I get asked this question over and over again: “How do I get on other people’s stages?” Most speakers don’t know how to do this properly. Instead, they come off obnoxious and lose any chance of getting on the stage. In this blog, I will talk about stage grace, how to get on other people’s stages, do’s and don’ts, and the advantages of getting on other people’s stages. You may be wondering why you should get on other people’s stages? Because it’s a whole new market for you and there are a lot of advantages to getting in front of a new audience.
Utilize Stage Grace
First, let’s start with stage grace. Here are 5 ways to use stage grace to position you to get on other people’s stages.
- Become an attendee. So many people ask me to speak on the Million Dollar Speaker Summit, but they never attended it. They don’t know what the event is about or if it’s the right stage for them. This event may not be a right fit. Be sure to attend the event before seeking to get on its stage. Make sure that the event is well run and that you would want your reputation to be aligned with that event. Attending the event will allow you to make sure the audience is filled with your target market. For example, I’m not a woo woo speaker and I if wanted to be on a stage of a more holistic group, I’ve learned that isn’t the audience that buys from me and values speaking training enough to buy it. Or if there is an event attended by mostly millennials, but you serve baby boomers, you need to know that, so you don’t waste your time. When you’re an attendee you can be like a fly on the wall, you can meet the other attendees, you can meet the host, and examine the hotel (or venue space). Look around and see if it’s classy or matches your brand. You can see if the event is well organized and if you really want to be a part of that before you jump in and become disappointed.
- Become a sponsor. Yes, pay a small fee to support the event. Being a sponsor for a small amount of money allows you to be a notch above the other attendees. You get more acknowledgment and visibility to market yourself. You’ll see if the attendees want your products and services and are your target market. There are typically different levels of sponsorship:
- Exhibitor Booth – tend to a booth
- Speaker Sponsors – small speaking spot during the event
Either way, it’s an investment in exchange for visibility. I highly recommend becoming a sponsor because the host will love you for sponsoring their event.
- Become a volunteer. Maybe you don’t have the funds to become a sponsor or be an attendee. And if you want to be more involved than an attendee, you can volunteer. As a volunteer, you get to come to the event for free. You can work the door, greeter, or back of the room. If it’s a virtual event, there are many ways you can still help including: with registration, or in sponsor rooms, and make sure they come back from breaks on time or managing the chat. There are so many different things you can do as a volunteer to help the host have a successful event. You get a little visibility. More importantly, as a volunteer, you get the behind-the-scenes scoop on how the event is run. You’ll be able to determine if you want to participate or invest in this event in the future.
- Become an affiliate. Being an affiliate means you help get people into the room. You get a percentage of the ticket price of 10%, 50%, or even as high as 90%. The point is that you are getting butts in seats and once again, the host will love you for that.I went to an event where I was sharing a stage with a guy in Las Vegas. I knew him, so I approached him as a fellow speaker and said, “I’d love to speak on your stage. Do you have any openings?” He said, “No except for a panel spot.” Then he proposed, “If you can get 5 people to my event, then I will give you the panel spot.” This also meant I could go to the event for free. So I got him six attendees just in case one didn’t show up. They all showed up. I was at the door and made sure all six of my guests were checked in and came to the event. I got to speak. The event host was thrilled that I spoke. The whole time I was on the panel he was he was loving on me. It pays to get “cheeks in the seat” for the host. I’ve had people do this for me. The first year they are an affiliate and the next year I typically have them speak on my stage. The more people you get in, the more guaranteed that speaking spot will be and the better spot it is.
- Become a student. Becoming a student means if you hired someone who does events, and you’ve been working with them month after month, then you can rightfully ask them to speak on their stage. I have students who do this with me. As long as they’ve been coached by me, I put them on my stage. One of the ways my students can be guaranteed a stage spot is by joining my Million Dollar Speaker Mastermind (6 months or 12 months). When they join this program, they are guaranteed at least one speaking spot on the Million Dollar Speaker Summit and other events, as long as they are still working with me. Not everyone does this. But ask for it if they don’t offer it. If you give someone money, follow your money and then ask them for a speaking spot.