This simple (yet scary) conference speaking strategy generated $150K in new business | #417

This simple (yet scary) conference speaking strategy generated $150K in new business | #417

Does public speaking freak you out? I’m guessing that’s a YES! But what if you spoke to a group of your ideal clients, and it generated a cool $150,000 in new business, and got you a full-page article in the Wall Street Journal? Would public speaking still freak you out? I’m guessing not! Today’s guest owns a Drone business, is not a professional public speaker, yet has made it his #1 marketing strategy. And it’s working a treat!


In such a new industry we recognised the need to be seen as the leaders and set out on the speaking circuit as our primary form of direct marketing. With 27 conferences in 2017 we avoid the drone shows but have spoken on landfills, forestry, power infrastructure, agriculture, mining, quarrying, renewable energy and many more.

– James Rennie,


There’s loads more tips and insights just like this that will help you build that beautiful business of yours into the empire it deserves to be. Hit the PLAY button above to listen now, or subscribe free to hear the full interview. You’ll also find the full interview transcription below.

If you have questions about speaking at conferences then you’ll get this answers in this interview, including:

  • Why should business owners speak at conferences?
  • Why does speaking at conferences position you as an industry authority?
  • How do you decide what conferences to speak at?
  • How do you get accepted as a speaker at an industry conference?
  • How do you become a proficient public speaker?
  • What else do you need to do to make a conference generate a return?
  • Plus plenty more …

A little more about today’s guest:

James Rennie, is the co-founder of high tech drone business Australian Unmanned Aerial Vehicles – and, whilst he’s not a professional speaker, he makes a motza from speaking at conferences.

You see, five years ago, he and his business partner Andrew, founded one of the first drone service businesses in Australia.

At the time, their marketing was focused around explaining what a drone was, and what could be done with one.

They then realised that as pioneers in a new industry they needed to be seen as the authorities, and set out on the conference speaking circuit as their primary form of direct marketing.

They spoke at 27 conferences last year for industries as diverse as landfill, forestry, power, refrigeration … just to name a few.

So have your pen and paper at the ready, as James explains exactly how he does it, and what it’s lead to.


James Rennie on Speaking at conferences

Here’s what caught my attention from my chat with AUAV’s James Rennie:

  1. I think James’s conference speaking strategy is simple and brilliant … and I’d love you to adopt it. So here’s my challenge to you … go ahead and write a script for a 15-minute presentation that you know would be of benefit to your prospects. Then, go ahead and create a slide deck that supports your script. Practice it 20 times. Then find a conference that you’d love to speak at and get a spot on the stage. Scary, huh?!
  2. I love how James is also embedding himself in the conferences …. Sometimes taking an expo booth, other times sponsoring items like the memory stick. Speaking from stage is one thing, but being part of the overall conference experience is best practice.
  3. I loved the Dodgy Operator of the Month idea that he includes in each newsletter. Sometimes we can forget that as business owners and marketers we must entertain as well as educate and be helpful.


James Rennie Interview Transcription


I started off as a relatively small kid flying drone’s way back when and then left it alone for a long time and then saw an opportunity about five and a half years ago.

Read more

But the marketing gold doesn’t stop there, in this episode you’ll also discover:

  • Another motivated listener shares four marketing strategies that are working for her, and in return I give her a prize or three!
  • And I have a positive response (unlike the negative response I shared a couple of weeks ago) to the interview I did with Instagram superstars – Stephanie and Laura.

Resources mentioned:

Please support these businesses who make this show possible:

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If something in this episode of Australia’s favourite marketing podcast peaked your interest, then let me know by leaving a comment below.

May your marketing be the best marketing.





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