiences, Multiple Topics means that your impact is significantly diffused. You are much less likely to be remembered as a specialist on any particular topic nor will you be associated with an individual industry or affinity group. Add to that the burden of having to consistently produce new materials in multiple subject areas, and choice (d) goes to the bottom of the list.
When you connect with One Audience on Multiple Topics of interest to them, you have the chance to be the go-to lawyer for that target market. They will get to know you as someone who has a deep knowledge of their industry, the challenges that arise for them and the solutions that will enable them to accomplish their goals.
Similarly, becoming a Multiple Audience, One Topic speaker positions you in the minds of prospects and referrers as a good choice, perhaps the only choice, when a matter requires your particular skill set. Even better? Not only will you be known to a wide range of people, you’ll have virtually unlimited opportunity to grow your network by seeking out and speaking for as-yet untapped markets.
What type of speaker are you?
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