You’ve been invited to speak at a conference or other event. You are elated! Even as you begin developing your presentation, don’t lose sight of the opportunity you’ve been given. Some people view being a speaker as a sign that they’ve arrived. That perspective overlooks the potential each speaking engagement provides. Don’t view your presentation as a final destination, but a junction in a larger journey. Here are four tips to get the most out of each opportunity.
1. Share resources. Before and after the event, spread the word about the engagement. Some people shy from self-promotion, but you don’t need to grandstand, simply share why you are excited about the event or passionate about your topic. Your genuine enthusiasm will shine through.
2. Herald the work of others. Whether it’s a conference, networking event, or industry round-table, you will not be the only person sharing your expertise. One way to maintain a positive and unselfish tone is to celebrate the work of others just as much—or more—than you do your own. Take time to share a book you found helpful on social media, tagging the author. Personally write to another speaker from the conference, expressing how much you appreciated their insight.
3. Foster connection. Take advantage of the conference or event to renew relationships and connect with new colleagues. Spend time speaking with others before and after your event. Share contact information and then follow-up with those you meet. You never know what new endeavors you can undertake together!
4. Engage dialogue. A true leader never stops learning. As you prepare and present your material, you will likely spark new ideas and questions. Use LinkedIn or another platform to facilitate discussion and continue the conversation your presentation began. You may develop these thoughts into an article, blog post, or subsequent presentation.