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Public Speaking Techniques for Author Entrepreneurs

Tuesday, December 03, 2019

There are many ways you can leverage your book to bring in more business and ultimately help more people. In this article, I will share one avenue where you can use your book as your golden ticket to receive more exposure for you and your business. I’ve used this method with my own book and have helped my clients do the same. And what is that avenue? Leveraging public speaking to bring a face to the words of your book and generate business from that.

That means, tell people about your book, period. Don’t be shy about it. Don’t be coy about it. Don’t be overly modest about it.

Correction. Don’t be modest about it at all.

Isn’t that why you wrote the awesome book? So you can share your content and message with the intended people? And if you don’t tell them about it, how will they know it exists? 

The trick is you have to take action. By doing so, you will cast a wider net to attract your ideal clients. Let me explain what I mean.

Use Public Speaking Engagements to Get in Front of Your Ideal Clients

Consider two scenarios.

  • Scenario 1: You’re attending a networking event. You’re going to tell people about your book. You’re speaking to one person at a time. You say the same thing to a second person, then again to a third. And if you’re efficient and very intentional, you might’ve managed to tell three to five people by the end of the event. That’s SO time-consuming.
  • Scenario 2: There is a room full of people who chose to attend the event because YOU were going to be a speaker there. As an author and a subject matter expert on your book topic, they have CHOSEN to come and learn from you. Let’s say there are 20, 50 or even 100 people who came to listen to you.

Which of the above 2 scenarios has a better success rate of getting you in front of more of your ideal clients?

Are you getting the picture?

That’s a rhetorical question. The answer, hands down, is scenario 2. You can leverage your time AND cast a wider net to attract your ideal clients to you by being a speaker.

Why Speaking from Your Book Works to Get You More Business 

a) You are the Authority

When you are the speaker, you are the assumed expert in front of the room, and you are regarded as the authority on your subject matter. That’s credibility. And if you’re able to articulate the value you provide in an impactful manner, you add to that credibility

b) Face-to-Face Builds Trust

You have a book. You have content worth sharing. Your book allows you to share your content in written format. Your readers read what you wrote, from your virtual voice. On the other hand, when you speak, your audience gets to learn from the physical you. You get to communicate with them face-to-face. You can inject your personality into the communication in 3-D. And you get to interact with them, and they with you.

You are now a visible person they can relate to, even more than a name on the cover of your book.

Speaking engagements are a bridge to build relationships with your future clients who benefit from your expertise.

This is how I get 95% of my clients. And those who don’t become immediate clients are now aware of me and the value I provide, for when they do need my services. For example, recently, a woman contacted me. She saw me speak a decade ago, literally, and just became a client. Similarly, the department head of a well-known, large organization contacted me to train his team. He saw me speak at a conference 2 years ago. It took one phone call to close that deal. He was ready to take action and hire me because his trust in my capability and style to train his staff had already been pre-established at my talk.

c) Qualifies People for you

The people in the room have shown up to hear you speak. Sure, some may have incidentally ended up in the room and you happened to be speaking that day. But, most people have shown up because they saw your talk title and were at least intrigued enough to invest their time, energy, and even money, to come see your talk. This process of getting them to the room to hear you has already automatically qualified the people in the room as people who are open to learning from you & potentially work with you.

Where Can You Speak?

I speak 30 to 50 times a year. I don’t do any cold calls. As I said earlier, I use speaking to attract 95% of my clients. One of the most common misconceptions I hear is: “There are no places to speak.”

Would you be surprised to know that there are MANY places to speak AND they are looking for knowledgeable speakers on YOUR book topic. Here are some suggestions. Take it one step at a time. Don’t be overwhelmed.

1) Professional Associations

According to, there are 1.8 million conferences, conventions and corporate business events in the US in a year. And there are 205 million people who attend those organized events in the US per year. That’s A LOT of people who you can get in front of.

There is a reference book that comes out each year called “The National Trade & Professional Associations of the United States”. The website is It is a paid site, but if you would rather invest your time and not your money, most large libraries hold a copy of the book in their references section which you can use for free.

Here, you will find every trade & professional associations in the US, listed by state, subject and by alphabetical order. The best part is it contains the names AND contact information for each group.

Using your field of expertise and topic, you can narrow down those groups where your ideal clients would be. For example: I am a Transformational Public Speaker trainer and coach, and my ideal clients are those who are experts at what they do, but when they speak, they have the challenge of communicating their message clearly & succinctly. What I help them do is get super clear on what they stand for, and be able to communicate their message clearly, engagingly and with conviction so their ideal clients come to them.

So in my example, I make it a point to speak to business groups, women’s groups, women’s business groups and leadership groups.

2) Conferences

Many conference events have right on their website a “Call for speakers” section where you can submit your talk. Do a Google Search on your topic with the word “conference”, or tap into your network to ask what conferences your ideal clients would be attending. Another tip is go to the conference website and subscribe to their email list. That way, you will be informed about their future upcoming events right from your own inbox.

For example: I help my clients to tap into the power of the present moment when speaking, so I attended a Mindfulness in Business conference where I knew there would be many Human Resource Managers there. I took my book with me and struck up some conversations with other participants during the conference. One HR manager there valued the title & content of my book, and hired me to train her staff.

Make sure you have a rockin’ talk title & description. In your talk description, make sure you are explicit that you are an author and your talk comes from your book. If your book made bestseller status, be sure to state that.

This is not a time to be overly humble. This is when you need to own your authority as an author.

For example, I say right in my talk description as well as in my bio the following:

“This talk is based on Mary Cheyne’s Best Selling book “Present” Yourself in Public Speaking – Tell Your Inner Critic to SHUT UP! And the Real You to SPEAK UP! In this talk, you will receive effective tools to bypass your inner critic and allow your authentic and most confident self to shine through”.

3) For Organizations

Many corporations have professional development programs where they help employees improve their skills. And this is a great way to get exposure to the potential clients who could use your help.

For example, I’ve offered Lunch-n-Learns for companies, where I will teach their staff something from my book.

I particularly like this format because it is low-risk to the potential client (only 1 hour of their time & their staff’s time), and it’s low investment of my time.

Here’s a bonus tip – get the decision maker(s) in the room to participate so they get to witness the value you provide. This way, you’re leveraging the potential for future programs.

You can also send a copy of your book to the decision-maker or influencer ahead of time so they get a preview of your content to help solidify your credibility in their eyes. You are giving them value before you even show up. I’ve found this to be a winning strategy.

What to Speak On and How?

Let’s be clear. When you are a speaker, you are there to provide value for your audience. That is why they invited/selected you to speak.

That means you can share or teach a valuable nugget from your book. Not sure how to say it? Here are some public speaking techniques:

  • Stick to the KISS philosophy (Keep it Super Simple). Don’t over-complicate. What would you say if you only had one sentence? What is the most important takeaway? And start from there.
  • Test & tweak. Ask your peers to be your test audience & give you feedback. A great talk is not written, it’s re-written.
  • Make it engaging. One way to do this is to use stories. People don’t usually act on information, they act on emotions. What stories can you include in you talk that drives your point home and showcases the value you provide? Include these in your talks.
  • Invest in help. If you want to take it to the next level, you can invest in help from a speaking coach. A coach can help you leverage your strengths and point out blind spots you’re not aware of that might be holding you back. For example, my client, Dillon, was already a confident speaker but needed help with being less informational and more emotionally impactful to generate clients. Another client, Mandy, wanted help with overcoming self-doubt. We worked on giving her confidence that her message was worth hearing.

Leveraging Public Speaking Engagements for Further Book Exposure

Your Book for Participants

Why not hit two birds with one stone? When you are negotiating with the group or event organizer, ask if they would like to buy your book for each attendee. For example, I spoke for a conference that purchased my book in bulk, one for each of their 300 attendees. They even gave me a table & had me do a book-signing for everyone who got a copy. This is great publicity for you and your book.

Your Book as a Prize

Solicit excitement for your book by giving a copy away as a prize. Make it fun in order to solicit enthusiasm. For example, at the end of my talks, I quiz the audience on a concept from my talk, and the first person who answers correctly wins the book. Celebrate the winner, have them come to the front of the room & receive applause. People love to be acknowledged, and this is a great way to make it fun and bring energy. You also reap the benefits of reciprocity when you do this. Treat it as a marketing cost. After I give the book away, I’ll say “And for those of you who didn’t win, I have copies of my book in the back of the room for $20 each”, and often I have people lining up to buy my book after the talk. And many of them have become my clients.

Common Concerns About Public Speaking

If you’re thinking “Great Mary, but what if I’m not a good public speaker?”. Here, I would advise you to adopt a growth mindset. Add the word “yet” to the end of that statement i.e. I’m not a good public speaker “yet”.

As I mentioned already, you can test your talk out with trusted peers for feedback or you can invest in public speaking training or coaching to short cut your progress like I did early on in my career.

Having worked with so many people, I’ve discovered there are a few misconceptions that often stop people from speaking. Here are three that I want to bust for you right away to help you get started:

Myth #1: The number one fear is public speaking.

TRUTH: The number one fear is NOT public speaking. It’s public JUDGMENT. So the trick here is to bypass your inner critic.

Myth #2: I'll wait for the confidence to come to me, and then I'll speak.

TRUTH: This is backwards. Confidence comes from speaking, many times, not the other way around.

Myth #3: I need to be perfect.

TRUTH: It’s not about being perfect, it’s about being real. Think progress, not perfection.

For a deeper dive into re-wiring your relationship to public speaking so you are empowered to speak, you can get my free report: Top 3 Myths in Public Speaking & How to Bust Them Before They Bust You

The Gift that Keeps on Giving - Leverage the Momentum

The good news is, once you nail your talk, and you are good at getting your message across in front of a group of your ideal potential clients, chances are, there will be people in your audience who belong to other groups or organizations who are also looking for quality speakers.
By showing up, being a good speaker, and contributing value to their group, you’re actually doing them a favor, by saving them the time to have to look for a speaker otherwise.

I could give you example after example of how I’ve been able to leverage one speaking engagement for multiple subsequent ones and therefore be able to get in front of more of my ideal clients through the virtue of receiving further speaking invitations.

Listen up – A Final Word

Well, what are you waiting for? There are many people who need your help but don’t know you exist yet. Get out there and speak. I can’t wait to hear about your successes.

Book Distribution Guide

Mary Cheyne

Mary Cheyne, MBA is a Transformational Public Speaking Trainer & Coach. Her mission is to educate and empower individuals to use public speaking as the doorway for personal and professional transformation. She has trained over 15,000 people in 30 cities around the world. Despite starting out as a self-conscious computer programmer who hid behind her computer, Mary went on to become the 2009 World Champion of Public Speaking first runner up, out of 25,000 contestants from 14 countries. She is the founder of Magnetic Podium, an organization that helps people find and leverage their unique voice to communicate with impact. Mary is the author of the Best Selling book “Present” Yourself in Public Speaking – Tell Your Inner Critic to SHUT UP! And the Real You To SPEAK UP! Visit