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How Professional Speakers Fit on Talk Radio
It depends on your platform goals and career objectives.
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 by John Longenecker

John LongeneckerI love the giants in speaking. My wife and I adore the thought leaders and inspirational motivational speakers of world class.

I mention them because they don't do as much talk radio because they have quite a full dance card elsewhere. Videos, books, public speaking, you got it. But how would talk radio work for the newcomer who is launching a speaking business?

Whether you're talking expertise about peanut butter or how to better pet your dog, you don't need to have a doctorate in hand or a new book out to be desirable as a speaker, much less a talk radio guest expert. Place talk radio first and you might find it easier to obtain speaking engagements.

Speaking is hard work not in the fulfillment of your agreement, but in obtaining an agreement. It's a bear to promote, prospect and market, obtain a contract, delineate venue details, force majeurs, travel and hospitality, fees, and that lengthy calendar of working now in order to speak eight months from now.

A speakers bureau can do the work, but few newcomers have the creds to be vetted, much less be represented. That will come later. Starting a speaking business can be an expensive proposition. What is needed is some free publicity.

In a plan of article writing first, then speaking as an adjunct second with talk radio guesting third, put talk radio in there alongside article writing first. Talk radio is free exposure of your name, tone, attitudes, thinking live and responding live, your purpose and your clear sincerity all wrapped up in an hour or so of your time. The real benefit of being a guest expert on the radio is in obtaining authorization to have and to exhibit an mp3 file of the show you were on.

Would your marketing efforts at speaking gigs be easier if prospects could audition you and commit sooner?

Anyone visiting your professional speaker availability page can click through to an excerpt of your show which is given you with the producer's permission. Being a guest expert on an all-talk station can showcase for visitors your cogency and spirit, your insights and pace, whether you even make any sense at all; talk radio can even exhibit your temperament when taking calls or being praised or challenged.

In short, prospects can audition you right then and there to see how you sound live in terms of desirability to speak to them for a juicy fee. Naturally, these radio clips would complement the counterparts you've taped at your speaking appearances.You do capture your speaking, don't you? 

Here are two tips for you:

Tip 1. You don't have to have a book out to be desirable as a talk radio guest expert; your values, attitudes and insights are sufficiently precious to hear for an hour. How you sound is everything; not voice, but coherence. You'll probably want to be groomed beforehand to sound as great on the air as you do in person.

The bottom line is that you certainly can get yourself booked for your insights without having higher-than-the-topic credentials to begin with. Look at it this way: the Master Sergeant knows more about those planes than the General. A lot of blogger contributors make great guests for their likewise specialized insights and knowledge, and a 60-second clip of you on the air live and under pressure goes a long way.

Tip 2. If you felt you did well - and even if you didn't - be sure to e-mail the producer of the show with your thanks and best wishes. I used to ask for an mp3 file of the show and permission to show it on my website and fully explain my plans for the file. I was granted permission - and the entire segment as a file - from many producers, and I would post two 60-second segments of my most sensible-sounding moments.

If you obtain authorization to that file of yours, remember that the producer is being extremely kind and knows darned well the importance of it to you and to her. Perhaps your message is compelling. Perhaps you're trusted. It is prestigious for your web presence image that the producer should grant you the file itself, so be the best custodian of the material you can be. Set yourself a period of 60-days maximum usage, then retire the file permanently. 

Refer readers always to the show's total podcast catalog on their own page and post their URL on a sidebar mention.

Meanwhile, keep talking sense and earn a new one to replace it.

John Longenecker is an established author and contributor, and has been
a frequent talk radio guest expert on hundreds of stations large and small.
He now coaches contributors to be their best on-air persona as a
guest expert. His website is

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