The ATA Chronicle - November/December 2023 - 12

Public speaking
can be a very
lucrative form of
marketing, but
the payoff can
take a while.
Before you home in on the
types of events or venues you
prefer, consider those your
clients are likely to prefer
and attend. If you enjoy
conferences with thousands
of attendees but your clients
are not likely to be there, it
might be best to rethink your
strategy to include smaller
events where you're more
likely to find more of them.
How Can You Prepare to
Speak to an Audience of
Potential Clients?
It's important to be prepared
before you dive into the
world of public speaking as a
marketing strategy for your
freelance business.
Understand Your Audience:
First and foremost, you need
to understand who you'll
be speaking to, what their
challenges and goals are,
and where you fit into the
12 The ATA Chronicle | November/December 2023
equation. Just like you would
want to know who the target
audience is for a translation,
you need to be familiar with
your audience if your spoken
words are going to land well
with them.
Get Comfortable with the
Venue: Whether you plan
to speak to a virtual or inperson
audience, you need
to take a few steps before
you show up. In addition to
planning what you'll share
with the audience, prepare
how you'll present your
content. Become familiar
with any technology you'll
need and consider ways to
pivot if something fails. Have
a backup of your slides or
talking points and ask about
the size of the room or virtual
session ahead of time. The
more you can picture yourself
in front of an audience, the
more comfortable you'll be
before you ever show up.
Err On the Side of Planning:
Most audiences can tell when
a speaker is trying to wing
it. And if you're nervous
about talking to a group of
people who could potentially
become your long-term
clients, a lack of preparation
will only create more
problems. Err on the side
of planning when it comes
to the details of your talk.
Think about the amount of
time you'll be given to speak,
whether there will be a Q&A
session or chat, and whether
anyone will introduce you
or moderate your session.
If you're like me and prefer
not to rehearse your talks
before you give them, make
sure you thoroughly review
your main talking points
and anticipate some of the
questions you might receive
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The ATA Chronicle - November/December 2023

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