Recently, I pointed out how difficult it can be for stage speakers, like me, to build a good speaker demo reel that gets you booked.

Lots of things can happen after the conference host or meeting planner solemnly promises you will receive footage of your speech.

Videographers don’t show up, or they do a lousy job (low video and audio quality).

Whoever is running the conference does a poor job controlling the room, which means that footage you were hoping for was constantly interrupted by loud noises and people walking right in front of the lens.

Maybe the crowd was too small, or it just wasn’t a nice room, so the end result isn’t your best look.

Or, you find out after the fact that there are strings attached to being able to even use the footage.

Heck, I was once forced to pay $300 for permission to use a picture of myself speaking from stage in my marketing materials!

Then there was the time I got so frustrated with it, I got permission from my host to pay my own videographer $850 to film me – and then was forced to have the sound edited because a member of the audience became disruptive near one of the microphones.

Thank goodness this was a TRUE pro, who had three separate mics running, so we could use audio from the microphone furthest from the disrupter to “clean up” that segment!

If you’re encountered one or more of these issues before, all is not lost.

As I said before, when you host a podcast, your episodes become your speaking reel.

How To Use Podcasting To Build Your Speaker Demo Reel

If you host a video podcast, you can do this quite easily.

If your podcast is audio-only, simply record a couple episodes using video, then strip out the audio for your website and syndication networks.

Either way, here’s the process:

  • Make sure you have good noise discipline – ask the neighbors to keep their stereo down, hang a “DO NOT KNOCK” sign on your door, and make sure your smartphone is turned off and any app that makes a noise is turned OFF

  • Instead of your usual podcasting microphone – whether it’s mounted on a stand or you use a headset – switch to a lavaliere mic for this one. High-quality lavalieres are very reasonably priced at pretty much any computer or music equipment store.

  • Test and optimize your sound, including dealing with any electrical grounding issues that could cause static or buzzing feedback in the recording.

  • Create a “stage” where you will record the episode standing up, back a bit from your webcam, showing you at least to the bottom of your rib cage – this will give a sense of your body language and how you use your hands when you speak.

  • Use a realistic backdrop. If you’re recording on Zoom and use an electronic background with a green screen, use an image that resonates with the audiences you expect to see you speak. Either way, it’s not a bad idea to include a bit of your branding (your logo, a picture of your book, etc.)

  • If you would normally use a PowerPoint deck, display the slides on your screen and use a clicker. The whole idea here is to replicate, as closely as possible, the actual environment in which you would be speaking from a stage.

  • Or, use a teleprompter and get trained on how to read from it. No matter how good you are (or think you are), this is for your speaker reel that gets you on stages where you will be pitching to audiences who could pay you hundreds of thousands of dollars over time. This is not the time to “wing it” or “prove” anything.

  • Most of all, be honest. Don’t pretend you are on an actual stage in front of a live audience, and don’t add stock audio of cheering crowds to the final product. Those fake crowd noises and cardboard spectators at COVID-era sporting events only look half as silly as you will.

Ideally, you would want to repeat this process from two or three episodes, where you are dressed differently in each one – to create variety.

Focus on getting clips of you sharing your signature topics and talking points.

Even better, leverage being a show host to get interviewed on a few external podcasts – let your hosts know you are looking for speaker-reel footage and get permission in advance to use snippets.

Your host may require you to state the clip was from your appearance on their show – in that case, do it – you’ll actually gain credibility as an In-Demand Expert that way.

Now, let us help you quickly master the fastest-growing platform that:

  • Connects you with more ideal-fit business prospects – as well as meeting planners and conference hosts who can book you to speak from their stages

  • Fills your calendar with conversations that have a virtually 100% show-up rate

  • Puts you in front of new audiences without making you spend money on social media advertising or search engine marketing

  • Gets your tribe to share you with their own followers without making you pay 50% in affiliate fees

  • Delivers you all the clients and customers you need and want to enjoy the revenues and profits you deserve

Smart speakers, authors, trainers, and consultants like you are getting on on this right now!

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