Jaimie: Today we're exploring a topic that's often undervalued, but it's incredibly important in the sweet speaking world. And that is the art of the follow-up.
Now picture this, you've just delivered a fantastic speech. The audience was engaged, and the event organiser was pleased. You think that your job is done, but in reality, it's just entered a new phase. The follow-up phase is where good speakers become great, and where one-time gigs can turn into lasting relationships and repeat engagements.
Why is a follow-up so critical? Well, they are your bridge to future opportunities. A speaker's journey is about more than just delivering talks. It's about building lasting relationships, your ability to follow up effectively shows your professionalism and your genuine interest in not just your performance, but the event's overall success.
So how do you follow up effectively? Timing is key. You want to reach out while the memory of your speech is still fresh, but not so soon that it seems rushed. A sweet spot is usually within 24, maybe 48 hours post-event. This timely approach shows that you are prompt and considerate.
Now, the content of your follow-up is just as important as its timing. Personalisation is crucial. So maybe mention specific moments from the event that stood out or just express your appreciation for the audience's engagement. I think that this really shows that you are not just physically present but mentally and emotionally invested in the event.
But what should you include in your follow-up? A simple thank you note is a good start. But consider adding more value. Perhaps you could share a resource like an article or a podcast episode that's relevant to the theme of the event. This demonstrates your ongoing commitment to the topic and also to the client and the organiser's goals.
It's also essential to tailor your follow-ups for each event. So no two events are the same. No two clients are the same either, and your follow-ups should really reflect the unique nature of each speaking engagement. Generic messages can feel impersonal, and you can always tell when someone's written something generic, right, or copy and pasted from their previous one. And that's definitely less likely to leave a lasting impression.
Let's discuss the long game in follow-ups. So effective follow-ups aren't just about creating the immediate aftermath of your talk. They're about nurturing a connection over time. Stay in touch with event organisers and even attendees through various channels. This might mean connecting on social media, sending out an email newsletter, or even just dropping an occasional check-in email. This ongoing engagement is really where you can stand out.
So many times, when I have followed up with a previous client, it's led to follow-up work because people are, sort of, in the moment, the momentum is there. They're buzzing from your presentation. And they've often booked me again on the spot purely from this follow-up. Or what often happens is they will pass on my email, pass on my details to someone else they know. If you leave it too long, they're going to forget about you. And so I really think that this is going to make you stand out. It also shows that you want ongoing work. It wasn't just a one-off like a one-night stand or one-off speaking gig. You're actually interested in a professional relationship. And this approach can honestly lead to more speaking opportunities, referrals, and even collaboration.
So don't forget, every person that you meet at an event, whether it's an organiser, someone in the audience, or even another speaker, is a potential part of your network. These individuals can provide new opportunities, insights, and connections that can propel your speaking career forward.
So, just to sum up in our short episode today, remember that the follow-up is an extension of your speech. It's an opportunity to reinforce your message, to show appreciation, and to lay the groundwork for future engagements. A thoughtful, well-executed follow-up can transform a single speaking opportunity into a long-term partnership. We'll be tuning in to Pitch Perfect today. I hope that today's episode has really emphasised the power and importance of follow-ups in the world of public speaking. Stay tuned next week for more insights and strategies to help elevate your speaking career.