Do you get asked to give talks for free? How do you view these requests? Are people trying to get your professional time and expertise delivered free to their audience? Is it more uncompensated time out of the office?

Or, is it a tremendous opportunity to showcase your expertise to interested people? Here are two real examples:

A physician's office routinely asks you to come in, give a pertinent lunch time talk and also bring lunch for the staff. After a few such presentations, you notice you are getting about 5 referrals a month. If, on the average you make $100 per visit and each client is seen for an average of 8 visits that equates to $48,000/yr (5x8x12x100). That's a pretty good return on investment, even if you buy lunch for the practice.

Your local business association asks you to do an hour talk for their members on dealing with difficult employees. It requires slides and lots of prep time. All told, given travel time, this project takes a full day of your time. However, subsequent to the presentation you are called by one of the attendees and wind up running a corporate retreat and then serve as a consultant for the company on an on-going basis, all of which is paid for at your consulting rates. Another good investment in the long run.

Moral of the story:
-Hone your speaking skills
-Build relationships with people who may invite you to present
-View such opportunities as wonderful investments that can put you in front of interested people who may engage you and pay for your services.

For more information about giving presentations see another one of our blog posts: Community Presentations – A Great Way to Get Referrals