Speaking Engagements - Chat
How to Find Speaking Engagements - Chat
This Tuesday evening Oct. 26 '04, Speaker's Bureau Coordinator Phil Denisch will be leading a workshop on How to Find Speaking Engagements. Please bring your ideas and questions and join us at freestateproject.org/chat at 9pm ET. Hope to see you there!
Here's a transcript of the chat that took place:
[21:30] <PhilD> OK, the main topic tonight is getting speaking engagments.
[21:31] <PhilD> I'm looking for suggestions as much as sharing what I know (that wouldn't take up 1.5 hrs :)
[21:31] <PhilD> The most obvious place it seems to me (and the easiest) is...
[21:32] <PhilD> local (L)ibertarian meetings
[21:32] <PhilD> most counties have a group that meet from time-to-time and they usually love to have an outside speaker.
[21:33] <PhilD> It's an easy, usually small group, friendly setting that should be "low hanging fruit" as they say.
[21:34] <PhilD> But we shouldn't overlook the Optimists, Oddfellows, Civitan, etc. clubs, thoug
[21:35] <PhilD> Another place to find new groups might be through the web - free-market.net has a whole list of freedom-minded groups
[21:35] <Kat> At toastmasters, they said they often get requests for speakers, but not sure if the audience would be people we'd want to recruit
[21:36] <PhilD> I am especially ashamed, as being near DC (district of corruption) I should be setting up far more engagments
[21:36] <Kat> lol
[21:36] <SethCohn> I spoke before a Rotary group. My best friend was a member, and they have weekly lunches, so they are always looking for people to speak.
[21:36] <PhilD> The people in this area are more than others "into" things political
[21:37] <PhilD> How was the reception from the Rotarians?
[21:37] <SethCohn> heheh, interesting to say the least.
[21:38] <SethCohn> My friend said that it was one of the most provocative talks they had. People got pretty riled up by what I was saying...
[21:38] <PhilD> Interesting, as in "let's think about this"? or intersting as in "get the torches and pitchforks"?
[21:38] <SethCohn> The lesson (an important one) is that groups like Rotary, with a motto of 'Service before Self' don't understand Libertarian ideals easily.
[21:39] <SethCohn> If I had it to do over, I'd do it differently, focusing on issues that they care about, using terms and ideas they'd nod along with.
[21:39] <Kat> What was the topic of your speech?
[21:39] <SethCohn> For instance, it's not Government that cured polio, it was individuals like Rotary.
[21:40] <SethCohn> I spoke on basic Libertarian ideas, leading up the idea of due to lack of representation, the FSP.
[21:41] <SethCohn> I opened with lines quoting Democrats and Republicans talking about bad government, then quoted Hugh Downs who said 'It's Libertarians with all the good ideas'
[21:42] <SethCohn> The problem (as I see it) was that Rotary is so focused on Service over Self, that they don't see the compulsion of others as a problem.
[21:43] <SethCohn> Someone on the forum (Jim Maynard) taked about focusing on small business people... I think that's a great angle to focus on.
[21:43] <PhilD> Do you think there were any serious thinkers about the FSP idea?
[21:43] <SethCohn> Nope, given the town's general politics, didn't think there would be....
[21:44] <PhilD> Business people - great place to look. Any ideas on how best to contact them?
[21:44] <SethCohn> But it got people talking, if nothing else.
[21:44] <PhilD> Chamber of commerce?
[21:45] <SethCohn> Almost all of these sorts of groups, Rotary, Kiwanis, etc, are all really business networking groups too.
[21:45] <Kat> Speaking to small business groups?
[21:45] <SethCohn> 101 reasons why moving your small business to NH makes sense.
[21:46] <SethCohn> The trick will be doing it without losing the liberty activism issue.
[21:48] <PhilD> Any ideas on where to get a list of these types if groups (in a certain area)?
[21:49] <Kat> chamber of commerce sounded like a good idea
[21:51] <PhilD> We really need the speakers to set up the talks (area, schedules, etc)
[21:51] <SethCohn> Rotary, Kiwanis and Lions are considered the 3 big ones for 'Service Clubs'
[21:51] <PhilD> But it wouldn't hurt to try and start the process for them.
[21:52] <Kat> How would you start the process for them?
[21:52] <PhilD> I'll be getting the speaker list map up on the web site shortly, and that may spark a few things.
[21:52] <PhilD> Star by contacing the groups and see if they are at all interested, and if they are get the speaker (or me) involved.
[21:53] <PhilD> The speaker in that area, of course
[21:53] <SethCohn> Another thing wish I'd had better was a good simple speech... I tried to do one, and it was too long, too complex, so I ended up winging more than I liked.
[21:53] <Kat> Any specific types of businesses that would be best?
[21:53] <PhilD> What's the most regulated outside, least reged in NH?
[21:54] <SethCohn> Phil, I think providing 2 or 3 good "Here's what you'll say" speeches would help a LOT in getting people to speak.
[21:54] <Kat> Need some research
[21:54] <SethCohn> I wouldn't focus on specific businesses... small businesses in general would be better.
[21:55] <PhilD> Amanda has a good "talking points" paper - email me if you want it and I'll send it along.
[21:55] <SethCohn> I'd do more than a talking points paper, I'd provide a written tested 10-15 speech...
[21:56] <Kat> things that require a license to start maybe...I'm thinking dumb stuff like "massage therapy" that shouldn't need regulation
[21:56] <Kat> or haircutters
[21:56] <SethCohn> Make it easy for people to give a speech, and you'll get more speakers.
[21:56] <PhilD> Well in Louisiana, I think, they recently started regulating Florists! Maybe we should hit all them up!
[21:57] <Kat> cool :)
[21:57] <PhilD> There are a number of sample speeches on the web site (mixed in among articles, etc)
[21:57] <Kat> Don't you have some sample speeches available?
[21:58] <PhilD> If you like I could write one for a general event or for a specific audience
[21:58] <PhilD> I've got a CD with a lot of the FSP documents on it, including speeches - let me know if you want one.
[22:00] <PhilD> OK, freedom groups, business groups, what else?
[22:00] <SethCohn> http://www.nhes.state.nh.us/elmi/licertoccs/occ_index.html is a list of occupations in NH that require some form of license or cert or registration.
[22:00] <Kat> Great, Seth
[22:00] <PhilD> Colleges should be great places (and high schools for that matter)
[22:01] <PhilD> Most colleges and universities have political clubs if not libertarian ones -
[22:01] <Kat> college objectivist or libertarian groups
[22:01] <PhilD> you could get some good dialog going at those places.
[22:02] <Kat> Homeschool groups
[22:02] <PhilD> Good one, I nearly forgot (just go easy on the very-social freedoms :)
[22:05] <PhilD> One thing I want to make sure we do is get on the list for every Libertarian Convention next year
[22:05] <PhilD> Or at least have a table.
[22:05] <Kat> I think there are still a lot of libertarians who haven't heard of us
[22:05] <PhilD> Just today I had an inquiry from a guy setting up a sci-fi convention
[22:05] <Kat> or who don't know the recent developments in the FSP
[22:06] <Kat> It seemed like a good venue, I went to one
[22:06] <PhilD> Between sci-fi, comic, and anime we should be able to set a few things up.
[22:06] <Kat> So you would have to give a speech about FSP and sci-fi?
[22:06] <Kat> cool
[22:07] <PhilD> I guess we should try for Trek-fests also (even though that universe is pretty ingsoc-ish)
[22:07] <PhilD> The sci-fi guy wnats a speech about the future of policitcs, etc - you can see where I'm saying it's leading
[22:07] <SethCohn> One thing I did that was useful was handout the World's smallest political Quiz.
[22:08] <SethCohn> I'd like to see (and started working on) a FSP/NH specific version.
[22:08] <Kat> good way to be interactive with the audience?
[22:08] <PhilD> I see the future! I see the Free State. Not just in NH but thougout the entire galaxy!![22:08] <Kat> lol
[22:09] <PhilD> Does Brian Sullivan have a supply of those quizzes?
[22:09] <SethCohn> L. Neil Smith fans
[22:09] <Kat> Not that I know of, Phil
[22:09] <PhilD> I'll get some to him. Although som epeople have "issues" with it, it's still pretty good
[22:11] <SethCohn> That's why I'd like to see a FSP version focusing on finding people who would be good people to move.
[22:10] <PhilD> How about computer clubs?
[22:10] <Kat> like the FSP?
[22:11] <PhilD> lol
[22:11] <SethCohn> I'd be wary of straying too far afield... specific topic groups like computers are a minefield, if only because it's so offtopic.
[22:11] <Kat> Sounds like a good idea. You could focus on computer privacy type issues
[22:12] <Kat> Geeks are often libertarian
[22:12] <PhilD> Good point. But we do need to reach farther afield from where we have to date.
[22:12] <SethCohn> Some geeks are libertarian... but not all.
[22:13] <Kat> Yes, Seth
[22:13] <SethCohn> For groups like that, I'd attend them and invite those interested to some other place that's more neutral.
[22:14] <SethCohn> I've spoken (and run) computer groups, and it's hard enough getting people, let alone for stuff that not computer related.
[22:14] <Kat> But where do computer nerds meet? on the internet
[22:14] <SethCohn> Everyone meets on the internet now. (grin)
[22:14] <Kat> online speeches?
[22:14] <PhilD> A little off topic for tonight, but what's the felling towards banner ads and the like?
[22:15] <SethCohn> I like Banner ads.
[22:16] <Kat> I haven't noticed how well they actually get us recruits
[22:17] <SethCohn> When they've run, they've gotten people looking at the site... the problem is that we haven't used targeted pages to direct people to.
[22:17] <SethCohn> Ads are more effective if they are customized to sell to a particular audience, and followup pages would increase signups.
[22:18] <PhilD> Let's check the stats for that, it's been something I've wanted to do for a while
[22:18] <PhilD> Does El Neil sell space on his site (or are they all westerners)?
[22:18] <russellkanning> I am a westerner and I am moving
[22:19] <SethCohn> He does... and but likely his audience has already heard of us.
[22:19] <russellkanning> It is not hopeless
[22:19] <SethCohn> We need ads in places where people haven't heard of the FSP.
[22:19] <PhilD> One thing to remember, face-to-face requests for speaking engagements work best.
[22:19] <PhilD> Most of my email requests have *not* worked. :(
[22:20] <Kat> So you have to attend their meetings and ask for a speaking engagement?
[22:21] <SethCohn> This is networking 101: you need to meet people.
[22:21] <PhilD> Sometimes, yes or talking to them in some other place (or even calling on the phone)
[22:21] <Kat> I tried sending email offers for speakers and got no repies
[22:22] <SethCohn> If you want to speak someplace, and they haven't invited you, it's unlikely to happen unless you meet them, or know someone there.
[22:24] <PhilD> Allright then - who wants us that may not know it? :)
[22:25] <Kat> true conservatives, fed up with Bush?
[22:25] <Kat> true liberals, fed up with war?
[22:26] <PhilD> And what groups do they belong to?
[22:27] <russellkanning> some of the 'patriot' type groups
[22:27] <russellkanning> help them put aside all their little differences
[22:27] <Kat> I know of some peace action groups...they might be good sorts of targets
[22:28] <russellkanning> and get something accomplished :)
[22:28] <russellkanning> like the 3rd parties groups that keep getting shut out
[22:28] <russellkanning> in NH and elsewhere
[22:30] <PhilD> Do you think the Constitution Party would like to hear from us (or do they think we're all (L)s?
[22:32] <Kat> it wouldn't hurt to try
[22:33] <SethCohn> After Nov 2nd, no matter which Skull and Bones wins, I suspect a lot of people will be more interested in hearing an alternative answer.
[22:34] <PhilD> True, we should capitalize on that wherever possible
[22:35] <russellkanning> I know all of you guys are on east coast time...it is getting late for you guys
[22:36] <russellkanning> lol on the skull and bones
[22:36] <russellkanning> joke
[22:36] <PhilD> I guess we should wrap this up - there is a speakers section on the forum, we can continue there
[22:37] <PhilD> If you want any sample speecehs, etc. let me know.
[22:37] <Kat> where is the speaker's section, Phil?
[22:39] <PhilD> Right on top under the "FSP activist center"
[22:41] <Kat> oh on the forum :)_
[22:41] <russellkanning> on the forum kat
[22:41] <russellkanning> oh she found
[22:41] <russellkanning> it
[22:41] <russellkanning> yeah
[22:41] <Kat> Thanks so much for coming out tonight to do this, Phil
[22:42] <Kat> Shall we call it an evening?
[22:42] <PhilD> My pleasure, thank you for setting all these up!
[22:42] <PhilD> 'nite all.