There are many reasons to speak at conferences. In the early days of my career, it was all about money. My boss wasn’t willing to pay for me to get a conference pass, but changed her tune when I was accepted for a speaking slot.
This scenario played itself out a few times before I really understood the benefits of speaking at a conference, and they were far greater than getting a comp pass to the event.
I first came to the realization that being a speaker gives back in a bunch of ways when I had my first book published, “Successful Affiliate Marketing for Merchants,” back in 2001. Shortly after it came out, I was speaking at a conference and got permission to bring books to sell after my presentation.
I carried in 25 or so copies, and hoped I wouldn’t be bringing them all back to my room afterwards. That didn’t turn out to be an issue. They all sold, and a bunch of people still wanted to buy them.
That experience was informative in a couple of ways, as it helped me understand that speaking can have lots of indirect benefits. I would never sell from the stage, and the thing is it’s not even necessary to do that.
Simply by sharing useful information and an excellent presentation, you are able to promote a book, site, personal brand, company, etc. without openly promoting, because people will read your bio to learn more about you.
Plus, it’s a great way to give back to the industry when you share your knowledge, which earns you capital among people in your business. Not to mention that it’s just supremely wonderful and fulfilling to help people.
Then there is the aspect of building up your own confidence and self-esteem among your peers. Let’s face it, public speaking can be sort of scary, but the more you do it, the better you become, and that skill can be translated in all sorts of areas in your business and personal life.
Finally, when you take questions from the crowd, you may be challenged by what some folks have to say, and that can help to change your position, which can then benefit you, your site, company, or whatever.