What are speaking engagements?
Speaking engagements are use by companies to highlight the expertise of company executives in their fields and to build or boost credibility for a brand through executive thought leadership.
How speaking engagements work
Companies will assign a staff member, usually from the public relations department, to research opportunities for corporate executives to share their expertise on a field or a topic through a public speaking opportunity. These opportunities are often at industry conferences and trade shows.
High profile companies get many request each year for their CEOs or other top executives to speak at conferences and events. A staffer is assigned to identify the best opportunities and make the necessary arrangements.
Many companies will have multiple executives out on the road speaking on behalf of the company. Most often, corporate PR will produce intros for each speech or presentation that ensures consistent messaging about the brand is being used in front of all audiences.
Speaking engagements best practices
Pick the right opportunities
Speaking engagements, especially high-profile engagements, require time. Proper vetting of requests and seeking out of opportunities should be based on what's best for the brand and the company and what will further corporate goals and objectives.
Train executives in public speaking
There's nothing worse than a boring speech. Companies should ensure executive are trained in public speaking and can deliver a dynamic message that holds an audience's attention.
Executives that go rogue during speeches and stray from brand messaging can do enormous harm to a company's reputation. While speeches should focus on relaying knowledge and expertise, rather than on product sales and marketing, executives should be well prepared and equipped with strong messaging that reinforces company values.