Thought Leaders Speak

Over the next few weeks, I’m featuring excerpts from my research report, “But Mom Told Me Never to Brag: Overcoming the Thought Leadership Hurdles.” Today’s post focuses on public speaking as a thought leadership tool.

Let’s examine the specific tools you can use to launch a thought leadership campaign, either for yourself, your CEO, or an expert in your field seeking to raise her profile. We will consider three principal means of delivering high value content:

  • Speaking
  • Writing
  • Research

The first technique is public speaking. One way to remove the thought leadership barriers is to stand in front of an audience and deliver a value-packed presentation. This certainly puts you in the limelight. Plus, the event’s organizers have placed their stamp of approval on you by virtue of inviting you to speak. Once you are on the dais, of course, it is up to you to supply the real world knowledge that listeners can use, and to do so in an engaging fashion.

Social Driver is one of the hottest of a new generation of digital marketing agencies. Despite daily business demands, Chief Strategy Officer & Co-Founder Anthony Shop maintains a busy schedule of appearances centering on his expertise in digital marketing. Says Shop, “My approach is not to ‘sell’ Social Driver’s capabilities or services as much as to educate [audiences] about what we have learned from working with a variety of clients. I’ve often gotten feedback that my colleagues and I are requested back because of this softer approach.

“To me, whether the audience will be comprised of potential business leads is not my sole concern. I also am interested in an engaging discussion where the audience and I can learn from one another,” he adds. These efforts contributed to Social Driver’s recognition as The Agency 100’s “7th Fastest Growing Agency in the United States.”

One important note: No holding back on your content when speaking pro bono. You still have the obligation to deliver beneficial subject matter.


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