How to take your speaking international

So, you’re a success in your country, you are doing great.  In fact, you’re a bit of a celebrity on the speaking circuit.  Business is good.  But you have that travel bug and the desire to be an international speaker and it’s eating you up inside as you don’t know where to start.

If this is you, keep reading, if not you are excused, see you another time, I hope.

Speaking internationally versus speaking nationally is different, but like all things, once you know what to do, it’s quite simple.  Just needs a bit of time, patience, and work. 

So where to start.  Here are 3 areas you can work on to help you move from local to international speaker:

Your positioning

Review your positioning, on your website, on social media, everywhere.  Look at your bio, your topics, your testimonials, the language you use, through a new lens.  Does it show that you are relevant to an international market?  For example, do you have testimonials from clients that, even though the event may have been local for you, are an international brand, or internationally known?  If you do, prioritise those.  So, if you are based in Denmark and you’ve spoken for Lego, that would work for an international audience, or you are in Sweden, and you’ve spoken for IKEA.  Go through your website and make sure that you have international references.  Similarly, are your examples in your speeches, videos, topic descriptions relevant to international audiences, or only known locally?  You may need to change some of these.

Your topics and outcomes

Whether your audience is local or international, they will book you for your outcomes, make sure you make these super clear, in that regard there is little difference.   What may change are the topics you speak about.  I’ve often found that speakers who are successful in their own country have expanded their topics; clients trust them and invite them back to talk on topics on the edges or outside of their usual topic areas.  That will work for you where you are known, but where you aren’t you need to go deep rather than wide.  You will probably need to review what you are speaking about and focus on one or two areas.  The international market has more speakers to choose from so make it easy for bookers to know where you fit and show them the depth through the outcomes you deliver.

Use your network

I’ve said it before, so you may well have already done this, if so please pat yourself on the back.  If you haven’t done, do this after you’ve actioned points one and two above.  Use your network.  There will be people in your network, either in your contacts or on your LinkedIn, who work for international companies, or who have husbands, wives, partners who do.  Let them know that you not only work locally but that you speak internationally.  You don’t have to sell to them, you’re just informing them.  And if they can help or introduce you to anyone in their organisation ask them to do so. 

Hopefully this will get you started, but you might find a few more tips in this case study of how Norwegian speaker Elin Hauge took her speaking international:

And if you would like my help you know where I am 😊

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