How To Make A TOP Speaker Show Reel With EXAMPLES of the BEST
by David Staughton CSP CCEO, Keynote Speaker on Business Growth & ‘Growth Habits’ and Expert on Small Business
Making better Speaker Videos & Speaker Show Reels and then getting them found on Youtube are the BIGGEST OPPORTUNITIES for ANY Keynote or Conference Speaker in 2020.
- Would you like to know how to make a better Speaker Showreel?
- Need to know what elements you need for a great Showreel?
- Want to know which speakers have the BEST Speaker Showreels?
Then you have found the right blog. The Ultimate Guide to the BEST Speaker Showreels and how to make them.
YES! – “I Know My Speaker Reel SUCKS”
MY SHOWREEL CONFESSION – My Speaker Show Reel was made in 2012 is very OLD and BADLY in need of an update. It has hardly had ANY views (probably a good thing) and NEVER had any attention from me about being found on the Web. It was buried on my website.
When it was created and uploaded in 2012, I was very proud of at least having a speaker showreel. The only feedback I had was from a friendly bureau consultant who said – “that’s NOT the REAL you Dave”. I was so devastated I didn’t pay much attention to my videos for years.
Big Mistake. BIG, BIG MISTAKE!
Now 8 years later I have been working on this “Showreel Research Project” to create the ULTIMATE Speaker Showreel.
When I started I didn’t know much about Speaker Videos and I didn’t even like watching myself on a Video.
So I asked lots of Speakers, PCOs & Video experts for their advice. What makes a Great Speaker Showreel?
Having looked recently at LOTS of speaker videos, I found that nearly ALL the videos on Youtube could do with some improvement AND they were really hard to find as they are NOT well tagged or described so they can be easily found (they have BAD SEO tags).
Clearly, making Video Speaker Showreels has been a LOW priority for many speakers and their Video SEO is almost non-existent.
What a HUGE OPPORTUNITY to get found and impress more buyers so speaker can get booked!
This Blog shares my learnings about Speaker Showreels & Videos – WATCH THIS SPACE – IT’S VIDEO GAME ON!
What is a Speaker Showreel?
A speaker showreel is a short video clip that provides an overview of your speaking ability and experience. Typically, a short Showreel is 2 to 5 mins long and a longer one can be up to 5 to 10 mins.
Most people only watch for the first 10 to 45 seconds – so the start better be good enough to keep them watching more. If you are being considered for final selection, buyers may watch the whole thing and look for more of your videos online.
Mostly buyers want to AT LEAST see some footage of you actually speaking on a stage to a real audience. As a bonus they would like to hear some of your best content and see you engage the audience.
What else can a Speaker Showreel be known as?
A speaker showreel may also be known by buyers and speakers as a
- Speaker Demo Reel
- Speaker Reel
- Speaker Sizzle Reel (mostly in USA)
- Speaker Preview Reel
- Speaker Highlight Reel
It is ESSENTIAL to use at least some of these different search phrases when uploading your video to Youtube or Vimeo and your website pages. Different buyers use different search terms to find them
Do you need an AMAZING Speaker Show Reel?
YES! – As part of my voluntary role as a talent scout for Speaker Bureaus and PCOs , I have watched hundreds of speaker reels and lots of video footage of speakers. Some are awesome, some are awful.
A Speaker Show Reel or Demo Reel is an ESSENTIAL marketing tool and the #1 tool for selection by buyers who have NOT seen you live on stage.
Speaker Buyers will look at your speaker reel and you may be included or excluded from the upcoming gig based on the content and style of your reel. The better your reel, the more you’ll likely you are to get hired and the more you’ll earn.
Every speaker MUST assemble, produce and distribute the best possible speaker show reel in order to maximise chances of getting the best speaking gigs and charging higher fees..
Who Is The Likely Target Audience For Your Speaker Reel ?
Always Know Your Target Buyer – the person who will look at your showreel – this can include:
- A Speaker Bureau Consultant (Professional brand and contacts refer back to bureau)
- A Professional Conference Organiser (look Great and don’t make ME look bad)
- A high-level Decision Maker – CEO or Manager (wants credibility, low risk and be quick about it)
- Internal Conference Organiser – EA, PA, (wants you to show your Emotions)
- A Selection committee member (Loves your Stories and Humour)
Your Speaker Reel GOAL is to get the speaker buyers EXCITED about you! – Get into their “consideration set” for their upcoming events
What is Needed To Make A Great Speaker Showreel?
- Decide Your Strategic Brand elements – Targets, Logos, Taglines, Colours and Style guide
- Your Topics and Speaking themes
- Great Footage from at least 1-3 Speaking Events
- “B-Roll” Audience Footage – laughing and engaging
- Great Client Testimonials – preferably on video
- Any Footage from TV or Media appearances you did
- Your Ideas for on-brand Graphics
- Music that suits your style
- NOTE – A Speaker Showreel does NOT need to have subtitles or captions as it is unlikely to be watched without sound. Your other videos for Social Media should have subtitles.
What do you do if you don’t yet have all the ELEMENTS of a GREAT SHOWREEL?
Every speaker has to start somewhere and older speakers have to update their material regularly.
It can be HARD to assemble a great speaker showreel if you don’t have much recent footage of you speaking on bigger platforms and stages.
Make the most of what you already have – use new photo shoots, collect past client testimonials, write or design a book. At least get one or two professionally filmed big stage events done.
It is also harder for newer speakers that have NOT yet picked a speaking niche and do NOT have the stellar client list, testimonials, best selling books and media appearance to prove their credentials.
Do the BEST you can with what you already have!
Do’s And Don’ts Of Speaker Reels – A CHECKLIST for a Speaker Reel Checklist
Here is what I look for in a showreel. What do you look for?
- A Fast Start Video that Grabs – NOT a long slow graphic logo introduction
- Amazing ‘on Brand’ Music – Copyright Free and suiting your style – NOT “Annoying music”
- Great Narration or Voiceover – NOT a boring monotone voice
- Shows a HIGHLY engaged audience – NOT a Bored and Disinterested Audience
- Interacting with Audience – NOT looking at the floor of the stage or at the screen
- Great footage of the speaker on a Big Stage – NOT in a Small room or a presentation on a flat floor
- Great sound & lighting – NOT bad sound or lighting
- Quality speaker content with clips of profound messages and mantras
- Keep it punchy & shortish and put the BEST material in the first 10 secs and first 1 min
- Your Name and positioning statement should be obvious – front, middle and end of reel
- Make use of every part of the screen to show messages in the foreground and background
- The title and description of the video are correct and help the video be found online
SEVEN Essential Elements For A Speaker Reel – In Order
- VIDEO INTRO – Your Qualifications & Experience
- Introduction or description by credible client
- A Voice over or you positioning yourself “I’m ….. I help …..”
- Graphic of your name, tagline and logo
- A Title – “International Conference Speaker”, Australia’s # 1 …..
- PROOF – Demonstrate Your Topic Expertise
- Why should they choose you?
- Your Positioning tagline and topics you cover
- Provide Proof and Credibility – Books, As seen TV/Media,
- Use Vanity Stats – X countries, Y Audiences, Z attendees
- The BENEFITS for your audience – what value do you offer? ROI stats?
- ON STAGE – Must Show Great Examples Of Your Stage Presentation (This Is Essential)
- Sample footage of you speaking on a stage – the more the better
- Using the right size speaking stages – medium 100 or huge 1000+
- Avoid a presentation delivered on a floor in a small room)
- They are Looking for you engaging and entertaining the audience
- Making Profound Statements in sound bites
- Demonstrate some humour
- CRED – Credible Testimonials From Your Real Clients
- Quoted text or Video footage
- Preferably CEO or BIG name testimonial– NOT the cleaner or some random person!
- AUDIENCE REACTIONS – Audience Footage that Shows engagement
- Show the Audience reacting to your jokes and presentation (NOT looking bored or checking phones)
- Are they Applauding? Laughing? Doing Activities? Giving you a Standing ovation? Activities?
- It is completely UNETHICAL to show shots of someone else’s audience laughing or giving a standing ovation. Use your own audience footage and do NOT use fake video photoshop.
- B-ROLL – Use B-Roll Footage To Boost Excitement and Sense of place
- Wide Angle Shots , Crowd Shots,
- Audience interaction Shots,
- Build up the “Behind the Scenes” excitement
- Demonstrate the quality of your presentation – screen graphics
- WRAP UP with Call To Action And Contact Details
- Show your contact details at the end of the Video
- Some bureaus would like THEIR contact details at the end
How To Promote Your Speaker Reel & Speaker Kit
Once you have made a great speaker showreel the next task is to distribute it widely
- Show it off – Put the video on the FRONT PAGE of your website (Duh!)
- Upload to Vimeo and Youtube using the right SEO tags
- Post your showreel on LinkedIn Pulse
- Post on your Social Media
- Upload your videos to Speaker Directory sites like E-Speakers etc
- Provide your videos to Speakers Bureaus in their preferred format (untagged?)
- Click for A GREAT EXAMPLE of How to promote your showreel by Graeme Cowan
How Much Does A Speaker’s Showreel Cost to Make?
You can spend $1k to $10k+ on making a speaker reel or customised demo reel to promote your speaking and keynotes. Most good speakers spend on average $2.5k to $5k on a reel.
A good rule of thumb is to spend as much on a showreel as you would like to get from your keynote.
- Spend $5k on making a showreel – charge a $5k speaker fee
- Spend $10k on making a showreel – charge a $10k speaker fee
It is probably better NOT to use a showreel than to send someone just badly shot mobile footage.
A Speaker Show Reel is without doubt your BEST Sales tool so don’t be a cheapskate.
How Long Should A Speaker Show Reel Last?
Every showreel should have an expiry date and needs to be replaced regularly.
You can DATE your showreel with the year date “2020 Speaker Show reel for (Speaker)” and should update it ASAP or at least annually with better footage, testimonials and hot topics.
You should also replace or get rid of any OLD speaker showreels still online.
A “2012 Speaker Showreel” is NOT doing your brand any good. Get them replaced on bureau sites too.
Should you upload your Videos to Youtube or Vimeo?
YES! Both! – Youtube is the second biggest search engine in the world. But when buyers watch your video on Youtube, they are offered OTHER speaker and video alternatives which may not be good for you.
- Upload to both. Create a Youtube Channel and do some SEO on your videos to get found. Use your best speaker and speaker reel keywords and fill in the video descriptions in full.
- Upload to Vimeo and Embed the Vimeo link in your website. Distribute your Videos directly to buyers and bureaus via Vimeo.
BEST Australian Speaker Show Reels found on Youtube
Big Dave’s list of the BEST EXAMPLES of Australian Speaker Show Reels
- MATT CHURCH 2020 Showreel – LEADERSHIP EXPERT and founder of THOUGHT LEADERS
- PETER BAINES Showreel – A great Showreel uploaded on Vimeo
- KEITH ABRAHAM Showreel – from 2018
- JANE ANDERSON Showreel – Well produced video showreel
- AMANDA GORE Showreel – Wow!
- More awesome examples wanted!
MOST POPULAR Australian Speaker Show Reels found on Youtube
These videos have had many THOUSANDS of views – they are tagged properly and have been promoted well online. Some of them have been uploaded long ago.
- TROY HAZARD Promo Showreel – an old one with LOTS of views
- ERIC BAILEY Showreel
- NILS VESK Showreel
- KAREN JAKOBSEN – GPS GIRL Showreel
- SAROO BRIERLEY – LION MOVIE Showreel
- MICHAEL CROSSLAND – INPIRATIONAL SPEAKER
- SAM CAWTHORN Showreel – The Speakers Institute
- More Popular speaker showreels wanted!
BEST Virtual Speaker Showreels
- David Avrin USA – https://youtu.be/GjUnWfY5Sqg
Other Australian Show Reels – VIEW Big Dave’s Speaker Show Reels Playlists
I have curated Youtube playlists of other Australian Speaker Showreels – WATCH THESE
(click on the little arrow on the right under the videos to show the BIG list of Videos in the playlist)
- Youtube PLAYLIST of Australian Speaker Showreels
- Youtube PLAYLIST of Australian Motivational Speaker Showreels
BEST USA/UK Speaker Show Reels found on Youtube
- MEL ROBBINS – USA Speaker Showreel
- ERIK WAHL – USA Speaker Showreel
- RYAN ESTIS – USA Speaker Showreel
- GARY VEE USA Speaker Showreel
- BEN NEMTIN USA Speaker Showreel
- JASON JENNINGS USA Speaker Showreel
- RICHARD McCANN UK Speaker Showreel
Other Overseas Show Reels – Big Dave’s Speaker Show Reels Playlists
I have curated Youtube playlists of other US, UK & World Speaker Showreels – WATCH THESE
(click on the little arrow on the right under the videos to show the BIG list of Videos in the playlist)
- Youtube PLAYLIST of Speaker Showreels in USA
- Youtube PLAYLIST of Speaker Showreels in UK
- Youtube PLAYLIST of Speaker Showreels PLAYLIST in The Rest of the World
RESOURCES for MAKING THE BEST SPEAKER SHOW REELS
Read My Other Blog – Who are the BEST VIDEO EXPERTS & TOOLS to make Conference Videos for Speakers?
Best Australian VIDEO Producers To Make Awesome Speaker Show Reels
- Cristian Trujillo – CreativeCreations.tv – Syd, NSW
- Zahrina Robertson – Syd, NSW – Speaker Reels for 6 years
- Joyce Ong – New Heights Media Syd NSW
- Melinda Hird Syd, NSW – Speaker Video Specialist – Works with Leanne Christie from Ovations
- Claire Stretch NSW – Video maker for Speakers and L&D trainers– did Michelle Pascoe speaker showreel
- Cameron “Cam” Fink – Melb, VIC – Awesome Video expert for Thought Leaders
- Loved Locked Loaded – Syd, NSW Kelsey & Jen directed many of the great Ode Management Speaker Showreels
- David Dixon – the Rhetoric VIC – Made Jason Fox and Mykel Dixon videos
- Kerrin Smith – QLD Made Jane Anderson Showreel
- Dave Smyth @ The Studio Door Creative – NSW
- Maximus Retro Melb, VIC– Made Yvonne Adele & Mark Garbelotto and other speaker showreels
- Gary Hegedus – Melb, VIC– Did many of the PSA Vic Speakers Showreels (Semi-Retired now)
Best USA Video Producers To Make Awesome Speaker Show Reels
- Matt Bauer Video for Speakers Motivational Media Monument, Colorado USA
- Video Narrative – did Laurie Guest Showreel
- BPope Productions – Nth Carolina
- Ed Primeau – Primeau Productions
Online “How To Videos” of How to Create a GREAT Speaker Show Reels
By VIDEO NARRATIVE
- How to create a powerful speaker demo reel by Video Narrative
- How to create an Effective Speaker demo reel by Video Narrative
By SPEAKING LIFESTYLE
By ED PRIMEAU
By BRAD MONTGOMERY
Best Online Articles on Making Great Speaker Showreels
- How to Make a Sizzle Reel Sizzle by Bill Sherman
- What all Keynote Speakers Should Have in their Demo Reels – by Speakers Bureau Big Speak USA
- How to Make a Sizzle Reel by Speaker Ryan Avery
- Sizzle Reels – What Speakers Need to Know by Pibworth
YOUR SPEAKER SHOW REEL FEEDBACK IS WELCOME
– Let’s Start the Better Speaker Video Revolution
This BLOG is a “work in progress” as a service for Speakers, Bureaus and Conference Organisers in the Meetings & Events industry. If you have ANY ideas or suggestions for other great speaker showreels for inclusion in this blog or playlists please contact me.
If you would like to BOOK any of these speakers for your conference – please contact your friendly speaker bureau consultant