How to create a great speaker showreel video that will help you raise your rates and get new bookings
This blog explains a little about what you need to do to create a great speaker video that will raise your speaking rates. This blog is based on our experience of what event organisers want to see, and what has worked to grow their business for the many speakers we’ve created videos for.
1. Collect Footage
You should collect all the footage you can from any events you’re speaking at – if someone’s filming an event you are at always ask for the footage. Keep it all in one place, organised and build up your collection over the years.
If you don’t have any footage yet, get some – do a free event that’s being filmed, or pay someone to shoot footage of an event for you. The more footage you have the better you will be able to make your showreel.
Testimonials are great – they let someone else say how effective a speaker you are rather than being you singing your own praises. Any events you can get video testimonials. With professional kit where possible, but grab your phone and get a nice little soundbite off people anytime can as well. If you are new to speaking professionally, friends and family make a great start for getting ‘enthusiasm’ testimonials, and once you have them you’ll need to target any high status/established business people for ones that prove your expertise (just after you’ve spoken at events is a good time for this). You will definitely want to include some testimonials in your speaker showreel.
3. Relate it to your topic
What do you speak about? You may have one talk or several, but your showreel should definitely at least touch on one or two of your main themes, give the viewer a hint of what he’d be buying if paid for you.
4. Show energy/engagement
Energy is important – Event organisers want speakers who will get the audience enthused, excited and remembering what they’ve learned. You want to show your A* performances in your show reel. Are your audience generally on their feet clapping and laughing, or where they snoozing in the back row?
5. Solve their pain
Do you have an existing audience who will come to see you? Are you super knowledgeable on the subject matter the conference is on? Will you get them excited and riled up, ready for the next speaker? It’s good to have some key messages in your speaker showreel, that relate to how you can help the audience, and why the event organiser should book you rather than someone else in the same field.
6. Show lots of events
I recommend showing a good selection of events in your showreel – at least 6-12, maybe more. Even if the message in the audio mostly comes from 2-4 events, it’s good to show a little 2 second clips of the video from a load of other events. This allows you to show that you’re popular, busy and loads of other event organisers have put their faith in you. As with testimonials, this proves you have a track record, and helps build your expert status.
7. Straight to camera/self-tapes
If you’re low on good quality footage of you speaking, you can pad it out with a little bit of straight to camera or self -tape footage. You still need to show some events, to prove how established you are, however small targeted sections can be very effective. Good quality event footage is the key in my opinion, but straight to camera can fill gaps, or give you the opportunity to ask questions/make statements that may not make sense onstage. We proceed with caution here – a little of straight to camera adds value, a lot of it and it will seem like you don’t have enough footage of you speaking at events.
It’s also a good way to create additional videos – 2 hours of work of you self to camera in 1 session could create the unedited video content for a short series of explainer videos.
8. Short and sweet
I recommend where possible you make 2 showreels – a 1-2 minute one that gives literally just a taster, get them excited with some of your best work and then a 3-7 minute one, that goes into a bit more depth – perhaps in the longer video you have some 30-45 second segments from talks you’ve done, giving the audience a bit of a clue as to what you’re style of speaking is like.
If you are just starting out as a professional speaker, I’d say focus on the short one, something to get them excited wanting more. You likely don’t have enough content to create a high quality 5 minute showreel – so get something short that grips them instantly, and gets them to email you back/pick up the phone.
9. Get help
Yes – you can get editing software on your computer at relatively low costs, but you won’t be amazing at editing and unless you spend hundreds of hours learning a new craft, chances are any video you create for yourself will have a ‘homemade’ or ‘slightly below professional’ feel to it. Now, if you’re trying to sell your speaking services for high rates, that is less than ideal. If it’s all you can afford at this time then do it – video is an incredibly powerful tool and you should start harnessing as much of it as you can as soon as possible. But when you’re ready and able:
Get help, from us or another film company with experience in speaker showreels, and get yourself something made by experts, that will help you dramatically grow your speaking business and get gigs at higher rates.
Contact us for a chat about how create a great speaker showreel which could take your career to the next level.