One of the things you want when you accept speaking opportunities for free is:

The details of the people in the audience.

Why? Well these are your potential future clients and if you don’t get their details, you aren’t going to be able to stay in touch. You aren’t going to be able to add them to your database and build a relationship with them over time. You are never going to be able to market to them and therefore you may as well not have wasted your time doing the speech in the first place.

One of the simplest things to do is to ask the event organizer if it would be possible to have a list of the attendees when they book you for the speech. Sometimes you get lucky and they happily say yes. Lots of companies or organizations however, don’t want to share that sort of information. This is where we need to get a little creative.

Some of the different ways you can still achieve your objectives and get your audiences details are:

1. Sign them in at the door. If you have someone who can help man the table at the entrance, simply ask everyone to sign in for you as they arrive. You can then collect the basic info like their names, email address, phone number – whatever you feel you need. Don’t ask for too much info, otherwise people will not want to do it. Also make sure that on the form you state what you will use the information for and a promise that you won’t rent, or sell the information to anyone else. With the new spam laws this is really important.

2. Circulate a clipboard. If there is already a booking process by the organization at the door then you can use the same tactic in a different way. Get a couple of clipboards and circulate them through the room while you are being introduced or while you are talking. Some may just pass it on but you will probably get information from about 90% of the room.

3. Offer an incentive. Do you have a “free session”, an interesting report or a copy of a book or DVD to give away? Get everyone to put their business cards into a jar for the “lucky draw” at the end of your speech. This works particularly well for business presentations where everyone has business cards.

4. Provide entry forms. You can use the same tactic above with other audiences too. Just provide a small tear-off portion on your handouts for them to fill in or direct them to a table in the tea break to fill out their details to receive a free gift. Everyone loves something for free, so you can use that to your advantage. Once again you won’t get everyone’s details but you will get a significant percentage.

To improve the chances of you getting everyone’s information in the room, mention in you talk that you will be sending out the “key points of my speech”, or “additional information” to them via email after the talk. Encourage them with phrases like “make sure I have your details, because you are going to love the extra stuff I am going to send you”.

If you are going to do this then live up to your promise. Send them something extra, a bonus, via email the day after the speech. Make sure it is something of value. This is also your second point of contact, which will reinforce your message and your brand.
The trick then is to keep in touch on a regular basis. If you can do that, then the sales will come. Building your list, your database, should be your number one goal and it is one of the most important things you can do for your business and your bottom line.

Author's Bio: 

Adele Howell-Pryce is a Business Coach and the Founder of A web site designed to help Subject Matter Experts get free and low paid opportunities to speak and promote their businesses. For more articles or information on how Public Speaking can help you grow your business visit the Web Site.