Episode #135:
Guiding Principles for Being a Great Speaker Partner

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Attention women speakers: this is a DO NOT MISS episode! This week Caterina shares her guiding principles on how to be a great speaker partner. Learn the tried-and-true methods she follows to get booked and rebooked for speaking opportunities while maintaining her reputation among industry professionals as a phenomenal speaker partner. If you’re just getting started with your speaking, or if you are a long-time speaker, Caterina’s super tips will help you build influence and utilize speaking to book more clients!

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Expand Your Fempire Podcast #135 Transcript


Guiding Principles for Being a Great Speaker Partner


Welcome to Expand your Fempire with Caterina Rando, the podcast for women in business on a mission. Sharing ideas to support you to grow and thrive. Now here’s your host, Caterina Rando.

[00:00:00] Caterina Rando: This is Caterina Rando and welcome back to another episode of the Expand Your Fempire Podcast. I am blissing to be with you because today we are going to talk about a very important topic.

[00:00:41] If you have been listening to any of these podcast episodes, if you’re part of our Thriving Women in Business Community, if you’ve ever been to one of my workshops or summits, you know that I believe that speaking is your fastest path to gaining new clients. That speaking is a great marketing tool, that it is a phenomenal way to build Insta influence, to create more visibility, et cetera, et cetera.

[00:01:15] This episode today, though, is on a different aspect of speaking that you may not be thinking about. People always ask me, they say, “Caterina, who’s the best speaker?” Well, really what people that book speakers care about is not only that they’re a good speaker, because let’s be totally honest and clear. Especially in our virtual world, there is a lifetime supply, really an endless supply of amazing speakers in whatever industry you are a part of.

[00:01:57] What is not as frequently mentioned when people are thinking of who they’re going to book for a meeting or a conference or an event or retreat in terms of who do they want to be the speaker is who is a good speaker partner?

[00:02:18] Because if you have a lifetime supply of outstanding speakers, wouldn’t you want to have the speakers that are the easiest to work with? That are the most wonderful to work with? That are good partners in that they’re promoting your event? Wouldn’t you want the speakers that are low maintenance that don’t reach out to you 50 times with 50 questions? The answer would be absolutely.

[00:02:48] That is what we’re going to talk about today in this episode of the Expand Your Fempire Podcast is how to be a great speaker partner.

[00:02:58] Even if you’re getting started with your speaking, or if you are a long-time speaker. I know I’m going to have some super tips for you.

[00:03:07] Now, what’s going to happen with these super tips. You are going to get booked more frequently. The buzz about you as a good partner is going to be present. Because let me tell you, all meeting professionals, all speaker bookers talk.

[00:03:26] I remember years, years, years ago, I had a live event. I had booked a speaker to come and talk about a particular marketing topic. And I had at least 60 people coming. I had been promoting her from day one.

[00:03:45] She called me the night before my summit and basically said she got a better opportunity and would not be with me. Well, not only did I never rebook her. When someone asked me down the road, what type of speaker was she? I said, “she was very good speaker and I could not vouch for her reliability.” that was the truth. That was my experience.

[00:04:18] Everybody talks, my friends. Your speaking reputation is not about what they can see in a video: you as a great speaker. Your speaker reputation is what happens when you get off the platform and what happens before you get on the platform and before you start to speak. That is where being a good speaker partner matters.

[00:04:50] Get ready to jot down some notes. Because I have several super tips for you.

[00:04:56] First thing, when you get the booking, as soon as you confirm with an email or a direct message, or hang up the phone, you send that booker Your bio, your photo, and your session description, or the blurb about your talk.

[00:05:18] Now, sometimes you have to fill out an application. If they’re requesting that and you haven’t done that, you insta do that as the booking is confirmed. You may have already sent this ahead of time or filled this out ahead of time, but if you haven’t, you do it at the time of the booking.

[00:05:37] Then you note on your calendar when that speech is, whenever it is, and if it’s virtual, if it’s live and in person, and then you note the title and you note that you have sent your picture and your description and bio and topic and title, and you also put the contact information for who you sent that to.

[00:06:07] If you have any other information about them, their email, their phone number, you put that too. Of course, you put the name of the organization, and then you put how much time do you have. Now you, I’m sure, asked that question when you were confirming the booking. If not, You put the amount of time in there also.

[00:06:29] These are things you don’t want to have to try to remember and you want them exactly where you’re going to need them.

[00:06:35] Also, sidebar super tip about more sales, you block out some time on your calendar right after that speech to do some reachouts, some follow-ups, to get some clients from this talk. We’re going to have to save that whole discussion for another day. What I want you to do right now, though, is book some follow-up time for immediately after that talk.

[00:07:04] Now, if you are doing a talk where you know there’s going to be a lot of potential clients, then at the time of booking, even if you’re booking for six months from now, block out the 72 hours after that talk For sales conversations, more follow up, more circle backs. Now, you can put other things on the calendar too, but that is the hottest window for sales after a speech.

[00:07:34] By the way, this is why I don’t use a calendar link. Hey, here’s my link, book a time to talk to me. You know why? Because people book a time to talk to you in three weeks.

[00:07:42] No! I want them to book a time to talk with me within three days of that speech, which is why as soon as the talk is over, I take the screenshot from the talk if I can see their smiles on the screen and I go and I look up everybody and we reach out to them and we book those calls. Okay. But that is a separate topic on sales.

[00:08:03] All right, take a deep breath. Back to you’ve just booked the talk, you’ve put all that information the time and date of when the talk is on your calendar, then you are going to go one month ahead of that. And you are going to put on your calendar to check in with that booker.

[00:08:27] Caterina Rando: Also two weeks before that, six weeks out, you are going to make sure that the booker has any marketing materials to you. Now, by the way, I’m saying you, you could also delegate this to your sales or speaking assistant, or maybe you have someone that helps you with both.

[00:08:51] I have a fabulous assistant who helps me with the checking in with the Booker in advance of a speech, getting all the marketing materials from the Booker as soon as We check in six weeks, and if it’s not done six weeks out, we check in five weeks, we check in four weeks. And I will explain more about this shortly.

[00:09:16] Okay, it’s on your calendar, you’ve noted the information, you’ve noted who you’re sending it to.

[00:09:22] The other thing is, next thing, get all the details. If it’s a live and in-person talk, where is it? If it’s a hotel or a big venue, what room specifically are they in? Maybe they know maybe they don’t know at the time of booking. Where do you park your car, if it’s going to be live and in person? How many people are going to be there? What’s the makeup of the audience?

[00:09:53] These are all things, hopefully you’ve asked them at the time of booking, but you want to make sure you get all the details and you note those things.

[00:10:03] And if they don’t know, “hey, we don’t know how many people are having because we’re booking you for six months from now.” Then on that month before check-in, you will ask those questions. Very important.

[00:10:17] Now, by the way, if you’re super savvy, at the time of the booking, you could book that month ahead of time talk, even if it’s not for several months.

[00:10:28] Okay. Now you’re going to connect with that booker. And maybe if you’re really on the ball, you ask them at the time of booking, who is in charge of marketing this event? Because it’s often not the booker and when will I be able to get some marketing copy from them, a link for people to register so that I can promote the event?

[00:10:55] Now my friends, this is where the bookers are going to love you. They are going to keep coming back to you, because you’re going out of your way to help them have a successful event.

[00:11:13] What we do is we have an e-zine that goes out every two weeks of women’s events, both virtual and live and in person. There’s a lot of events listed in there. Hopefully, you’re on our list. If you’re not getting that, you can opt-in on my website at CaterinaRando.Com.

[00:11:32] Every two weeks we send out an email, lots of women’s events. We have a great open rate. That’s what I do for my clients. We promote their events and any events that I’m speaking at. We promote those events. Also, it also goes in our social media feed.

[00:11:52] Now the other thing you can do is at the time of booking, even if it’s way early months, months out, give a rave to the organization and you would post something like this: “I am so excited. I just got booked by XYZ organization or group or association to give my talk on…” whatever the title of your talk is. It’s very important that you include the title of your talk. “Thank you to Sheila Jones” or the name of whoever was the person that booked you and you’re going to tag her. Also, thank and tag if somebody referred you to that organization. “Thank you to Mary Jones for being loud and proud about my massive value and referring me. I’m forever grateful.”

[00:12:45] Now, you’re going to do that, and then there’s one more thing you’re going to do. In that same post, well, two more things, you are going to say, “Do you know of any groups that might be interested in this talk?”

[00:13:02] And that is going to get you more leads. And that is exciting. And I can tell you, I have gotten booked for big conferences, Asking that question on Facebook. I have had many clients get many bookings doing this.

[00:13:18] And I’m going to ask you right now, my friend, when was the last time you were loud and proud that you have a great talk on XYZ and you’re looking for more groups of XYZ, whoever your ideal clients are, to give that talk to?

[00:13:35] This is a really important way to keep reminding people that you are a speaker, what are the talks you do. And when you say, “Hey, I just got booked for blah, blah, blah, group,” that lets them know that you’re not a wannabe speaker, you are absolutely out there being an awesome speaker.

[00:13:56] The other thing you’re going to do before you publish that post is you’re going to include a picture of you super happy, or a picture of you speaking.

[00:14:05] Because as you know, photos get more eyeballs, and again, we’re wanting to be loud and proud about you as a speaker.

[00:14:14] Now, also, the association that just booked you is blissing. They are so happy that you are being loud and proud about their event. Bing, bing, bing.

[00:14:24] Let me back up a second because I went a little bit fast there. Make sure you’re getting the graphics, the link, the website, where is the page about your speaking going to be. Now, again, this may not be at the time of booking, but you want to put on your calendar when you want to circle back and grab that if they haven’t automatically sent it to you.

[00:14:50] The other thing you do at the time of booking is you schedule when you are going to do posts about this event, when you are going to put it in your email or your e-zine, and if you’re going to do a dedicated email, when is that going to be broadcast?

[00:15:08] Now, people say to me sometimes, “Hey Caterina, could you do a dedicated email about our event that you’re speaking at?”

[00:15:16] I would be doing 10 to 15 dedicated emails a month if I did that for every group I talked to. Nope, can’t do it. That’s why we put it in the e-zine. However, if I have a couple super big things every year, I will do a dedicated email. I do one in the spring, one in the fall, but you’ve got to make sure though, anytime you’re going to broadcast to your whole list about an event you’re speaking at, make sure it is super on brand for you. It is super congruent with you and your brand so that you do not confuse your list okay? Very important.

[00:15:56] I am so excited for this next super tip and I’m backing it up to the time of booking. When you say “Yes, I would love to speak at your event.” Next question I want you to ask as SOP, Standard Operating Procedure: “Are you looking for any other speakers? What topics are you looking for?”

[00:16:20] Because as a speaker, you want to be the go-to resource for any bookers that are looking for speakers.

[00:16:31] Because you have a network of other amazing speakers who not only are great speakers, they’re great speaker partners. And you’ll know way more about what that is after our time together today. Then you can help your speaker friends get more bookings.

[00:16:52] What does that do for you? You build more influence with your speaker friends. You build more influence with the booker. Your speaker friends are going to be grateful. They’re going to keep you in mind for where they’re speaking.

[00:17:06] Because depending on the industry and the places you’re speaking and what you’re speaking on, they’re not booking you every month to speak. They might book you a couple times a year, they might book you for their retreats, maybe you’re going to sell them some training, but they’re going to have other speakers too.

[00:17:22] And don’t you want those other speakers to be speakers from your network that you’re helping them get? So that all of that builds more influence for you? The answer is absolutely.

[00:17:36] This is such an easy question to ask. “What other speakers are you looking for? Or are you looking for other speakers?”

[00:17:43] If they say yes, “What topics are you interested in? Do you want me to make some recommendations?” They’re going to say yes, and they are going to be blissing because you are making their job easier.

[00:17:55] By the way, that’s your job as a speaker. And a great speaker partner makes the booker’s job super easy.

[00:18:05] That is the whole point of this.

[00:18:08] Next thing, as a speaker partner, do not be a speaker diva. Be, as we’ve discussed, a speaker partner.

[00:18:17] What’s a speaker diva? You’ve got a lot of questions. You’ve got a lot of needs. You get there when they’re about to start, you don’t get there early. I’ve seen some speakers leave in the middle of the meetings after their part is done. Like I’m too good to hang out with you people. Are you kidding me? Diva speakers, they don’t have any resources. They’re like, “Hey, you got to sign up for my thing.” they spend too much time selling. Well, that’s just not a good speaker partner at all.

[00:18:52] Pay attention. Do not be the diva speaker. I put attention on this. I don’t want to ask 50 questions. I might have a couple questions between now and when the event is after the speech is booked, but not question after question.

[00:19:09] And please, never be complaino. Sometimes I’m speaking at an event. And they ask me to come to a rehearsal. Now, unless we’re talking about, you know, a light show, I’ve done enough speaking. I don’t need to go to a rehearsal. I know how to use a mic. I know how to put my video on on zoom. Of course. But you know what, if that’s what they want, that’s what I’m going to do, because I want to be a great speaker partner.

[00:19:43] I hope you’re hearing this, my friends. Now also, if they asked me to get there 10 minutes early, I’m going to get there 10 minutes early.

[00:19:51] Sometimes, I have a speech up till the top of the hour, and they want me to come 10 minutes early, then I tell them, “Hey, I cannot be there 10 minutes early, I will be there right at the top of the hour.”

[00:20:04] Very important that you have clear communication about that, because we don’t want them to be stressing that you said you would be there early, and then, oh, something came up.

[00:20:13] Communicate, communicate, communicate. And if you’re ever running late, Send a text.

[00:20:20] The other thing I do, by the way, at the time of booking, which is very important, is talk to them. If we’re talking virtual, talk to them about the links. “Do you use the same link every month for your meeting? May I have that link?” The sooner you can put the link for a virtual meeting on your calendar, the better.

[00:20:42] And this is something you’re checking in about a week before. Where’s the link? And I often test the links ahead of time. Because sometimes the links are not accurate. It’s rare, but sometimes they’re not accurate.

[00:20:57] Here’s what I don’t want to do, which, believe me, speaking from experience. I don’t want to have a virtual speech, and it’s time for the virtual speech, and I can’t find the link because someone said they’ll send it to me but I don’t see it. It could be from somebody else. I don’t know how to search for it because I don’t know who it came from or what the subject is. So lost links are a big challenge and it creates stress for you, which is why I want you to get that link early and put it on your calendar.

[00:21:34] Okay, that’s not so much about being a speaker partner. Well, I guess if you’re late, then that’s not being good speaker partner. It’s more about no stress for the speaker, which is what I want for you.

[00:21:45] If we’re talking a live and in-person speech, I get there very early.

[00:21:50] Now, those of you that know me, I am not an early bird. I will get to a speech before the people that are setting up for the speech, the meeting planners get there before the people that run the registration get there.

[00:22:04] Why? I want to get there early and park my car wherever it’s supposed to be, have no stress, get to the room, check out the room, pick, if it’s set up for a luncheon or dinner, pick my spot, which is usually the spot right in front of the speaker so there’s nobody there. I’m not on anybody’s lap because that’s where I put my own seat.

[00:22:27] I’m going to make sure the room is working for me. I’m going to get a table from the banquet captain if they don’t have a speaker table there. I’m going to set that table up and I’m going to be ready to go as soon as the first guest walks in the door.

[00:22:42] And then my attention is going to be cento per cento, 100 percent on meeting those audience members ahead of time. That’s what a good speaker partner does.

[00:22:54] A good speaker partner is not behind the curtain or, you know, in the foyer when the guests are coming. People want to meet you. They want to interact with you. They want to talk to you. And of course, your speech is going to be so much better when you do that. That’s what a good speaker partner does.

[00:23:13] Then when the event is over, you are the last person to leave. If people want to be talking with you, do not be dashing out the door. That’s when all the sales happen after. That’s when the connections will resume. If you have a suitcase and you’re going to the airport, stick that suitcase under the table.

[00:23:34] You want to look like you are there and you’re not going anywhere until after this event is over because you want to give that audience 100 percent of your full attention. And that will reap you many rewards.

[00:23:48] Because what often happens after a talk is people go, they talk to their friends. They catch up with whoever they wanted to catch up with before they came to the meeting. And then they go to find the speaker because usually they want to find you and talk to you privately. And they know right after your speech, there might be some people that want to talk to you and they don’t want to wait in line and they don’t want to have other people overhear what they have to say. That’s why they go and visit with others first. Doesn’t always happen this way, but I’ve seen it happen this way many times.

[00:24:24] I’ve done that. I’m at an event, I’m networking, I heard a great speaker, great speaker made an invitation, “”come to my event, she’s making a price on it, so I’m going to go. I’m going to sign up for her event, maybe I, I remember I had a question, “Hey, do you have any other dates? Is this the only date you have?”

[00:24:42] I turn around and the speaker’s gone. And I say to somebody else, “Hey, did the speaker leave?” And they say, “Oh, I’ve been looking for them too.” The speaker’s dashing as soon as their speech is over and guess what, they lost two sales right there. Two potential clients they lost because they were out of the room as soon as their speech was over or as soon as the first wave of people that wanted to talk to them talked to them.

[00:25:10] Okay, so this is really important. You come early, you stay late, and you will find this is great for connections, booking more speakings, coming home with more business, and this also makes your meeting planner happy. Because remember, today’s episode is about being a great speaker partner.

[00:25:30] And then, the meeting planner is now relaxed, the booker is now relaxed after the event. Chat with them. Buy them a beverage. Buy them dessert. Talk to them. Have a chat. And you know what? They’re gonna be blissing when you do that, and they’re also gonna tell you, if you ask them, “Hey, what other groups do you know that I could talk to? Hey, who can you connect me with?” if you could do that live and in person, great.

[00:25:58] Now, back to virtual. As soon as the booking is over, the speech is over, the Zoom meeting is over, I call that booker. I thank them. And for some speeches, we send a small gift. Thank you cards. Thank you for booking me. And for some if it’s really big thing, we send a bigger gift.

[00:26:19] And you know what happens? Get rebooked over and over.

[00:26:22] By the way, in that call, where I’m calling them and I’m saying, “Thank you so much for booking me,” You can ask them for feedback. I say, “When would you like to have me again?” Now, sometimes they say, “Oh, we just have once a year, Caterina.” Say, great. How about same time next year?” I’ve already looked up when was the third Thursday or Wednesday, whenever they meet, I’ve already looked that up.

[00:26:45] Now, what I also say to them when I say, “Hey, you want to book me again?” is I say, “I have another talk that I think would be of great value to your members.” I tell them what it is.

[00:26:58] ” Would you like to schedule that talk?” And if I’m speaking in the winter, I offer to do it in the spring. If I’m speaking in the spring, I offer to do it in the fall or the winter. And often I get two bookings from the same organizations every year. Bing, bing, bing.

[00:27:14] In your talks, if you are going to make an offer, a sales invitation, make sure you’ve gotten permission ahead of time.

[00:27:25] Now, really, I don’t want you to talk where you can’t make an offer unless they’re writing you a big check. Sometimes they write a big check and they still allow you to make an offer, but make sure you’ve asked for permission.

[00:27:39] Otherwise, if they’re not paying you and they don’t want to let you make an offer. I say, if they say no, you don’t go. However, the caveat to that is there’s a lot of large opportunities that are getting in front of a ton of people where they don’t want you to make an offer, but you can invite them to opt in for your free gifts, invite them to your free workshop, and that is absolutely a great thing to do, okay, but you want to get it clarity on all this ahead of time because you will not get invited back.

[00:28:12] And I remember once I was in the audience a speaker friend of mine was speaking, and she had gotten a big check for this speech, and they said that she could make an invitation. You know what she did, though? She spent, and I’m not exaggerating, 20 minutes of her one-hour keynote inviting people to come to her next thing, and you can bet that the booker was unhappy, the audience was unhappy, and she did not get invited back.

[00:28:43] And let’s not forget, you might say, “Okay, well they didn’t invite me back.” Well, guess what? They’re telling everybody that you were not a good speaker partner, and that is not what you want, my friend. Not at all.

[00:28:56] I’ve got so much more to discuss with you. What I’m going to do is I’m going to do another talk on all the SOPs that we do before, during, and after speech to get clients. And I’ve probably talked about that before, but since I’ve talked about that, I’m sure have some new super tips to share with you. So that will be another discussion.

[00:29:17] Let me say also if you are not hosting your own monthly Zoom workshop to invite people to, I want to strongly encourage you to do that. This is a rinse-and-repeat strategy. This is a great place to invite all those people that you want to book you for speaking.

[00:29:34] If you have not come to one of my workshops, every month, I do free workshop two, please come. I’ve got a lifetime supply of massive value for you.

[00:29:45] Also, if we have not connected and I have not talked with you about your business, please reach out to me. I would love to give you some super tips and some insights on how you can improve your selling, your speaking, your overall business strategy.

[00:30:04] Additionally, I want to make sure that you know that we have an amazing Bliss in Your Business Program and Retreat that we are offering next year. And it is absolutely guaranteed to support you in building success from the inside out building community, all kinds of transformation.

[00:30:26] That’s what the ladies get when they participate in this program. And I’d like to talk with you about that, if you have any interest in the amazing transformational and wonderful power of being on a retreat with other like-minded like-hearted women.

[00:30:44] This is Caterina Rando and I’m reminding you, my friend, you have massive value to bring. There is a lifetime supply of people to serve. Be loud, be proud about your massive value. Be a great speaker partner, which will support you in selling more, serving more, and uplifting more lives with your amazingness.

[00:31:05] Check out my website, caterinarando.Com. We have upcoming summits, free workshops, and amazing programs to support you to bliss and thrive more in your business. Can’t wait to be with you again on the Expand Your Fempire Podcast. Love to you. Bing, bing, bing.

We hope you enjoyed this episode of Expand Your Fempire with Caterina Rando.

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