Public speaking venues you may not have thought of for public speaking and prospecting

It has been said public speaking is the future of prospecting. If you stand up in a room of 50-plus people and make a good impression, logically you should gain a client or two plus several prospects. If you’d like to try it out, here are a few ideas to get you started and some places to speak that you — and other financial advisors — may not have thought of.

Topic

You need something timely to speak about that might be educational. Your compliance officer will not be keen to have you wing it. They might require you to give a preapproved presentation designed by the company, also known as a canned presentation. That’s not a big deal if the topic is compelling.

Venues

Here are a few ideas for venues beyond the usual.

  1. Community associations in housing developments. They often have clubhouses. The homeowners association charges dues, and they may want to provide activities, which could include a monthly roster of speakers. Build a list of developments with associations. See if they have a website that lists activities for residents. If they feature speakers, contact the event organizer.
  2. College alumni association. If it’s a university you graduated from, you already have a connection. They have a local chapter that may have regular get-togethers that could include speakers. If you are not already a member, join, attend a few meetings, size up the situation and ask the organizer how you can get on the schedule of speakers.
  3. Town library. They likely have community meeting rooms. The library also may offer speakers as a way to give back to the community and get people into the library. Check out your library’s website to find out if they have a speaker program.
  4. Community colleges. Many communities run adult education programs, such as art or computer skills classes, that are held in the evenings and usually do not have course credit attached. Do they also have a class on financial awareness or personal finance? Does your firm have a prepackaged curriculum you could teach? If not, could you design one and get compliance approval? This might require a longer lead time.
  5. Retirement planning at a local business. Ideally, you have a client high up in management who could assist you in making the necessary connections. Can you go to the business and teach a class on the basics of preparing for retirement, especially for those a few years before their retirement date?
  6. Service clubs. You know what they are in your local market, and you already may be a member. Do they feature a member at each meeting talking about their business? How can you get on the schedule?
  7. Fundraising for your favorite nonprofit. Your service club might not embrace self-promotion, but they might be OK with you talking about the capital campaign at the museum where you volunteer. Your credentials are part of your introduction. Now they know what you do for a living and how you give back to the community.
  8. Your religious organization. No, you will not be speaking from the pulpit. You might approach your spiritual community leader and ask if there would be any interest in a talk about the many ways charitable giving can be structured with legacy planning. Your firm will likely have a presentation on this topic. If people learn you can help them in one area, they might be interested in your help in other areas.

If you have some interesting topics that are not “salesy,” you might find there are many potential opportunities for speaking engagements in your local area.

Bryce Sanders is president of Perceptive Business Solutions Inc. His book “Captivating the Wealthy Investor” is available on Amazon.

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