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7 Quick Tips for Creating a Compelling Speaker Portfolio - Grow Your Speaking Business

7 Quick Tips for Creating a Compelling Speaker Portfolio

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As a public speaker, standing out from the crowd is both your biggest challenge and your ticket to success.

While your charisma, knowledge, and presentation skills play significant roles, one crucial tool often takes a backseat – your speaker portfolio.

If crafted right, your speaker portfolio can be the golden key that unlocks more opportunities and sets you apart in a sea of talented speakers. It’s your visual CV, your tangible credibility, and your professional introduction all rolled into one.

But how do you create a compelling speaker portfolio? One that doesn’t just list your credentials but truly encapsulates your spirit as a speaker?

Well, you’re in the right place. Today, we’ll explore seven actionable tips to help you craft a speaker portfolio that shines, stands out, and sells your unique speaking style.

But before we dive into that, what the heck do I mean when talking about speaker portfolios in the first place?

7 Quick Tips for Creating a Compelling Speaker Portfolio

Here are the minute marks that cover highlights in this episode: 

So, What Exactly is a Speaker Portfolio?

(3:28) Alright, let’s cut to the chase. A speaker portfolio is your professional highlight reel. It’s a compilation of all your speaking triumphs, cool skills, testimonials, and anything else that screams, “I’m an amazing speaker!” 

But here’s the thing – there’s no one-size-fits-all format for a speaker portfolio. It can take various forms depending on what floats your boat.

Some speakers prefer making their website a one-stop-shop, with their speaker bios, videos from past gigs, the topics they cover, and some shiny testimonials from happy clients. Others might go the digital storage route, stashing all the good stuff in a Dropbox or Google Drive file they can easily share. It’s like the website version but a little more portable.

Then you have the traditionalists, those who keep it old school with a physical portfolio. We’re talking printed articles, event photos, actual testimonial letters – the works.

And lastly, there’s the one sheet. It’s like the highlight reel of your highlight reel, a single-page document summarizing all your essentials: credentials, speaking topics, and contact info.

No matter the format, the main goal of a speaker portfolio is to show off your speaking chops and convince people that you’re the speaker they’ve been looking for. Now that we’ve cleared that up, let’s jump into those top tips for creating a knockout speaker portfolio.

7 Quick and Actionable Tips for Creating a Compelling Speaker Portfolio

Tip #1: Know Your Audience and Tailor Accordingly

(5:12) Okay, first things first. You’ve got to know who you’re trying to impress with this portfolio. Just like you wouldn’t give the same speech to a group of college students and a room full of executives, your portfolio needs a bit of tailoring.

So, before you start, put on your detective hat and research the event, the audience, or the organization you’re pitching to. Are they corporate folks or creative types? Are they seasoned industry pros or bright-eyed newbies?

Once you’ve grasped who you’re dealing with, you can choose what to highlight in your portfolio. For instance, if you’re aiming for a motivational speaking gig for a youth summit, you might want to focus on any work you’ve done with younger crowds, or perhaps a rave review from a similar event.

Your portfolio should say, “Not only am I a great speaker, but I’m also the perfect fit for your specific needs.” So, get to know your audience and let that guide your portfolio curation.

Tip #2: Bring on the Testimonials

(6:53) Alright, let’s talk about social proof. Never keep it to yourself if you’ve got people singing your praises! In the speaking world, testimonials, positive reviews, and success stories are your best friends.

These golden nuggets of endorsement show potential bookers that you’re not just tooting your own horn – you’ve actually got a chorus of fans backing you up. They bring credibility to your claims and give a glimpse of the experience you provide as a speaker.

Got a standing ovation at a recent gig? Include a photo! Received a heartwarming email from an attendee who was moved by your talk? Get their permission and add it in. Whatever it is, if it shows you in a good light and enhances your value as a speaker, it has a place in your portfolio.

Remember, a portfolio that oozes credibility is a portfolio that books gigs. So don’t be shy about sharing the love others have for your work.

Tip #3: Make it Visual 

(8:12) Eye-catching visuals are your best friend in creating a dynamic and memorable speaker portfolio. I’m not just talking about high-quality photos of you rocking the stage (although those are super important!). Think bigger and more diverse – infographics can be an absolute game-changer.

Infographics are a concise, visually appealing way to represent your speaking journey or skill set. They could illustrate your range of topics, show the diversity of events you’ve spoken at, or even chart the global reach of your speaking engagements. 

In the same vein, including snippets from your presentations or slides can give potential clients a peek into your presentation style. It’s like giving them a backstage pass to your speaking gig, and who doesn’t love that?

So, whether it’s action shots, infographics, or presentation snippets, visuals are a must for your portfolio. 

Bonus tip: Keep a professional photographer and a graphic designer on speed dial! Their expertise is your best bet for getting high-quality visuals that scream, “Book me now!” Trust me, they’re worth every penny.

Tip #4: Less is Always More

(9:41) Concise, impactful, and to the point – that’s how your speaker portfolio should be!

Why, you ask? Well, event organizers are busy folks. They probably won’t have the time to sift through pages of information. Each piece in your portfolio should be like a little power punch of awesomeness about you as a speaker.

Think of it this way – your portfolio is not the place for your entire life story. It’s more like a highlight reel of your speaking career. Choose the most exciting, engaging, and relevant bits to share.

Remember, you want to grab their attention, show them your value, and leave them intrigued to learn more about you. So, be strategic about what you include. Keep it short, sweet, and unforgettable!

Tip #5: Level Up with Multimedia

(10:46) When I say multimedia, you might instantly think of speaker videos – and you’d be right, but there’s more! Audio clips, interactive elements, and even GIFs (where appropriate) can add an extra level of engagement to your portfolio.

Let’s focus on videos for a second. A snappy, engaging clip from one of your talks can work wonders. Why tell when you can show, right? It’s like a live audition for your potential clients.

But don’t just stop at videos. Have you considered including an audio clip of a podcast you guested on? Or maybe an interactive element where people can slide to reveal before-and-after results from your speaking event? Get creative! Your portfolio is not just a collection of your work; it’s a demonstration of your innovative mindset.

Just be careful not to stuff in as many multimedia elements as possible. It’s about enhancing your portfolio’s interactive experience and keeping your decision-maker engaged, not overwhelming them.

Tip #6: Showcase Your Range of Topics

(12:15) We’ve spoken a lot about what to include in your portfolio, but what about the actual content of your talks? Showcasing a range of topics you’re comfortable with can be an eye-opener for potential clients.

Maybe they see you as a leadership speaker, but you’ve also got a killer talk on team building tucked away. By providing a clear, concise list of your topics (and maybe a short blurb about each one), you’re instantly expanding the potential gigs you could be considered for.

Remember, you are not a jack-of-all-trades. You all know how passionate I am that you find your zone of genius and specialize in it. But niching it down doesn’t mean you can’t offer a breadth of knowledge within your chosen field.

For example, if you’re a tech speaker specializing in AI, chances are you also have a ready-to-go presentation on ethical issues in tech development.

So, while you may have a specific niche, you can still offer a range of topics. Variety is the spice of life, after all!

Tip #7: Update Regularly

(13:43) Let’s face it; nobody likes outdated stuff. That goes for your speaker portfolio too. It’s not enough to craft a fantastic portfolio and then just let it gather virtual dust. Regular updates are crucial to ensure your portfolio remains relevant, fresh, and accurately represents your current skills, experiences, and what you bring to the table.

Did you just deliver a killer keynote at a prestigious event? Update your portfolio. Have a fresh bunch of glowing testimonials from satisfied clients? Add them to your portfolio. Developed a new talk on a cutting-edge topic within your niche? You know the drill.

Now, while I’d love to say update your portfolio for every speaking opportunity, we all know that’s unrealistic. A good rule of thumb is to do a comprehensive update every six months or so. That way, you’ll make sure your portfolio stays in line with your growing expertise and track record.

Between those times, you can do more minor updates – such as after a significant event or when you receive excellent feedback. Little and often keeps your portfolio fresh without becoming a mammoth task.

Assembling Your Compelling Speaker Portfolio: Your Key to More Speaking Gigs

(15:13) And there you have it – seven swift but powerful tips to create a compelling speaker portfolio that commands attention and, more importantly, lands you those coveted speaking gigs.

Remember, your speaker portfolio isn’t just a collection of photos, videos, and words. It’s your professional highlight reel, your opportunity to show prospective clients and event organizers exactly why they should choose you.

Whether you’re just starting to assemble your portfolio or looking to give your existing one a facelift, these tips are your trusty guide. Tailor to your audience, pack in that social proof, make it visual, keep it impactful, mix up the formats, and keep it fresh.

Your journey to creating a compelling speaker portfolio starts now. Roll up those sleeves, get stuck in, and let the world see the extraordinary speaker you are! Don’t forget, you’ve got this!

And hey, if you’d like help with any elements that go into creating a killer speaker portfolio, head over to my speaking resources section on CharliJane.com.

I’ve got tons of templates, designs, and other good stuff to help you along the way. I can even perform audits on your individual speaker portfolio elements to make sure everything is up to scratch and in line with best practices.

So, whether you’re just starting out or you’ve been in the game for a while, I’m here to help you take your portfolio to the next level. 

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Recommended Resources & Links 

The Charli Jane Speakers Club – If you are seeking to expand your presence on various stages, you have arrived at the ideal destination! We proudly offer our members an impressive range of 5,200 – 10,400 speaking opportunities annually. Yes, you read that correctly! 

We cater to diverse interests and expertise, ensuring that there is something for everyone. Moreover, we have developed a comprehensive program known as The Booked Solid Success Path, meticulously designed to complement and enhance your speaking engagements. 

Episode 157 What Should I Be Sending to an Event Planner as a Speaker?

Get Booked Speaking Gigs Course – This course is a proven and repeatable 4-step path. I teach you exactly how you can find speaking leads and convert them into speaking gigs

The Ultimate Speaker Business Building Bundle – Includes all my course kits like: Find speaking gigs, recurring 60k from one gig, meeting planner page, price your speaking, create your own one-sheet course, marketing templates, find your niche course, speaking lead organizer, and so much more.

Get a professional onesheet designed – I have been designing one sheets, also known as a speaker sheet or one-pager, for over 18 years for  speakers to use in their marketing mix. 

The Breakthrough Public Speakers CommunityMy team and I are inside this community helping you, encouraging you, and supporting you through your speaking journey… along with 3,700+ speakers.

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I hope you enjoyed  this training episode!

I wanted to let you know that every training session is geared towards helping you launch and grow your speaking business.

Keep up the amazing work and keep inspiring others!

Wendi xo

Wendi McNeill

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Meet Wendi McNeill

As the Founder and Owner of Charli Jane Speaker Services®, Wendi has been “Opening Doors of Opportunity” for speakers since 2002.

Charli Jane Speakers provides speakers with support, exposure, tools, tips, speaking and media leads, coaching/learning programs, and much more to assist them in growing their speaking business. Learn more about Wendi

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