Driving peak performance for CEOs and their boards, Westgate Executive Branding Offers Premier Advisory Services & Personal Branding Consulting for High-Profile Leaders. About Maureen—CEO & Founder.
Build a valuable corporate asset -- your CEO Brand through a visibility campaign.
As the CEO of your organization, speaking for international audiences can feel daunting, but not when you have a plan and decision-making framework. Use our framework to decide where to speak and reduce effort while optimizing your effectiveness (and your reputation).
At Westgate, our clients often ask us for customizable templates and frameworks for planning a speaking campaign, so I’ve created a presentation template and decision-making framework and am sharing it with you. And the bonus is that the sample included in the template is based on a real client’s situation (all identifying information is fictionalized to protect the client’s identity).
Corporate & personal brand blend
The trend toward personal and corporate identity is blending. CEOs are more visible today in the media. Customers are responding. According to the PWC 2020 Corporate Directors Survey, corporate reputation and personal reputation are merging.
For directors, board service can go well beyond just fulfilling a professional duty. Many feel a strong connection to the company, associating their personal brand with that of the company. They see the company’s governance decisions and major events as a reflection of themselves.
Most directors say that issues like disclosing a material weakness (76%) or going through a recent reputational crisis (72%) reflect negatively on the board members themselves. These are issues that perhaps the board may feel some responsibility for preventing.
With directors associating their own reputation with that of the company they serve, it’s clear that the connection is strong. (Source: PWC 2020 Corporate Directors Survey).
Your CEO visibility campaign
A visibility campaign can deliver excellent value, such as opening doors to new investors, suppliers, and customers. Your brand is also an asset that is attractive to corporate and private boards. By speaking in front of the right audiences, you will be noticed and by communicating your message effectively, you are positioning yourself for new opportunities. Let the speaking engagement do the heavy lifting for you.
Know your audience before planning your message
Conduct deep due diligence on your audience in advance. The insights you learn from this research will pay dividends when you hit the audience’s hotspot. Audience sentiment research will amplify your effectiveness. If you’re unsure where to look for this information, try the annual report and other SEC filings, MD&A, company press releases, Dun & Bradstreet, Google searches, Reddit posts and Amazon book reviews. With these insights you will customize your already created message (see below).
Repurpose your intellectual property
When you prepare a signature presentation (signature story) that showcases your unique perspective, methodology, or proprietary process, you can customize the content for multiple formats such as podcasts, keynotes, dinner talks, roundtables, media interviews, and other types of formats. You will save energy and time by staying close to your unique body of knowledge when possible.
Our clients create their signature story(ies) to demonstrate their unique approach to a problem. Using a use case based on their results, we use that story to create a platform for the presentation. While the use case and resulting metrics will remain consistent, the signature story is then customized for the audience. Creating signature presentations that are customizable will save you vast amounts of time and enable you to accept more speaking engagements each quarter.
Always be marketing your personal brand
Customize to each audience very carefully
You must know your audience intimately before you prepare your message.
Determine your reason for presenting
Speaking publicly may be initiated by invitation, application, paid, and unpaid (refer to Sam Horn’s “Get Paid to Speak”). Regardless of your reason, always take the opportunity to deliver your message.
Our visibility model
Brand building is an ongoing strategy and taking an intentional and planned approach can produce excellent results for piquing the interest of the right people.
As a CEO candidate, an entrepreneur seeking investors, or a board-seeking candidate, speaking in front of audiences who represent your target is the most effective strategy to get attention from decision-makers. With your signature story, you can be highly effective in front of the right audience. Imagine the time saved by speaking in front of a group of ideal business leaders at once.
Speaking at industry events for your peers is a great way to build your brand and contribute to the industry. Building your brand internally will amplify your visibility with the board, investors, suppliers, shareholders, employees, and customers.
Adam (a pseudonym) is a technology leader and was a coder in the early days of artificial intelligence (AI). As a sought-after product development expert, he often speaks at industry conferences on a specific topic he has refined over the years. Technology changes rapidly, but his unique approach to integrating products and bringing teams together effectively remains the same.
He has another unique approach to brand building. He speaks at customer industry conferences serving as a brand ambassador for his current organization while “standing out” with his personal brand.
To help him stand out, he has named his methodology T-Rex Shando (another pseudonym) to make his methodology memorable. T-Rex provokes the image of the fearless and dangerous dinosaur, and Shando represents a childhood lake house where he has fond memories. Audiences remember his unique name and methodology and he stands out among his peers. T-Rex Shando begs the question… “what does the name mean?”
Adam has never had to search for a job. The offers come directly to him due to his speaking engagements—not by chance but by design.
Your brand speaks for you when you’re not in the room. Personal branding is a powerful approach to getting noticed and living your values because the messaging, approach, and signature story are yours alone.
Stand out in the global marketplace with
Westgate's 90-Day Brand Program
Designed for both corporate and private clients, the 90-Day Brand… (describe). Stand out in your industry with a personal brand that speaks for you when you’re not in the room. Whether you’re a corporate director, CEO, CEO candidate, or private equity portfolio company, or an entrepreneur seeking your first investor, the 90-Day Brand is an investment with a long shelf life and return on investment.
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