How to Create a Demo Video That Gets You Booked & Paid to Speak

Table of Contents

Introduction

Whatever level of speaking expertise you have, you need to know the importance of a good demo video for speakers. But what actually makes a good demo video, and how you can create a speaker demo video helps you get booked and paid to speak? You may want to avoid “selling yourself” too much, but you also want to showcase what you do. What can you do to personalize your demo videos, and how can you make them as memorable and powerful as possible?

For answers to these questions about how to create a speaker demo video and more, read on.

Editor’s Note: This is a guest post originally published on GrantBaldwin.com, and written by Erin Lashley, who has a business helping speakers shoot, edit, and create demo videos to help promote their business. A solid demo video is one of the best marketing tools a speaker can have! Erin goes in-depth here to teach you what to include in your own. Take it away, Erin 😉

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A demo video case study: LaMorris Crawford

Meet LaMorris.

LaMorris Crawford is a 35-year-old married man with 4 beautiful children.

Having come from an impoverished childhood, he has overcome incredible odds.

His mother was murdered at the age of 17.

And his uncle was murdered at the age of 17.

His aunt, at the age of 15, caught a brain tumor and died.

And another aunt, at the age of 28, was drugged up by her boyfriend and died.

He never knew his father and was raised by his grandmother.

He has faced A LOT of hard things…but has overcome all of them.

In 2003 LaMorris decided he wanted to start a career in speaking.

Lamorris 2003

For 9 years he HUSTLED…but without a demo video.

In 2012 LaMorris asked me to create another demo video for him.

The first one was him speaking to a camera and the second was him speaking to a group of athletes about character.

Check it out:

Now, get this. The same year I did the demo video for the LaMorris is the same year he got hired by the NFL as Chaplain of the Cincinnati Bengals. THE SAME YEAR!

Having a demo video drastically increased my speaking engagements. Today, I’m an NFL Chaplain and also speak over 200 times a year across the United States.” – LaMorris Crawford

Let’s be honest.

That’s great for LaMorris.

But what about YOU?

How did his demo video lead him to speak for the NFL?

This secret can be broken down into 4 Must-Haves to every great demo video:

  1. Hook me – captivate your audience from the start.
  2. Show me – show yourself speaking in front of an audience.
  3. Prove me – use testimonials to prove your effectiveness.
  4. Close me – close the sale and give a clear call to action.

Easy-peasy-pumpkin-breezy. Now let me show you exactly how, but first I must explain…

The Art of a Demo Video

Over the last 5 years I’ve developed a special interest in demo videos because I believe editing is an art.

The look, the feel, the music, the content…all play a vital role in the END goal.

When you’re creating a demo video, the first thing you need to ask yourself is WHAT IS THE GOAL?

What do you want your audience to DO?

Is it pick up the phone and hire you to speak?

If so…what do they need to FEEL in order to bring them to that action?

Better yet…what do they need to be THINKING ABOUT…in order to FEEL that feeling…and bring them to that action?

That’s why when you’re selecting music…you don’t just pick good music…

You have to pick something that compliments your end goal.

What music is going to get them in a certain frame of mind…to feel a certain thing…to do a certain thing?

And what story are you telling?

What colors are you using to tell your story?

Now this process of think, feel, and do is a formula I use to create amazing demo videos.

The Demo Video Formula for speakers

#1. HOOK ME

The first 60 seconds should showcase you as a speaker in a variety of settings and platforms.

This portion must captivate the viewer and get them interested in who you are and what you have to say.

If you don’t have footage of yourself speaking in different settings…

Open up the video with something that’s going to keep them listening.

For example, in the beginning of LaMorris’s demo video he opens up talking about the most dramatic parts of his childhood…

So shocking, you want to keep listening…

#2. SHOW ME

The next 2-3 minutes should SHOW the viewer HOW you speak and what value you add when you speak.

This should Include powerful snippets from your best talks in this portion.

For example, check out the way youth speaker, LaVell Griffin, makes his main points…

His principles are short, powerful, and to the point:

He does an amazing job of knowing exactly what his walk away points are and communicates them in short snippets that make it easy to capture on camera.

#3. PROVE ME

The next 60 seconds should be testimonials.

These stories are proof that people enjoy hearing you speak and actually learn something when you speak.

The more specific the results, the better.

The answers you receive are determined by the questions you ask.

Here are three questions you can ask for stellar testimonials!

1. What, specifically, was your favorite part about ________ and why?

2. If you were to recommend _________ to your best friend, what would you say?

3. What’s one thing you want to do differently after listening to __________?

#4. CLOSE ME

The last 60 seconds should validate interest in your content and testimonials by showing more clips of you speaking and interacting with people.

I recommend including a website, phone, or email for people to use to book you to speak.

This is the finale.

This is your last chance to get me to act upon how I think and feel.

Once again I want you to take a look at LaMorris’s video.

The last lines in his video are so inspirational.

It purposefully leaves you wanting more.

Notice the text at the END of the video (start at 3min 9sec):

The last lines in his video are so inspirational.

It purposefully leaves you wanting more.

Notice the text at the end of the video…

“Your athletes need it. Your community needs it.”

It makes you think…

What do they need?

Which leads you to answer your own question.

They need Character In Athletes. They need LaMorris Crawford.

What you’re reading confirms what you’re thinking and feeling.

And it drives you to DO something about it.

So let’s review.

Great demo videos are made up of 4 must haves:

  1. Hook me — hook the viewer with something that keeps them watching.
  2. Show me — show the viewer what it’s like to be in the audience when you speak.
  3. Prove me — give testimonials that prove to the viewer that people like you and you make a difference.
  4. Close me — Make the ending so good, so believable, so compelling, that it compels the viewer to respond.

That’s really it.

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Conclusion

So you’ve gotten a sense of what a great speaker demo video can do for you. You’ve learned about how to create a speaker demo video. But perhaps you’d still like to learn more about how to make your video the best possible from a technical and behind-the-scenes standpoint. Is that you? Check out this Speaker Lab podcast episode to learn more. Interested in building a speaking business, but still have questions about how? Quench your thirst for learning more about public speaking by checking out The Speaker Lab blog here.

If you want to learn more about the tech behind speaker demo videos and how to find the right environment for them, we have a great podcast covering all of that and more with TSL founder Grant Baldwin in Episode 40 of our podcast. For a few quick hit FAQ answers about demo videos for speakers, see below!

How much does it cost to shoot or edit a demo video?

As per professional videographer Wes Wages, a normal day rate for a video professional with their own equipment to shoot a video is between $500 and $800. Editing costs are additional to the shoot cost. For editing, a video editor may charge by the hour between $60 to over $150 per hour.

How can you professionally include your contact information for a demo video?

As Grant Baldwin and videographer Wes Wages discuss in The Speaker Lab Podcast on how to create demo videos, you want to make sure that at the end of your video (ideally right after some killer testimonials), you include a call to action. 

This could be as simple as a link to your website booking page. It could also include an email address, phone number, or button that enables people to take the next step.

Remember: The point of creating your demo video is not entertainment. The purpose of it is to use it in order to get hired to speak at event.

What is a “raw file” and why do you need to request a copy of it for your demo video?

According to videographer Wes Wages, whether you use a professional videographer, or edit your video yourself, the “raw file” of one of your live talks is a must to have on hand to ensure control over your demo video. If you’re editing it yourself, you need to start with that video file in order to add on to it. If you are hiring a videographer or video editor, make sure that in your contract with them, you talk about the raw files and ensure you can get those raw files, just make sure you have those on hand just in case anything goes off the wayside.

In addition, if you’re speaking at some type of conference where they’re going to be recording you anyway, always ask for a copy of those raw files with the permission to be able to use it for a demo video.

How do you shoot a demo video yourself?

If you decide to shoot a demo video yourself, you can use a simple iPhone. If you have an iPhone 6 or above, you can shoot in 4K camera quality (720p also can work). Make sure to always record horizontally, not vertically. Make sure you have enough space on your phone for a big file beforehand, and make sure you have the camera stabilized on a tripod so it won’t move. With 4K quality, you can zoom in quite a bit without losing any quality. If you have a second iPhone or recording device, you can use it to record audio, and sync those files together in an editing software.

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