Is It Worth Speaking at Conferences?

conference

Can you guess how many conferences I have spoken at during my career? A whopping 239.

That’s a lot considering I’m only 30 years old.

Download this cheat sheet to get to know what I learned by speaking at 239 conferences.

So, I thought it would be interesting to go over whether it’s worth speaking at conferences from a business, marketing, and financial point of view. Here’s what I learned by speaking at 239 conferences:

Most conferences won’t be worth your time

If you haven’t spoken at a conference before, you’ll have to start somewhere. That means you’ll have to accept whatever speaking gigs you can get. But once you’ve spoken at a handful of conferences, you can start being a bit more picky about which ones you accept.

Over the years, I’ve learned one simple thing: blogging gives you a much better ROI than speaking at conferences. Why? Because you can reach thousands of people by writing one blog post, which will keep bringing in new readers and potential customers.

When you speak at a conference, only the people who come to your presentation will hear your speech, unless your video goes online too. Even if it does, the chances of it going viral on YouTube are slim to none.

This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t speak at conferences. Instead, you should just be a bit picky about which events you choose. Ideally, you should only be speaking at single track events. That way, all of the attendees only have one option…to attend your event.

If you are speaking at multiple track events, make sure the event is large enough for you to have at least 500 people attending your session. When you deal with smaller rooms, your odds of generating business go down.

What’s the benefit of speaking at conferences?

The biggest benefit of speaking is that you can get people to buy your services or products. In general, you’ll make these sales by giving a good speech and showing that you and the company you represent are smart.

Now, you can’t just pitch your product from the stage as that will come across as salesy. But if you give great information that is also related to your business, a portion of the room will be interested in your offerings.

Other than the potential sales, the other huge benefit is personal branding. Just like blogging can be great for your brand, so can conferences. Why? Because people get to see and interact with you.

For example, I’m writing this blog post while flying back from an event in Romania. Not only did I increase my personal brand with the local entrepreneurs and marketers in Romania, but I got to meet many of them. We took pictures together; we had some drinks; and we even partied.

If you want to build a strong personal brand from speaking at conferences, you have to network with attendees. You can’t just show up for your speaking slot and leave. You have to be there for a large portion of the time and go to events that are both during the conference and after the conference (such as scheduled conference parties).

By going to all of the conference functions, I found myself literally taking over 50 pictures with attendees. Many of these attendees posted pictures online, which, of course, helps grow my brand.

What kind of events should you attend?

Through experience, I’ve learned what kind of events you should attend to generate income and which ones to avoid.

If you are in a new sector, industry-based conferences will convert well. You’ll generate sales from them, but with time, they will get saturated as you’ll see a lot of your competitors showing up there.

In the long run, you’ll find that they drive little to no revenue.

Does this mean you should stop attending or speaking at them? Of course not! They are still great to attend or speak at as it helps you keep your pulse on the industry.

Over time, what you’ll find is that there are other conferences in different sectors that you can potentially speak at. These events will have fewer competitors, and they’ll typically generate the most income for you.

For example, I am a marketer. Speaking at a marketing conference won’t generate as much income as if I spoke at a health conference about marketing.

If I look at all the events I’ve spoken at, the one I made most of my money from is CAP Euro. While there, I spoke about marketing at a gambling event. One of the online casinos then hired me at a rate of $100,000 a month.

Are conferences financially rewarding?

As you can see from the above example, they are. Plus, I wouldn’t have spoken at over 200 events if I couldn’t justify it.

In addition to generating income from selling your products or services, you can also generate income from speaking fees.

Once you speak at over 50 events, you’ll find that people will start inviting you to speak. And they’ll actually give you money to do that.

I’m not the highest paid speaker, but I charge $20,000 an hour for speaking plus business class airfare, hotel accommodations, and food. That’s not too bad considering that I also generate income from these events by selling my products and services.

Generally, you’ll make a lot more money from selling products and services, but if you can also get paid to speak, why not take it?

If you want to make money from conferences, keep in mind that it’s a hit-or-miss when it comes to getting business from events. But like most things, it is a numbers game, and if you do it in sufficient enough quantities, it will work out.

Conclusion

Speaking at events is well worth it in my mind. Sure, it isn’t as effective as blogging, but if you combine both efforts, you’ll find that it will help grow your company and personal brand at a faster pace.

You just have to be patient when it comes to generating income. When you first start out, the events you speak at won’t be the most ideal, and you probably won’t be the best speaker.

Over time, you’ll see a transformation in your speaking abilities, and as you improve, you’ll obtain much better speaking slots.

So, are you going to start speaking at events?

P.S.: If you are interested in having me speak at a conference or to your company, feel free to reach out to me.

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Comments

  1. Yes sir, As you are successful, bloggers like us will like to hear you. And yes, it will help us because new businessman and bloggers and our targeted audience will reach us.
    .
    I would like to go in front of many peoples who want to hear from me! thanks for this article sir…

    • Adarsh, thanks for the support. Having a targeted group of people to speak in front of is great from a business and personal branding perspective. Just start speaking at local events and build your way up. I am sure you have a lot to share with your niche. Let me know if you need help along the way. Good luck!

      • 239 is mind-blowing! I was just wondering over what timeline that was?

        I’m assuming around 10 years? Which is about 24 a year. Or 2 every month.

        From a financial standpoint, it seems that it can be well worth it. If you work your well up to being a well-paid speaker. And have a good line of products and services to offer for sale.

        Outside of the financial side, it was probably quite fun for you as well. Traveling to all those places, and meeting new people.

        Whether I’m going to start speaking at events… Maybe, maybe not.

        I still prefer a quiet and leisurely “blog conference” from the comfort of “Starbucks” instead… 😉

    • Hello Sir,

      Nice posting !!!!

      You are true that speaking at conferences increases our confidence and it leads to invitation of many opportunities. I would like to mention that I was having stammering problem but over the years I almost conquered the same. Today I deliver many lectures with good fluency.

  2. Neil, fantastic post on the value on speaking at conference.

    239 spoken conferences this is incredible. It would be nice to add the time frame (from when to when) by curiosity.

    On the aspect that one of the online casinos hired you, i think also to analyse the attendees potential budget could be a metric to decide on a speaking gig. Only 1 sales can probably provide a great return on your speaking investments like your case.

    Neil Q: So, are you going to start speaking at events?

    Steve A: Yes, I was exactly brainstorming on that topic yesterday about the integration and value it will bring in my marketing efforts.

    Have a great day!

    • Steve, glad you found it helpful.

      I have been speaking at events large and small for over 10 years. Doing research will definitely help boost the ROI you get out of speaking at conferences. One should also look at the value add yo provide your audience. They will typically learn a lot more from you if they provide valuable information they can’t get elsewhere.

      With that all being said, go out there and start speaking 😉

      Thanks for the feedback.

  3. I never try to speak in any event of conference but after reading that post i will definitely speak in upcoming conference thanks a lot for that post 🙂

  4. William Zimmerman :

    Neil,

    Great Post!

    I am starting to speak for free at local Toastmasters clubs for example. Do you think this is worth it to start out speaking for free? My goal is to get paid eventually.

    Thanks very much! You are the man!

    Bill Z

    • Bill, definitely. When I first started out I didn’t get paid anything near what I get paid now. You have to work your way up and make yourself be known as a speaker. Once you get that reputation the sky is the limit. Best of luck.

  5. It was great seeing you at the event, Neil. 239 conferences sounds like a LOT.

    But to anyone attending the conference, it’s clear who has the most experience. You not only delivered the best speech but you were the only speaker actively meeting people and just having a good time.

    I guess the main takeaway here is, the bigger your personal brand the bigger the ROI on both conferences and blog posts.

    • Duraid, it was great seeing everyone at the event as well. Thanks for having me.

      Thanks for all the support. I think it’s important to provide value. People dish out money for these conferences and it’s the speakers job to interact with them and make them feel like they got value from the event. Let me know if you need help with anything at all.

  6. Am looking forward to having a speaking event this year, the first time I was at a speaking event, I pulled a $3500 contract and that has helped, also apart from speaking events,

    TV and radio shows help one exposed, maybe you can do a write up on that Neil

    • Uzoma, sounds like you did a great job at that event. People are more inclined to spend money if they see how you perform in a tense situation — like public speaking.

      I can definitely write a post on that in the future.

  7. I love speaking at conferences!

    Incidentally, have any advice for those of us who get “totally wiped out” by conferences? Every time I speak at one I almost have to go into hiding for a week because I am utterly exhausted and “talked out.”

    • Erika, it definitely is draining. Especially with all the travel and time zones. I would suggest taking breaks between speaking engagements and catching a lot of shut eye on flights. I use flights as downtime. Sounds like you have it down though — keep up the great work!

      • “I love speaking at conferences” Erika<- indicates someone who speaks a lot

        "It is definitely draining" Neil <- indicates he agrees and feels the same way

        "Especially with all the travel and time zones" Neil <- specific statement regarding why presenting makes him exhausted.

        "Sounds like you have it down…" <- ie "good work on being a busy and exhausted speaker, it comes with the territory"

        Neil could made a suggestion regarding what he does to limit exhaustion, but either he was 1. too busy and makes $20k/hour and actually replied, 2. Doesn't have something useful to say as he doesn't have a strategy, 3. Figured she'd figure it out or just simply forgot.

        Now clearly I don't make $20k/hr and if I did I wouldn't be defending myself to a freeloader like you.

        Good work Neil and Erika!

  8. Neil,

    Thanks for pointing out the tips on starting and what to look for as you grow. We would like to organize a clinic to help all the volunteer “Daddy” coaches in youth basketball. Do you have any advice on organizing a conference / clinic or resources along that line? It would start local to Austin.

    • Christopher, I think the best way to get started is to create a landing page. By doing that you allow everyone go enter a portal where they can find more information about the event and register. After you do that just start marketing on social media and other channels. Best of luck — sounds like a great conference.

  9. Hi Neil –

    I just returned from Collision Conference in Vegas. There were many speakers and I wondered who was actually getting a fee.

    Did you pay your own way for those first 50 or so speaking appearances?

    Regards,
    Steve

    • Steve, you definitely have to pay your way. When I first started off years back my fees weren’t anywhere near what I get paid now. You have to have the experience and reputation before you start pulling in the larger fees.

  10. Hi Neil,

    Thanks for sharing. It’s cool to see your perspective on this topic as it is something I have been dabbling into more recently. At a local level I have been giving SEO workshops for free and have gotten some decent traction in terms of leads. However, I think I may start to charge for them this way it will seed out the tire-kickers and bring in people who are truly interested in the topic as well as showing who potential clients could be.
    Any advice for charging for speaking engagements in the early stages?

    Thanks!

    Daniel

    • Daniel, that sounds like a good strategy. When you charge a fee you can find out who truly is interested in the information you are sharing. You can also provide more value when the questions that are being asked are relevant.

      Just keep speaking and you’ll find you will get the hang of it on a larger scale.

  11. Ah, but you’re Neil Patel. *of course* you’re paid $20k an hour to speak …. say the skeptics !

    Everyone starts somewhere, and that’s pretty much what stops them from starting in the first place .. feels like such an uphill struggle.

    In the early days, how did you find the first conferences to speak at?

    • Razwana, everyone has to start from somewhere. I used to speak at any and all conferences when I was first starting off just to make a name for myself. I’ve spoke at over 239 so I have the confidence and reputation to follow now.

      Just keep speaking!

  12. If you are an expert blogger, conferences can certainly enhance your brand image, particularly so if you can be the key note speaker in a session of your niche.

  13. When I was heavily involved in affiliate marketing, I attended a couple of conferences a year. One of the benefits was the face to face exposure with my affiliate managers. I invariably came home from a conference with a better commission percentage. At one conference, I met an affiliate manager who was so desperate for new quality affiliates that he offered me a $500 advance just to launch a new site and add him to it. That wouldn’t have happened if we hadn’t met face to face.

    Another benefit to attending conferences is the learning that’s available. The real gems of information are the ones you get when talking with other webmasters in the bars (as opposed to the information you get from the speakers.)

    I’ve never spoken at a conference, but one benefit related to the personal branding that you mentioned is that you become a perceived expert when you speak at conferences. This is important to Google. The 2nd question on their list of Panda questions is this: “Is this article written by an expert or enthusiast who knows the topic well, or is it more shallow in nature?”

    You can only establish yourself as an expert in a few ways. Public speaking is one of them.

    I’m probably not going to speak at a conference anytime soon for personal reasons, but if I felt the need to establish myself as an expert, I’d take every opportunity to speak that I could without interfering with my time spent writing.

    • Randy, all your points are very insightful. I have met the most thoughtful and interesting people at hotel bars at conferences. Putting a face to a name is really rewarding. As you mentioned as well it really weeds out all the hacks from the experts.

      I think there is a true art in public speaking and sharing your ideas. Although it’s not for everyone I think everyone can do it if they just take the time to get started and put in the hard work.

      Glad you found value from attending conferences.

      • You’re right. Anyone can learn to do public speaking, but some people have to go with a fake it until you make it approach.

        When I was in college and took communications, I had to give a speech, and I got so nervous that I went out and got drunk instead. The teacher let me re-do the speech with a -30 percentage points, but I still passed the class.

        But when I got into the work world, I was effective at my job, and I started getting offers from the companies I worked for to conduct training. Of course, I also had done my student teaching by then (I was originally going to be an English teacher), so talking in front of a group was something I just plain eventually became desensitized to.

        There are plenty of resources for people who want to improve at public speaking, too, like Toastmasters and the Dale Carnegie courses.

  14. Hi Neil

    I speak at some events here in London.
    I’m not the most confident of speakers and it takes a lot for me to stand in front of an audience, but after the first 5 mins are out the way I get into my stride. Knowing my subject helps a great deal as people are eager to learn from my experiences.

    Thanks for this latest post.
    Always enjoy your work

    Paul

    • Paul, the hardest part is getting up there. Once you do that you’ll find that the words and thoughts just flow — if you know what you are talking about.

      Thanks for sharing your experience and keep it up!

  15. How nice you posted this today!

    I’m doing my first conference presentation next week. It come pretty handy.

  16. Great Post Neil. I’ve heard of some speakers even paying to speak if it increases their brand. Any thoughts on that?

    Also, have you ever played around with transcribing your speech and turning it into an article after the event? I’m sure that’d have similar benefits to a content piece, if the conference would let you.

    • Carter, I have met quite a few people who do that and I commend them. They are willing to provide double value — pay and provide insights. That’s what I call hustle.

      I haven’t transcribed them but that would be a good idea.

  17. Thank you for providing financial details and the analysis! So few people do that. For me, speaking at industry conferences was very valuable for me and my then employer. The connections I made there helped me present myself as a connected insider, and they definitely helped my employer. I mostly stopped speaking unfortunately when I went out on my own. I live in Israel, and the economics don’t work as well for me as part of a (literally) mom & pop web development & marketing agency. Speaking at conferences is one of the things I miss most about working at a bigger company.

    • Gil, thanks for the feedback and insights from a seasoned vet. It sounds like you did a great job for your company. I am sure you’ll get the opportunity again once your agency grows. In the meantime you should speak at local events.

  18. Neil,

    I’m a subscriber and read every post you publish. This bit of advice is pure gold for people who use public speaking to build business:

    “…you have to network with attendees. You can’t just show up for your speaking slot and leave.” If you speak and dash, you miss out on all the opportunities to connect with potential clients or referrers, even those who didn’t attend your session. Wearing a speaker’s badge makes you a celebrity at an event – take full advantage of it!

    And for Razwana, I published a blog post with a list of places to find speaking engagements. Just google “How to find speaking opportunities” and you should find it.

  19. Hello Neil,

    Very informative post. As a young entrepreneur myself. I started speaking around a year and have spoken at more than 15 events and summits. It actually pays off when you get to boost your personal brand at the beginning. I am now trying to do as much as I can (of course by focusing on my target market)

    Still its a great experience. I am still 20 years old. So learning is a huge part of why I speak.

    Thanks Again..

    • Chirag, keep up the great work. It will pay off in the long run as you mentioned. I am sure once you hit 30 you’ll have a lot of speaking gigs notched on your belt.

  20. Hi Neil,

    great post. Is there any where we can see your speaking schedule?

    Thanks,

    Alejandro.

    • Alejandro, that schedule isn’t public — mainly because I speak around the world and it’s hard for everyone to end everything. The organizers usually put up a webpage and promote for me.

      • It would be great for me if you published it. Here is why. You say yoy might attend a gamblers conference or a health conference and speak to them about marketing. If you came to San Diego for example to speak at an aquatic sports conference, they would put up a webpage to promote you and would promote it among surfers and kayakers but I would never find out. If you had your speaking schedule in your website I would attend.

  21. Great post, Neil. Since I do speak at events, I was very interested to hear what you have to say about this. One mistake I made when I started speaking years ago was not having a strategy. While it was fun, after people left the room, I had no plan on how to stay in touch with them. Of course I learned my lesson and now I have a much better method of tracking ROI. Thanks for another great article! 🙂

    • Kate, I think everyone has a similar problem when starting off. Once you get a good feel for it you can capitalize and make a great ROI. Thanks for the insights.

  22. Hi Neil,

    Excellent article about speaking in conferences. I’m an avid reader of your posts.

    When i’m free and somebody ask me to talk in event, I usually volunteer my time to share my experiences.

    I never ask them for money but they do shoulder my travel and accommodation expenses if it’s far from my area.

    At what point in your career as a speaker did you then decide to charge for it and how did you approach the organizers of the event regarding your fees and requirements?

    Thanks and I wish you well,
    Michie

    • Michie, I also didn’t charge to begin with. However, now that my time is very valuable (from a monetary standpoint) I have no choice but to charge. I think once you get to a certain level people will start reaching out to you to speak and you can leverage your reputation. I myself have to charge because I get so many requests.

      • Thanks for the reply Neil.

        I stop accepting talks for a while because I need to focus on other things. But your article made me realize again the importance of talking in conferences.

        And I was wondering how to approach it rather than saying i’m not free during the event so I can’t speak vs I will be able to speak in the conference with the following terms?

        For example:
        Conference A, send you a letter inviting you to speak.

        Would you reply:
        Hi Conference A,

        I’m very interested in speaking in your conference, but I do have speaker fees due to …. + you have to accommodate my travel and accommodation request.

        Is this the proper way to approach this?

        Thanks again Neil. Really appreciate it!

        Michie

  23. Hi Neil,

    Yet again a masterpiece ! Thanks for sharing such wonderful insights with us.

    Regards
    Amit

  24. Tino Triste :

    Hi Neil,

    Thanks for the advice. 239 conferences is an achievement.
    I feel speaking at conferences is the next step I need for raising my personal brand.

    I Better get down to work and draw a plan 🙂

    Tino

  25. Hi Neil,

    Just 1 question – When Can I expect you do conference in India, so that we can be a part of that and learn the art of content marketing from you.

    Regards
    Amit

  26. Hey Neil,

    I was still hoping you would have attended this years Content Marketing Institute Conference in Cleveland, Oh:-(

    Too bad…Maybe next year your Cleveland following will get to meet you.

    I was just wondering do you have a way that you notify your tribe of when and where you will be speaking at?

    Cheers,
    Deandre

    • Deandre, maybe I’ll make it out next year. Right now I don’t really notify the readers of my schedule buy maybe I should — so that they can attend if they are in the area. Thanks for the tip.

  27. So many conferences, insane

  28. Your speech made at GPeC in Romania was great. Lucky to attend that. Hope to see you soon at a different conference.

  29. Hi! Excellent perspective as always. This particularly resonated with me because I’m on the cusp of a burgeoning speaker career to support an online business in equipping digital analysts, marketers and consultants to present their analytics insights data more effectively and achieve their presentation goals.

    I’ve had the privilege of having my expenses covered so far and it has been my largest lead and lost-building source (my blog is still in its infancy).

    My question is, when is it the right time to begin asking for a speaking fee, in addition to expense reimbursement?

    Thank you again for all your insights

    Lea Pica | LeaPica.com

    • Lea, sounds like you are doing a great job marketing yourself. Keep up the great work!

      That’s a great question. I think it will become apparent to you once you start speaking at more and more events. The more in demand you are the more demands and requests you can make. I charge fees because my schedule is so jammed — and they offer.

  30. Neil, great post! I’d be curious to hear your thoughts on attending events as a sponsor/vendor. Traditional, trade show marketing can be costly and difficult to measure ROI. Over the years, I feel this approach has become less attractive and effective. But when you hear competitors may be there, you feel obligated to attend or you will miss out, even though you could use that money/time to reach more people through other mediums.

    Do you think attending these events as vendor is worthwhile or a waste of time/money? I would love to hear you take on pros/cons – maybe even as a standalone post 🙂

    • Adam, I am not really in the vendor space anymore. I can speak from a pure branding perspective. To be honest it’s a tough call to determine what is worth your time or not. You have to go to a lot of conference in your niche to find out where you provide the most value — and conversely where you get the most value.

  31. Thank you bro for the post 🙂 generally I don’t go in conference bcz of my English pronunciation.. But I will give my best 😀

  32. Hi Neil,

    I really want to start speaking at conferences, but the thought of it frightens me stiff. And 500 people minimum!! I can barely speak in front of 10.

    I’m always ready for new challenges and really want to master this but where do I start? How was your first conference?

    Thanks

    Naomi

    • Naomi, public speaking is a common fear. To overcome it you just have to go out there and start speaking. You should join your local toastmasters if you live in the states. I know there are a ton of support groups to help people master the art of public speaking.

  33. I am one of the lucky ones who heard Neil’s speech at that conference in Romania, and I can tell you that he speaks as well as he writes.

  34. Very useful article, thanks!

  35. Neil, what a nice coincidence. Today it did my debut speaking at conferences and I come back home and find your post 🙂
    Was it worthy? Of course it was. I am working a lot on my personal branding, blogging and creating a great digital image, and this just prove me I am doing right. As it was a conference about digital marketing for wine sellers, it gave me the chance to show case studies and all my knowledge.
    Thanks for the post, it was the perfect day for me to read it.
    Cheers!

    • Cristina, glad you found it helpful. I am sure you did a great job — maybe you can provide us with some more insights. Sounds like you are the pro.

  36. Neil,

    Do you have any posts on your experience getting speaking gigs when you were just starting out?

    • Toni, just go out there and ask people if you can speak. At first they will be reluctant to pay you but once you build a solid reputation they will have no other choice.

  37. Hi

    Slightly off topic, but how do you style your guides like this – so it looks like an info-graphic but is a normal blog post

    http://www.quicksprout.com/the-complete-guide-to-understand-customer-psychology/

    and why do you turn the comments section off on the guides?

    Thanks!

    • Zoe, that’s a stylistic thing I work on with my designers. Shoot me an email and I’ll share.

      The comments section should be open on most, if not all, of the guides.

  38. Speaking at conference gives you an intangible leverage, meaning it makes you an expert in your subject area. Therefore you should not measure success of your conference speak by analyzing immediate conversion. It is hard to gain traction via blogging and become a perceived expert. But once you speak at a conference for the first time, you start gaining that status. You can then brag about your speakership on your blog and gain some real traction.

    • Ben, great points! It’s all about building that trust and leveraging it. If at first you don’t succeed just keep at it. Reputations are built that way!

  39. It was great seeing you, Neil! What I liked is that you took the whole day off, and you were there for the people.

    Another thing you get from conferences is Serendipity: new connections, new ideas, new energy.

    P.S.: I’ll grow the bandwidth, thanks for the kick.

    • Ciprian, I love meeting new people so it was a pleasure. Thanks for the welcoming arms to your country. Looking forward to hearing much more from you.

  40. Hi Neil,

    This is the first of your articles of which I only read the first few lines …

    Since you’ve spoken at 239 already… It IS worth speaking at conferences, otherwise you would not have done so many of them 😉

    I guess the title should have been ‘WHY it is worth speaking…’
    I’ll find out about that when I get around to reading the rest of it.

    Keep up the great work, always looking forward to your posts!

    • Tristan, great question. Short answer is: what works for me isn’t necessarily going to work for everyone else. You should test it out and see if it works and if it drives your business to new heights.

  41. Great Post ! I have attended only one conference until now and it was so stressful. When i walk in front of the crowd, i felt nervous and for one moment i thought i forget my speaking text. I don’t know but when i start speaking at first i thought i should finish as soon as i can but after a few minutes i started to feel comfortable and i enjoyed it very much. Hope to Be Part of more Conferences in the future.

    • Gazmir, that’s a common experience. I remember my first few were a little nerve wracking. You just have to keep at it and the process will be less stressful.

  42. What are your top 5 favourite conferences to speak at?

  43. Hi Neil,

    I am definitely going to start speaking at events and love the concept of combining it with blogging to drive my brand and add to my bottom line.

    I am wandering how to get started? How to get speaking gigs and opportunities? I’ll draw up a strategy but any tips will help and will be much appreciated.

    • Daniel, you should map out every single conference in your niche then reach out to the organizers to see which ones fit your persona best. That way you can find out which ones you’ll thrive at. It’s all about providing and getting value when you speak at conferences.

  44. Hi Neil,
    It’s great to read that you are almost near to the 250 mark speaking at conferences. I think for someone like you being selective is good. But, for those who haven’t spoke at conference it’s a high time that they do so if presented with such an opportunity and they can be selective as well if they can target more audience by writing a blog post than speaking at conference.

    MS Qureshi

  45. Hello Neil , First You Are The Very very best Writer Excellent perspective as always. Its is a Very Cool Points , Worth Speaking at Conferences m Outstanding Information i felt nervous and for one moment i thought i forget my speaking text. Superb Keep on ,

  46. Yes Niel why not…..

  47. Hi Neil,

    when you begin, did you approach them to speak? Or people start to approach you? How did you close sales without being too salesy on stage?

  48. Top Lad.

    Did I always open your emails first. You never fail to fill the mind with top dog info.

    Blogs make more that talks is a good one to know even know I would still like to do talks one day as money isn’t my dream, helping people is.

    Thank you. Marc.

  49. Top Lad.

    Did you know* I always open your emails first. You never fail to fill the mind with top dog info.

    Blogs make more than* talks is a good one to know even know I would still like to do talks one day as money isn’t my dream, helping people is.

    Thank you. Marc.

    Sorry for the second message. I should really check five times not twice for spelling errors.

  50. Hello again Neil! I run a business card website and i don`t know if a conference would help me to achieve more clients but was nice to read your article. Thx!

  51. how to get host ready so he call us to speak at their events?

  52. Thanks for this article Neil. I’ve found it very encouraging. A person has to start from somewhere and you get more and better gigs as you go along. In my home country (Uganda) it is very key for authors to also be public speakers; people expect you to be able to present or teach about what you wrote about (may be you can in some time share with us some public speaking tips 🙂 ) plus that is where an author gets most of their bulk sales.

    Also, the point of interacting with people at the other conference functions like parties was new and eye opening for me.
    Thanks again.

    • Roxanna, sounds like Uganda has it right. My father was actually born in Uganda — so there is a common connection 😉

      Keep up the great work and please let me know if you need any help with anything at all.

  53. Attractive source of income from speaking at the conference. Speaker require an effective speaking skill and extreme knowledge of the subject. You are true, through continuous practice of speaking, we can develop our skill. You charge $20,000 an hour for speaking with free airfare, accommodation and food are truly very attractive income which shows your brand image, intelligent business style and the art of speaking skills.

  54. Hiee Neil,

    First let me thank you for sharing your quality experience with us all.

    Whenever i visit your blog,I go to “Guide Section”.

    I always recollect something valuable ( sometimes Not :/ ).

    I just started blogging too.. Thanks Once Again 🙂

  55. Thank you Neil. I have always known that speaking does lots of good to personal branding but never thought of doing it. After this post, I now know it is a must if I want to get where I really want to be. thanks

  56. Hi Neil,

    239 conferences and a regular updates on do dont’s. May I know the secrets of your multitasking skills?

    Is that food/meditation/Yoga…?

  57. Hi Neil,
    Really enjoyed reading this piece. I first started out as a digital marketer about 8 months ago, and really connected well with the “What kind of events should you attend?” subsection.

    Your point about low competitors is spot on! From my experience, expanding your horizons and attending events where you feel you can provide a service that your customers want is great.

    It helps you a) earn revenue by helping you connect with people who need your services, and b) STAND OUT from the crowd.

    • Romi, thanks for the insights and feedback. It’s definitely important to create a reciprocal value chain. The more value you can provide and recieve the better

  58. Neil, after following your content for years I can say it was a great pleasure to finally meet you in person at GPeC in Bucharest.

    As a Romanian, I take it as a sign of recognition that you wrote this blog post with the GPeC experience in mind, featuring a photo from the conference.

    I hope you had a great stay in our country and that you enjoyed the occasion at least a bit as much as we enjoyed having you around.

    It would be great to have a chance to catch up by email some time on the topics we’ve discussed briefly: how to employ web forms, surveys and quizzes into funnel optimization.

    Thanks!
    Laura

  59. Hi Neil,

    In my view, you are successful blogger & entrepreneur. So there is no doubt in going to conferences. Conference can help you to build your brand image & also reputation.

    Thanks

  60. I think a better title for this topic would be:
    ” What I’ve learned from speaking at 239 conferences ”

    By the way, it would be awesome if you could somehow notify us via email when someone replies to your comments. I’ve posted a few comments on quicksprout, but I don’t even know if someone replied to me because I haven’t checked. Too many comments, and too many blog posts to remember which i’ve commented on.

    Greetings from romania 🙂

    • Vicentiu, Thanks for the suggestion.

      As for the comments – I want people coming back to the site so they read other people’s comments too — it’s like a community. Good suggestion though.

      • I tough you would say that 😀

        It would be awesome if you could give us some stats about this technique you are using to grow your community.

        For example, a split test to determinate which would be better:

        a) your comment system on Quicksprout & Neil Patel blog
        b) a system to let people know when some one replied to their comments.

        From my opinion, the second one would deliver more comments but I’m trying to understand your needs as well when it comes to branding. If you would like to grow a community I would say a forum would be more fabulous then ever. Just imagine, Neil Patel forum or Quicksprout… 100x better then bhw, warriorforum or any other industry related forums.

        Also, have you ever tested on quicksprout blog to see if implementing a plugin that allows visitors to tweet the selected text when they are reading?
        I think a better, less aggressive way to get new leads would be implementing content upgrade which i’ve seen on your blog.

        Please tell me if i’m wrong.

  61. Hi

    Thanks Neil – I sent you an email.

    By the way – no comment boxes show up for me on any of the guide. Not sure why. Cheers

  62. Heil Neil!

    – Do you have a list of the conferences? Would you like to share it (with me)? Thanks.

    – How do you select the conferences?

    greetings, Michael

    • Michael, I usually get asked to speak at conference via LinkedIn and email. I select them based on a number of criteria — one being how much value I can provide.

  63. Only after reading this article i confidently accepted the invitation i got for speaking in Microsoft user group Kerala, India. Its going to held at infoPark Cohin 23rd of may 2015.

    And i will taking a session about ASp.Net 5 , the latest Microsoft .net stack framework.

    You are always inspiration for me to take many decisions . And this is one in the list.

  64. as usually very nice article Neil

  65. Nice Article admin Loved it 🙂

  66. Very informative post. But I have one question that how to let organizers know I want to speak in a conference? For now I am just writing for my blog but in future I will be interested to talk publicly.

  67. Hi Neil,

    Wanna discuss more with you. I need your appointment sometime and lets have a coffee together

  68. Neil, I hope you liked my country, Romania.
    You are always welcome in my country.
    I would like to know your opinion about Romania.

  69. Whao! What an outstanding accompanishment! I will like to ask if you would be coming to Nigeria any time soon. Thanks.

  70. Its really big achievement in just 10 years you spoken 239 Seminars.

    Successful blogger participate in conference and guide people how to become a successful bloggers or Entrepreneur like you

  71. I guess it is good for building a Public Relationship and promoting some products.

  72. Bangla Funny Picture is Fully Fun and Bangla Funny Image, Bangla Funny Photo, Bangla Funny Facebook Comment Picture.n
    Bangla Funny Picture

  73. nice post..it is true that public speaking does increase our confidence and opens up a whole new world of opportunities.

  74. Thanks for this article.I appreciate the time you spend behind this amazing article.Totally worth visiting here.Nice site.

  75. Bisharo Ali :

    Thanks Neil for this article it has really helped me a lot.

    Bisharo.

  76. Hey Neil, Nice article with superb information. Your infographics are very healthy and full of knowledge. With the help of infographics, it is easy to understand your blog. Thank you for sharing this post.

  77. i love speaking out in public. thats my fetish.

  78. Your pointers on public speaking are a great help, thank you. Its something I’ve always wanted to be good at… First time I was called upon to speak in front of people, it was a disaster on a Biblical scale. I come a long way since then….

    I’ll admit I don’t go out of my way to speak in front of people, but when I do get the chance, I’m able to pull it off quite well. Quite proud of myself too.

    Thanks to your article, maybe now I can take it to the next level.
    http://uonlibrary.uonbi.ac.ke/

  79. A very thought provoking article. I have found it very useful.

  80. Indeed it is true. thanks for sharing

  81. Nice article, though provoking

  82. There are a lot of different reasons why someone would choose to be a speaker at a conference. Depending on how you look at it each and every one of us is product or a brand. This is true for people who own their own company, are partners in a firm, or are high visibility employees. This is true for all industries, but especially in the small well connected microcosm that is the SEO world.

    Being a speaker gives you the ability to showcase both your knowledge and expertise. Most panels consists of presentation followed by Q&A. IMHO the presentation is really the warm up. Basically you’ve prepared the material, and have had the ability to practice what you want to say (and hopefully you’re not just reading). The Q&A shows who can think on their feet and come up with intelligent and articulate responses, information, opinions or commentary. Most audience members assume the panelists are at the top of their game and have an expertise above the person they are sitting next to. For companies that are looking to hire consultants or service providers, selecting a panelist is usually a safe bet. So being a speaker gives you access to a bigger pool of potential customers. For people who aren’t consultants, there is still value, again by show casing your knowledge you are more likely to get business partnerships, collaborations or other beneficial offers. To sum it up being a speaker gets you exposure, builds your brand, and gets you more business.

    I’d also like to take this opportunity to call out what I consider one of the worst things a speaker can do. There are lots of presenters who “recycle” presentations. They change the year or the title sheet from SES to Pubcon or Adtech or whatever venue they are speaking at. IMHO this shows a complete lack of respect for your audience. I’m not talking about reusing 1 or 2 slides, I’m talking about giving an identical or nearly identical presentation to the one you gave a few weeks ago. If as a speaker you don’t care enough about your audience to present original work, IMHO you don’t deserve to be on the stage.

    • Thank’s for sharing your thoughts, I think you make a good point. When people hire you to speak, they are expecting you to give them a great performance, one that would captivate them.

      Getting in front of a bunch of people can be scary and intimidating at first, but as your prepar, get really comfortable with yourself. Learn your stories inside out so that they are ingrained in your body.

  83. First and foremost it is a free pass to go to the conference and
    socialize with friends in the same business, which is great for an SEO
    geek. Beyond that, I think it is another sign of credibility, another
    chance at media exposure, and another way to meet bright people in
    related fields outside of our own. I also met my largest client at a
    conference.

  84. It sure is beneficial to te speaker and the audience. Congrats on your achievements!

  85. Hey Neil.

    I felt a little duped for downloading the “Cheat sheet” and getting a half page write-up. However, I really enjoyed the article. I am trying to further market myself as an experienced Freelance Web Designer. I have been at this now for 10 years and am trying to take my business to the next level. I am not sure if that includes blogging and speaking but I am open to both. Thanks for the heads up.

    http://tonyjr.me

  86. Patel, you are spot on this. Conferences grant us opportunities to see what is happening around us.

  87. Thanks Patel. Its all about trying to make a difference in life, however small. There is a difference between talking for its own sake and talking with a purpose.

  88. Sharing your ideas with other is not bad.

  89. How do you know the crowd is following what you are saying?

    • You can tell by looking at them. If they are looking down or on their phone, they aren’t following along. If they are writing down notes or taking pictures of your slides they usually are.

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