Getting the Gig: Speaking at the Next CRE Event


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It’s okay to admit that you’ve dreamt of being on a TED Talk. We all have. There is just something special that happens when speaker’s words flow directly inside your being and stir your very soul. The topic could be world peace or mortgage rates--if the speaker has passion, you’ll feel it. Speaking powerfully about commercial real estate is a great way to build your audience or platform and to share your ideas about the industry. Here are two cents about how to land yourself a speaking gig at the next real estate conference.

Leave it to LinkedIn

Even if you have your own website, your LinkedIn is probably ranking higher in search results. You want to tailor your profile to highlight your real estate expertise and profound speaking skills. Take the time to optimize your profile. Add “public speaker” to your headline and create a job description that reflects your experience. Use the summary to show off, as this information is visible without clicking to open the entire profile. Top it off with a generous, yet subtle sprinkling of keywords and you’ve just about made your way on the public speaking radar.

Demo Video

You’re popping up in search engines, but now it’s time to prove yourself with a demo video. Think of a movie trailer: a ninety-minute movie boiled down to three intense and potent minutes. You can watch any decent movie trailer and get a really good idea of what it’s about and if it’s the right movie for you. This is exactly what your demo video should do. Showcase three powerful minutes of all things commercial real estate. It should leave your client with the feeling that you’re the one for the gig. They should know without any further explanation--the demo should speak for itself.

Start a Conversation

Start marketing yourself to existing conferences. They already book speakers so it’s a lot easier to get noticed if speakers are in the event budget. Do your research--where are the agents hanging out these days? Spend time on Google and use related keywords to find conferences, associations, and conventions of that audience. Start small in your state or region, especially if you’re just starting out. But really this part shouldn’t be too hard--think what events you attend on the reg as an agent yourself.

Next, send some short emails. Find out where the conference is, offer what you might be able to speak about (instead of presenting yourself as the perfect speaker), and concluded with a question that requires nothing more than a yes or no answer. The event coordinator is getting about a zillion novel-length requests right now, so dropping a sweet and simple note in the ol’ inbox is really all it takes to shine. Don’t urge anyone to go to your speaking website. Just add the link at the bottom of the email and done.

Free Before Fees

Remember, you’re trying to build a good relationship with the event coordinators. Maybe you aren’t able to secure a speaking gig--that’s okay. Offer to present an insanely good workshop for free one year, then there is a better shot getting paid next year. Also keep in mind that while you may be an expert on a specific topic and super qualified speaker, the organizations are paying for speeches with broad topics to reach a wider ranged audience. They’re just trying to get the most bang for their buck, and that’s something we can all understand.

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