Public speaking is an optional, but also a highly recommended, tactic in a strong public relations program. Every association in town, every club, church group, every business class or travel class at your local community college, enjoys having guest speakers. A tried and true tactic for a public relations strategy is to offer your expertise to a group in the form of a speaking engagement. When an organization provides you with a platform as a speaker, your credibility as a local expert is greatly enhanced. You stand out from the crowd of other travel consultants by virtue of your very appearance in front of the room. Moreover, opportunities to speak tend to come in successive waves – speaking at one function often leads to other speaking engagements.
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This 365 Marketing and Sales Tip is provided free to the travel agent community by:
Offer to address a particular topic that has some immediate currency:
- How to travel to Europe this Year;
- 10 places everyone should see and how to do it;
- Family Travel;
- Traveling with your pet;
- How to achieve your travel goals;
- How to avoid travel scams;
- Niche Cruising
- Favorite destinations or themes
Talk about what you know. If you have just returned from a FAM, talk about the romance of the destination, the excitement, the people, the food and the culture. Your passion for travel will carry you far in your efforts to communicate your enthusiasm.
Speaking in front of a group is daunting to some. If so, start with groups with which you are very familiar such as your Sunday School class, social club or other organization to which you belong. As you become more comfortable, branch out. Write a brief summary of your topic and research it thoroughly using resources like USA Today, MSNMC.com and other internet sites with good travel sections. Speak to those things that are interesting to you, that engage you as a professional.
Use your first effort to build a speaking resume. When you first approach an opportunity, inquire about the group’s interests. You can deliver the same talk to multiple audiences, but be prepared to offer a choice of topics if asked. When delivering your talk to the audience, stay on topic. Don’t be overtly promotional: your very presence as a speaker will establish you as an expert in the eyes of those listening. Make sure to take along some of your own marketing materials and business cards to hand out after your talk.
With practice and determination, you will soon be one of your own best marketing tools!