What makes a good speaker showreel?

Only 5% of professional speakers will have a speaker showreel, so when speakers ask us “How can I stand out?” — the answer is always ‘create an awesome showreel!’

The disappointment is when people who do have a showreel, upload it to our #showreelspotlight post in our Connection Hub FB group — and it really doesn’t do them any favours. The quality is often poor, it doesn’t highlight their key messages, style, category of speaker & many of them don’t even contain footage of them speaking on stage (but rather interviews & testimonials from clients)

So, let’s change that! We want to teach you where & how to use your showreel and what it should contain.

You might be wondering what a showreel is or whether it’s still relevant in today’s world of FB lives

showreel (also known as a demo reel or sizzle reel) is a short piece of video or film footage showcasing a speakers work.

It’s job is to position you as an expert, demonstrate your speaking skills and entice the events booker to learn more about you and eventually book you to speak. Just like a film trailer does when .

So why are speaking showreels important?

  • If someone wants to book you for you a gig or manage you as an agent — they often don’t have time to see you speak so this gives them a taster on your ability & style
  • It can be used on your fb page cover video / on your website / media pack
  • They act as credibility pieces (including testimonials / awards etc.)

N.B if you are using the showreel on your website/social media then have the Call To Action at the end to contact you directly to book. If you are sending the showreel to an agent — don’t have this information on the showreel as they’ll want people to book via their services not your website.

What content should Showreels contain?

  • Have someone introduce you upfront outlining what topic you speak on and your credibility in this field
  • They need to demonstrate you SPEAKING in our opinion on at least 3 different stages — the bigger the audience the better! Get the audience in shot to illustrate this & if you are on a TEDx stage get this logo in shot. When filming at events you’ll need to either include gaining video/photography rights in your speaker contract or get the organisers to sign a waiver for you to use the footage in your marketing.
  • Include your key messages in the audio — what are you known for, what’s your USP?
  • Include written or video testimonials from people in the audience or bookers or logo’s of past clients / stages. Do not include too much of these as the showreel should predominately be demonstrating your skill on stage.
  • Get your style across… if you are funny, geeky, use props etc. give them a flavour of what to expect from you
  • Have any industry awards/achievements mentioned in text
  • You could have a small section with you talking about your passion/purpose & why you speak on your content in an interview style
  • A call to action on how to connect and book you as a speaker

Some key points to consider:

  • Have some background music playing (besound.com royalty free music)
  • Get HIGH Quality video & audio footage — film in HD. Speak to AV team at the event to get recording from Mic used. If you are filming yourself on a smart phone we recommend using a Hey Mic Bluetooth microphone.
  • Get footage from all angles (close up, back of the event illustrating size of audience, shot with slides / props)
  • The showreel should be no longer than 3–5 minutes

Start Taking Action To Create Your Showreel To Stand Out As A Speaker

  1. Storyboard out your showreel so you can ensure you have the right footage. This includes your key messages, what you want your testimonials to say, what music / style / theme do you want to portray.
  2. Film everything! If you need to do some free gigs to get some footage then this is the first step.

If you have a showreel please put the link in the comments to inspire others. I will also be putting some examples in the comments — and even these aren’t perfect I my opinion. A couple are too long & some contain bad quality footage — but they provide a good example of some of the points we are going to cover.

Here are some examples we like to get your creative juices flowing and you can find these speakers in our FB group The Connection Hub

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