Professional speakers rely heavily on their reputation and credibility to secure new speaking engagements and maintain their existing clientele. One way to establish credibility and build trust with potential clients is by having great testimonials from previous clients, meeting professionals, and audience members.
Why are audience / client testimonials important for professional speakers?
- Demonstrates credibility: Testimonials from satisfied clients and audience members can demonstrate your credibility and expertise in your field. These testimonials can help potential clients feel more confident in their decision to hire you, knowing that others have also had a positive experience.
- Builds trust: Testimonials can help build trust between you and your potential clients. People are more likely to trust recommendations from others, rather than relying solely on the speaker’s own self-promotion.
- Provides social proof: Testimonials can provide social proof that you have delivered value to your clients and audience members. This can be especially important for speakers who are relatively unknown or new to the industry, as it can help them establish their reputation and gain traction in the market.
- Helps differentiate you from your competitors: If a potential client is considering multiple speakers for an event, having great testimonials (especially from audience members) can give you an edge. The more specific the testimonials, the better!
How to get audience / client testimonials:
- Ask for feedback: After a speaking engagement, reach out to the client and ask for feedback on your presentation. If at all possible, try to get very specific, measurable feedback. This will show potential clients what results they can expect after you speak.
- Use surveys: Consider using a survey tool to gather feedback from attendees after your presentation. This can be done via email or by using a tool like SurveyMonkey or SurveySparrow. Be sure to include a check-box where people can give permission to use their comments and name, if they provide it.
- Follow up: After receiving feedback from a client, follow up with them to ask if they’d be willing to provide a testimonial. Make the process as easy as possible for them by providing them with a template or sample testimonial to work from.
Leveraging audience / client testimonials in your speaking business:
- Display on your website: I usually recommend “sprinkling” testimonials throughout the whole site, rather than having one single page full of them. They’re more likely to be read this way. Having them on your website helps potential clients see the value you can provide and builds trust in your expertise.
- Use in marketing materials: Brochures, flyers, and email campaigns should all include both client and audience testimonials. Again, the more specific & measurable, the better!
- Share on social media: Share client testimonials on your social media channels to showcase your expertise and build credibility with your audience. Use a tool like Canva to create custom graphics that match your branding colors & format.
What kind of testimonials should you get?
- Written: The key to successfully displaying written testimonials is to make sure they’re not too long. If they’re too lengthy, they won’t be read. Consider making key phrases BOLD so they’ll stand out for people who scan rather than read the whole testimonial.
- Video: You’re bound to have a few people come up after you speak to tell their story or share how impactful you were on stage. Take advantage of the timing and their enthusiasm by asking them to repeat what they’ve said while you video them. Remember to get their name and title, too!
- Audio: Audio testimonials aren’t quite as popular as they used to be, but they’re better than nothing. Consider transcribing the person’s words and including a written version below the audio player for people who don’t want to take the time to listen. (Same applies to video testimonials… some people just prefer to read.)
Bottom line, client testimonials are a critical part of a professional speaker’s marketing strategy. They help build trust, validate expertise, and demonstrate results. It’s essential for you to prioritize collecting testimonials from satisfied clients and audience members. Get busy!
Cynthia works closely with emerging professional speakers as they grow from speaking as a hobby to getting paid to speak full-time. In addition to creating websites exclusively for professional speakers, she consults in the areas of online presence & credibility, public relations, and content & product creation. She is passionate about helping speakers share their messages while impacting thousands of people around the world!