How to Make a Sizzle Reel

How do you show leaders you are capable of speaking to their teams? How do you prove to meeting planners you should be their next conference keynote speaker? How do you illustrate your ability to add tremendous business value, share inspiring stories, and make your audience’s lives better? You make a sizzle reel!

We live in an awesome time to be speakers. Twenty years ago you had to get everything on tape, pay big bucks for editing, produce a VHS tape, pay for postage, find physical addresses for meeting planners, and wait for weeks and weeks to know if your package even arrived.

Now with free video-editing software, quality cameras under $500, and a little thing called the internet we can save money, time, and energy while having a global reach! The time is now for you to start thinking of creating a sizzle reel if you are a speaker.

Here is how you make one:

Start Collecting Videos of You Speaking. I have two ways I do this. I bought a semi-nice handheld camera that I ask someone in the front row to operate. In exchange, I usually give them a product off of my table at the end of the night. In my contract I ask for a copy of all video that is being recorded on sight; sometimes I request my own videographer (which can cost a couple hundred bucks but is well worth it). Doing so gives me plenty of options for camera angles, audio, and is insurance in the event of any technical glitches. Start collecting videos… yesterday!

Collect Videos Testimonials. I messed up in this area in the beginning. I had/have great video testimonials, but I cheaped out by purchasing a camera with poor sound capturing ability. Bad idea! It is worth the extra money to buy the microphone or the camera that collects good sound. Remember, how you present yourself can determine how much you get paid. Low quality equals low prices. High quality equals high prices! These testimonials are crucial for our continued success as speakers.

Those who sign up for the blog today (right-hand corner of this page), I will send you the four best questions you can ask for a video testimonial that illicit the best responses. Those who are already signed up for the blog, I will include them in my monthly newsletter!

Collect Photos of You Speaking. More importantly, collect the photos of you speaking on the spot. Do not wait for the photographer to send them to you or send you a dropbox link. I have waited hours after a speech so the photographer can give me their photos. I would estimate only 1 out of 10 times did I actually receive the photos from a photographer who said, “I will send them later!” or he or she would not send me the ones I actually wanted. If you hire professional photographers, that is a different story; but, often the best photos I get are candid shots by people in the audience or volunteers at the conference.

Use Editing Software or Hire an Editor: I have done both. I use iMovie, and I have also hired an editor. Either method works. It really depends on how much time you have, how awesome your video editing skills are, and how much money you are willing to pay. Skilled video editors are everywhere. Find them using Craigslist, Fiverr, Elance, your local college journalism students, and a long list of professionals in your area. Just Google “Video Editor + City Name” to find an editor near you.

Over the course of the next six to twelve months collect as many videos, photos, and testimonials as you can. Organize them so you can easily find them again when you want to edit the photos yourself or share them with your editor.

Take time to put your sizzle reel together. Share it with your friends, family, community, and clients. Let them see you sizzle on stage and the value you can bring to groups, teams, and leaders around the world! Happy sizzle reel making and as always…

Dream BIG,
Ryan

Ryan Avery

Author Ryan Avery

Hi, my name is Ryan Avery! Every Sunday I share the "notes" I use to build my keynotes. They are personal stories and tangible strategies we can use to improve the way we communicate at work, at home and with ourselves.

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