How to say ‘yes’ to speaking opportunities

Woman on laptop

‘I don’t have the time’
‘Someone in my team would be better suited to this’
‘I don’t have anything to bring to the table’

These are just a few of the lies we tell ourselves (and others) to turn down speaking invites.

The truth is being on stage is of enormous benefit to you professionally and personally. By sharing your expertise you can raise your profile, make valuable connections and win your company new business. Moreover, stepping up will see you improve as a speaker.

But if you’re anxious or simply putting it off, how can you motivate yourself to take the plunge and accept your next speaking invite?

Get a pen and paper to hand and try the exercise below.

1. List the things the things you could gain from becoming a regular public speaker

These will differ depending on your circumstances. Here are a few that might apply: Becoming known as an expert in my industry, gaining a better profile for my business, being more valued by my employers …

2. Go deeper, list the reasons these things matter to you

Does ‘Becoming known as an expert in my industry’ matter to you is because it provides fulfilment?
Does ‘Gaining a better profile for my business’ contribute towards your financial freedom?
Does ‘Being more valued by my employers’ make you feel more secure?

3. Use your reason as your motivator

Select the reason that stand out the most. Write it down. This is why you should accept the next speaking invite.

You’re not being asked to ‘appear on a panel of marketing experts’. You’re being asked to take a step in the direction of financial freedom, job security, emotional fulfilment or something else far larger than the anxieties or procrastination that have previously held you back.

The key is to see every invitation you receive as a stepping stone towards that goal.

Think about this the next time a speaking invitation lands in your inbox and you’ll find saying ‘yes’ as far easier indeed.