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Seven Personal Branding Tips

for Speakers

John Purkiss, Author, "Brand You."

By John Purkiss, Author, "Brand You."

Now more than ever it is important that your personal brand authentically represents your unique gifts and talents and connects at a heart level. These 7 quick tips will help you connect others to the story of your brand and your mission.

  1. Identify your speaker archetype and how you serve other people.

    Let me ask you the questions below. The names in brackets are the 12 archetypes used in personal branding. One or more of them may resonate to help you focus on your unique role:

  • Do you help others and protect them from harm? (The Caregiver)

  • Do you feel compelled to create and innovate? (The Creator)

  • Do you (help to) explore and discover, inwardly and/or in the world around you? (The Explorer)

  • Do you act courageously to put things right? (The Hero)

  • Do you (help others to) seek purity, goodness and happiness? (The Innocent)

  • Do you (help others to) have a good time, while perhaps conveying a serious message? (The Jester)

  • Do you (help others to) find and give love and/or sensual pleasure? (The Lover)

  • Do you (help to) transform situations and/or people? (The Magician)

  • Are you OK as you are? Do you (help people to) connect with others? (The Ordinary Guy/Girl)

  • Do you rebel and break the rules? (The Outlaw)

  • Do you help people to understand their world? (The Sage)

2. Set up a personal website which conveys how you serve others. Make it easy for someone who is looking for a speaker to find everything they want to know about you in one place. This includes videos on YouTube, your blog, Facebook fan page, LinkedIn page, Twitter page, contact details etc. (My website is at

3. Find out about your audience and prepare a talk that will help them. What are their wants, needs and prejudices? Don’t worry about your wants and needs – the cosmos will take care of those.

4. Arrive early and meet members of the audience who arrive early. Ask them questions and listen carefully. Exchange business cards with them. Use their first names if they interact with you during your talk.

5. Before you give your talk, practise mindfulness for a minute or two. Place your attention on your breath as it flows in and out. Feel the weight of your feet on the floor. Listen as far as possible into the distance. Being present will give you presence.

6. During your talk, focus all your attention on helping your audience – you will forget yourself. Don’t worry about anyone who folds their arms, looks bored or walks out. Give all your attention to those who are listening to you carefully.

7. At the end of your talk, make it easy for people to remember you and contact you. Take plenty of business cards. If appropriate, project a slide at the end with your name, photograph and web address.

John studied economics at Cambridge University and has an MBA from INSEAD, where he was awarded the Henry Ford II Prize. He began his career in banking and management consultancy, and has invested in several high-growth companies. John was a partner with Heidrick & Struggles prior to co-founding Purkiss&Company, where he recruits chief executives, finance directors and other board members. He has lived and worked in France, Belgium and the USA. John speaks French, German and Spanish.

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