Every speaker needs to speak – no matter how big or small the room. But in order to speak, you need to have an event to speak at. You need to be noticed, so what can you do to increase your visibility? it’s vital that the people who are looking for you can find you, and that you’re showing them what they want to see! One way is to invest in speaker’s reel.
What is a speaker’s reel and why is it important?
A speaker’s reel is a short video of not more than 8 minutes long. It should give others a quick overview of you and leave them wanting to see more. A great speaker’s reel will have a combination of you in action, you speaking to potential client, shots of the audience members and testimonials, all interwoven with music.
What are the uses for a speaking reel?
A speaking reel is a powerful marketing tool that can be used in several ways:
- as an audition for big events, or a promotional tool for your own event,
- as part of your email signature,
- integrate the video into multiple marketing streams,
- as a nice feature on a landing page,
- split the reel into short snippets that can be rolled out on social media.
Simply, a speaking reel is a tool that can help you expand your reach to the audience and brings you into the spotlight.
But what do people expect in the speaking reel?
When people watch your reel, they want:
- To see what you look and sound like when speaking,
- To get a feel of your experience and take on topics,
- To see how you engage your audience,
- To see how you interact and move in different places and situations,
- To see a variety of you and your personality.
What should you have in the video?
It is very easy to want to include every single talk, every single achievement and every single event in a video. But when you need to keep your video short and your audience captive, bear the following in mind.
Think of it like a movie: tell a story and engage the viewer immediately. Introduce yourself and tell people who you are. Think of it as your first impression to people. What is your experience and qualifications? Insert a clip of you talking about your experience or engage the help of a narrator.
Establish your areas of expertise. What are you known for and where do your experiences lie? Think of it like an elevator pitch in the form of a video. Why should people engage you and listen to you speak?
Show some excerpts of your speaking engagements. Nothing screams evidence best like actual footages of you in action. Show quick highlights from your best speaking gigs, the best audience reactions and the best moments. The aim is to hook your audience and get them wanting more.
Let you clients speak for you. No matter how good your video, your audience wants to know if what they see is real. They want to see how you helped others and whose lives you changed. Have you had an impact in organisations? These testimonials do not need to come in the form of videos. They can also come in a short text quote which you can insert in your video.
Make your video fun. Your audience wants to see you, but not just you. Use graphics or animations in your video to liven things up. It also breaks to monotony of the video being just about you. You can also add in music. But when using music, be wary of copyright issues. Make sure the music you use is royalty-free and free to use.
So, I have all the above, but is that all I need?
No, while it is good to have a video, you should not be putting out just any video. The quality of your video matters, and it says a lot about you as a speaker. A video does not have to be very expensive; you just need to ensure that the quality is high so that your audience will have the impression that you do care about your work and your output.
How do I do this?
If you are able to shoot and edit your own videos, this can end up being free for you. But otherwise, invest in finding a good videographer and video editor. Engage one that understands you, your services and what you stand for. When they understand who you are as a person and as a speaker, they can help you tell your story through good video storytelling.
A good videographer should be able to have an overall idea of the message you want get across. A good editor should be someone who is able review and rewrite the story to show you in the best possible light quickly. They are not simply recording a presentation; they need to be able to tell the story. You may not have the best angles or the best footage but a good editor can make use of what you have to weave a story that is often better than what you had in mind.
Where should I show my video?
There are multiples platforms for you to showcase your video. First, upload your video on free video streaming platforms like YouTube or Vimeo. Once you have uploaded it, you can then promote it. Make use of your website if you have one, and other social media platforms. You can share the link to the video at the end of your email signature, on your LinkedIn page, your Facebook page or even on Instagram!
Share the links at places where your audience frequent. Bear in mind that view count is no indication of getting speaking opportunities, but posting the video in multiple different places will increase the likelihood of the right person seeing you.
So give this a try, and see how your short speaking reel can help you. Good luck!