2018 Public Speaking Report – Chapter 4

Feb 21, 2019 | Public Speaking

Ever wondered what public speakers post online to draw attention to themselves? So did Speakersbase. We dedicated a slew of questions to their personal marketing! Not only to figure out how public speakers handle their own marketing, but also to find out what works for them. Why? Curiosity, Abut also to benefit other speakers. Sharing this knowledge might benefit inexperienced public speakers who are unsure how to position themselves.


It appears the personal marketing is fairly limited to text and photos. However, social media algorithms have been heavily favouring video content both in the past and now. So photos and text posts will undoubtedly do well with a dedicated following, and might spark conversation. Still, many speakers could benefit from posting some more video content.

Figure 17. What type of content do you post online most often?

The question remains if public speakers are simply not as aware of the algorithms or if they are scared to give away too much through video. This suggestion was offered in one of the comments that stated that “giving it away for free” simply would not do. Though some video content posting speakers added comments like “Video that was obviously shot at the event I’m speaking at. Shows the audience the speech is not ‘canned’.” It seems like the value of video is mostly seen as a way to share authentic content.


With over 70% of all speakers having no public speaking budget to spend, it is really no surprise that just about all of them create their own content. Perhaps video editing is not a common skill among public speakers.

Speakersbase is more interested in the imbalance of seeing results of your marketing (Figure 19) and not having enough time to create (Figure 18). Seeing results adds to understanding the value of marketing. Why would they not make more time to work on their own marketing when they are seeing the results of their efforts? However, this is often easier said than done. As we saw in Chapter 1, most speakers have a full- or part-time job besides speaking. Marketing takes a backseat when you have other deadlines.

Figure 18. Do you create your own content? And do you feel like you have enough time to do so?

Figure 19. Do you see a result of your content marketing?

Luckily, most speakers see response through their marketing. Which means that most efforts they make actually pay off. And 93% of all respondents agreed that there is at least occasional response to their posts. Even if those 71% do not see a reaction often enough for their liking, it would still mean that they get a promising lead or even a booking once in a while. It would appear that public speakers are not only fairly good at marketing themselves, but they are also posting on the right channels to reach event organizers.


This raises the question as to where they are posting their marketing. It seems that not all marketing is actually posted anywhere. Besides the usual suspect, social media, 30.5% prefers to use word of mouth as a marketing tool. This includes networking, reviews, recommendations and referrals. Not very surprising, considering how word of mouth is the oldest type of marketing. Add to that the famous saying “customers don’t trust brands, they trust customers”, and you understand why networking is still so valuable. In an industry like public speaking, your reputation is vital to get interesting public speaking opportunities. A good and active network both on- and offline helps you to establish that reputation.

Another very interesting finding is that 25.5% of public speakers have their own website. This means that they do not rely on the algorithms of social media, which is a plus. A downside of your own website is that you have to continuously keep updating it to make the Google algorithm push it up. Two sides of the same coin, because both require effort and regular content, so it is up to each individual to decide what platform they want to invest in.

Figure 20. What channels do you prefer for your own marketing?

So it does seem that public speakers are rather active online to promote themselves. They are not just relying on social media and their algorithms, they put their marketing on their own website as well. Additionally, they value networking very highly. When public speakers do marketing, they usually or occasionally see tangible results. The types of content they post online is usually text and/or video, but they also post video and audio clips of their own speeches.

In Chapter 5 we will dive deep in how public speaker educate themselves.

Want to read the other chapters? Chapter 1Chapter 2, and Chapter 3 are free to read!

Are you ready? Download the report below!

2018 Public Speaking Report (125 downloads)

Follow us on social media to stay up to date on all things public speaking!