Speaking engagements help shape in-house counsel's reputation in the legal and business community. It simultaneously helps with branding yourself (Note: In a good way) and getting your company some positive exposure.
Here's a quick checklist to keep in mind when trying to score a speaking engagement:
- Target one group. Don't cast your net too wide. If there's a particular group or organization that resonates with your niche areas of interest, bingo -- that's who you'll want to contact regarding a speaking engagement.
- Go the extra mile. Expressing a vague interest in a broad topic won't get you far. Instead, send a specific topic of interest, a working title and perhaps even a draft outline. A good place to start is to think about the goal and the budget of the engagement.
- Be professional. In your communications, be prompt and always keep the focus on what's in it for them. Of course, don't forget to follow-up with a phone call.
- Don't forget about your own obligations. To land a speaking engagement, you need to give a strong package to sell your idea. But make sure to not divulge too much information and slip up on your company's work product confidentiality and ownership policy. You are its legal counsel, after all.
- Consider billing, fees and ancillary expenses. Will you, the group or your company foot the bill for costs related to the engagement? This is a logistical consideration that will help you narrow your search and figure out what engagements are feasible.
If you're adept at social media, there are a number of outlets online where you can build a strong portfolio to attract speaking engagement offers. At the end of the day, think of your portfolio as a personable and engaging resume. While you're at it, add it on to your resume website.
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