Out of the Box Ideas for Speaking Engagements

Visibility equals credibility. If people see you, hear you and get to know your name, you should start to build a reputation as a subject matter expert.  We think of speaking in two formats: Seminars you organize or guest speaking before groups.  Have you considered these ideas that break free of the traditional mold for this method of prospecting?

1. The different wrapper. 

You are a financial advisor who is deeply committed to a local nonprofit organization.  You are good at public speaking.  Your organization’s mission supports the environment.  Suppose the organization schedules a seminar under their own name that features you, a longtime member and volunteer as a speaker?  Your topic might be environmentally conscious investing or ethical investing.  The organization promotes it through it’s channels.  The chances of the local press running a story about it are good.  Although advisors hold seminars about investing often, a nonprofit running a seminar on environmentally conscious investing happens less frequently.  That is news.

2. Speaking on behalf of your favorite charity. 

You are comfortable speaking in front of groups.  You are affiliated with a nonprofit.  They have launched a capital campaign.  They want the story to get out.  It is not too difficult for them to get on the agenda for other local community organizations who have meetings featuring speakers.  Service clubs hold lunch meetings, for example.  They need someone to stand up and deliver a compelling presentation.  You are the ideal person.  Your professional credentials are provided in the introduction.

3. The substitute speaker. 

You have spoken in the community before.  You have a list of topics you can address.  Each has 15, 30 and 45 minute versions.  You put the word out you are available on short notice in case a scheduled speaker cancels out at the last minute.  Meetings continue to take place during the winter months.  Sometimes road conditions or flight delays mean the speaker can’t get there.  You are local and just a phone call away.

4. The passed around speaker. 

You belong to an organization with several local chapters.  Your alumni association may have clubs in several nearby metro locations.  You deliver a great presentation.  It might address different ways of contributing to support the university.  The president of your chapter knows the presidents of the other chapters.  They talk you up among themselves.  The other local chapters call and ask you to address their group because the word of mouth reviews were excellent.  

5. The religious organization speaker. 

You belong to a congregation.  They raise money through the weekly collection basket.  They also would like members to remember them in their wills or list them as life insurance beneficiaries.  You offer to deliver a presentation in their community hall about different ways of giving to charity. The head of the congregation likes the idea because it helps with the fundraising side.  The presentation is promoted though announcements in the bulletin, reminders from the pulpit and word of mouth through different volunteer groups.  The attendees indicate other topics they would like to learn about.  You meet with the leadership and discuss if future seminars will be held on or away from their property.

6. The speaker driving the organization’s message.  

We are back to your college and the alumni office.  A New York financial advisor graduated from a large state university.  They contacted the alumni office and asked for permission to organize a series of seminars on topics relevant to graduates and only available to alumni.  He asked permission to use the alumni association logo on the invitations.  The school agreed!  The Do Not Call rules restrict solicitation by advisors.  A graduate of the college contacting other graduates of the same college, inviting them to an event presented as an alumni association activity should be a different story because of the nonprofit/charitable element.  You Compliance manager would know.

7. The speaker awarding Continuing Education credits. 

Financial advisors are one of several fields requiring CE credits to maintain your license. Can you present a seminar addressing an approved topic that also qualifies for CE credit?  What is the mechanism for awarding the credits?  This would be a big draw.  You should attract professionals.

8. Teaching at the community school. 

Many towns have evening classes that do not award academic credit.  Often topics include cooking, dance and personal finance.  Can you deliver a course on the basics of investing or managing your finances?  How about financial planning.  The audience should bond with you.  It’s likely a few attendees will ask to become clients.

These ideas need Compliance approval.  They are different ways of getting in front of groups of people with the potential to become clients.

Related: Six Comebacks for “I Already Have an Advisor”