Tip Sheet: Optimizing Speaking Engagements: 7 Ways to Build a Corporate Speakers Bureau

By Lori Zetlin & Jeanne Tee
Ask any VP of corporate communications what she/he is doing to secure executive speaking opportunities, and the overwhelming response will be "not enough." A savvy communications executive knows the benefits of a successful speakers program: brand development, executive visibility, product/service promotion, thought leadership and lead generation.
One speech can reach an enormous and valuable target audience of clients, prospects, employees, media, business partners and analysts. The audience has chosen to attend the conference and your presentation, so they are ready and willing to listen to your experts and your messages. The conference environment is conducive to networking and deal making. And you can't beat the price. These coveted sales, marketing and PR benefits can be yours for the mere price of a plane ticket.
Yet many companies are frustrated with the process and the results of their existing speaking programs. Why? In our 20-plus years of experience creating and managing speakers bureau programs, we've found the root causes to be a lack of planning and a shortage of resources. Typically, companies assign a junior-level PR or marketing person to establish and manage a speakers bureau program with no strategic plan and no executive support.
If this sounds familiar, know that there are a few simple things you can do to build your speakers bureau program into a highly visible and successful part of your marketing and communications strategy.

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