Use LinkedIn to Book Speaking Engagements

Turn your contacts into agents who introduce you.

These two truisms are foundational to my marketing outreach:

  1. Everybody knows someone worth knowing. You don’t know who stands in his or her circle until you ask (or check their connections on LinkedIn).
  2. Make it easy to say YES. Make it hard to say NO.

Speaking to trade associations of your target market is a powerful way to attract new clients. I often advise attorneys and, therefore, I compiled a list of bar associations in New York state where I might speak. I looked on their respective websites to locate the appropriate contact for programs. In an email, I described my background, my interest in speaking to the group and a few topics.

For the most part, my email outreach was met by a deafening silence.

My next step implemented the first truism.

As you know, LinkedIn is the world’s largest database of professionals.

I identified individual officers of each bar association and reviewed their profiles on LinkedIn. Whenever I located a mutual contact, I wrote to the intermediary. I requested an introduction to the bar association’s officer using this model, following the second truism:


Your name came into view on LinkedIn as a colleague who knows NAME at the NAME Bar Association.

I often speak to bar associations; when I present with an attorney, the session is usually eligible for CLE.

I had contacted the association as a potential speaker. I did not receive a reply.
If you feel comfortable introducing me to NAME, using a note that I will provide, I would greatly appreciate it.

If they are not a close connection, and it would not be appropriate to contact them, I understand.

Please let me know either way.


Looking forward to your reply.

Imagine you receive this email from a colleague. You are asked to copy and paste a note and email it to a LinkedIn connection.

You need only consider the strength of your bond with the contact before saying YES to the request.

When I first wrote to the President of a certain bar association, there was no response. I sent the above template to a LinkedIn connection requesting her assistance with an introduction. She agreed. A series of emails followed.

Success! I am presenting at the Injured Workers Bar Association’s spring conference.

This Month’s Tip

An introduction from a known source may make the difference in booking a speaking engagement. This outreach has four steps:

  1. Assemble a list of trade associations and professional membership groups where you are likely to meet your target audience. Or compile a wish list of companies and organizations that are potential clients.
  2. Locate the appropriate contact, President or Chair of the Program Committee, and email them regarding your interest in speaking on a few subjects to their group.
  3. When the group’s officer does not respond, identify a mutual contact of any officer of the group and ask them to introduce you, following the template.
  4. When this intermediary agrees to do so, send them a lightly revised version of your original correspondence with the organization so it may be copied and emailed to the group’s officer.

    Of course, you will follow up with a thank you to the mutual contact and arrange to chat with the organization’s leader to consider topics and dates.


When you want to get on the speaker’s circuit, let’s plan your outreach campaign. Organizations always need speakers to present on the hot topics and issues their members are encountering. They won’t invite you to present to the group if they don’t know who you are and no one has recommended you.. Contact me at, set an appointment here or call me at 212.677.5770. Let’s brainstorm topics, locate appropriate groups, identify their leaders and reach out to the people who might introduce you as a speaker. Speak up so you may take the podium and attract more clients.

If you’re shy about public speaking, find a colleague to present with you. Perhaps you will team up with me.

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Image credit: Convene