Starting now and going through 2020, I will be doing a series of Q&A taking cues from our Charli Jane Speakers Members. The best way for other speakers to learn and grow their business is to hear from other speakers who have been in the trenches, have failed and succeeded. You’ll see my tips and advice and also input from professional public speakers who are making things happen and doing well in the industry.
So, let’s get started.
Member Marietta asked this question:
Hi everyone! Question for you: I followed up regarding a testimony for a recent speaking engagement since I received no response from the organizer.
I offered to start a draft for the person, and she agreed.
Any tips on what I should write?
I’m thinking I just need them to say they found my workshop valuable and received positive feedback out it from their audience (worded better, of course).
At this point I am writing the testimony draft on the behalf of the organizer for her to approve/edit. How does something like this sound?
The feedback received about the workshop Marietta presented was amazing. She was easy to work with and shared a lot of insight that the audience was able to take away with them. If you’re looking for an energetic and engaging speaker at your next event, I would highly recommend Marietta.
So awesome, Marietta! Great that they let you write the draft. Best advice is to keep it short, sweet and powerful. Long testimonials won’t get fully read and the best parts could be at the end, so short is best.
Our member Alfred says: A large percentage of my testimonials were written by me. I often include a draft “to help them get started” and they typically send it back and say, “Use it as is.” Sometimes they come back as is, with some extra glowing remark added.
Some tips: Avoid superlatives. Don’t say that you were “the best” unless you heard the meeting planner say that directly to you already. Better to tone it down a notch. Your audience is other meeting planners, not other audiences’ members. So, stress the things that meeting planners care about: communication, preparation, professionalism, flexibility, value, reliability.
Stories are effective but keep it short. “She was great and had good rapport” sounds pretty run of the mill. “Even though it was the first session right after lunch, she had the audience on their feet and laughing as they worked through her people puzzle exercise.” That tells a story and is much more evocative.
Member Donny says: I agree with Wendi, it’s great to send a draft but keep it short and show you met their needs.
Leila asks: May I piggyback on this question? I spoke at an event several months back and didn’t ask for recommendations right away (I normally do through LinkedIn) as I was rebranding and wanted the recommendation on my new brand/company. Then I got busy and forgot. Is it too late to ask for one now, 8 months later? And if it isn’t, can I offer to draft something for them right off the bat or do you wait for them to ask that? I have found several people that feel they “aren’t good with words” and drag their feet on doing it.
Wendi’s answer: I would simply give it a try, right? You have nothing to lose except them telling you “no”, which is not likely. In the initial email, I would ask for a testimonial and say you have drafted one below for their convenience and they can make adjustments if they would like. You’re right, Leila, many people can’t find the right words, or don’t want to take the time and “think” about what they should say. I myself would prefer a draft and then modify if need be. You should also follow up on that email if you don’t hear back in a week. Set a reminder and follow up. So, go for it! If I need a testimonial I would just ask, I say if you have a few minutes and were happy with our service/product I would love a short testimonial? Thank you in advance. Pretty plain and simple but works for Charli Jane Speakers testimonials.
Member Drew shares: This was written for one of my clients but the gist is similar :
Sample Testimonial Option
I just want to thank you for the quick and efficient manner in which you have helped heal me. I recall walking (crawling) into your office with _________________________________ and in only __________ visits the pain and discomfort began to disappear. Because of you I can now ______________________________ and _______________________________. I cannot thank you enough. Everyone in pain needs you for ______________________________.
Thank you for the opportunity to write this.
Member Kevin had this to say: Here are some questions I ask:
- What, specifically, was your favorite part about Kevin’s presentation and why?
- If you were to recommend Kevin to your best friend, what would you say?
- What’s one thing you will (may) do differently after listening to Kevin’s presentation?
I agree with Wendi and others…keep it short and sweet. Sometimes, if someone sends a long testimonial, I edit it into a shorter version (using their words/sentiments). Then I send back and ask if I can use this shorter version as their testimonial.
Wendi adds: I want you to just ASK. It’s either a quick yes, a quick no, or crickets. And you have a plan to follow up on the crickets. The no might seem scary, but it shouldn’t be. A no could just mean they are busy, nit that you aren’t worthy. Sometimes I think our fear holds us back or we feel we are “bothering” them, and this is not the case and only resides normally in our own heads.
Please remember that testimonials are a very powerful marketing strategy. They need to be placed on your website to showcase your credibility. I’ve worked with planners and speakers going on two decades now and they will look for them. So, step out of your comfort zone, be bold and just ASK. You worked hard for it and you deserve a glowing testimonial!
Remember, too, that you don’t need dozens and dozens. You only need a handful of authentic, glowing, meaningful and engaging testimonials to reassure future clients and planners. Think quality, not quantity and cultivate the best ones to highlight who you are and what you do when you’re at your best.
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