Part One in a Series

Whether you’re a new or experienced speaker, presenter, or video/podcast broadcaster, you’re a business owner — promotion is key to more work and earnings. You shouldn’t assume the event planner can’t or won’t promote your presentation. Having said that, you also shouldn’t assume they know how you want to be promoted, either.

I’ve spent time over the past two weeks (mid-late April 2022) helping Toastmasters District 3 improve their visibility on both their Facebook and Instagram pages. Their Annual Spring Conference is May 20-21, 2022, and they wanted to draw more awareness and attention to their in-person and virtual presenters.

What I found both interesting and shocking is that some of the photos sent to us were both low-resolution AND small in size; in this group, the size ranged from 200px X 200px to 450px X 400px. Not awful, you might think, unless you post it directly to social media; then, because the platforms are programmed this way, when you post the small size the platform will size it up to the optimum size for that platform. In the case of Facebook, as of today’s post this size is now 940px X 788px.

Now THAT’S a real problem!

Why Is This A Problem?

I’ve posted in several articles you should start with the largest possible size and a high-resolution format. Why?  By not doing this, you are:

  • running a large risk your photo will become very pixelated (choppy-looking), and I guarantee THIS WILL HAPPEN;
  • limiting your event planner’s or marketing director’s ability to effectively market you;
  • assuming YOU know better how to market yourself for this event vs. the event planner or marketing director;
  • risking the audience’s belief that you didn’t care about your appearance and maybe your presentation isn’t all that great = low to zero attendance.

No matter how good your breakfast or lunchtime fare for your presentation is, you CANNOT escape the optic in bullet #4. Visuals and behavior go hand-in-hand. By not controlling the visual appearance, you can nearly guarantee the behavior is to not attend.

What If The Graphics Suck?

Honestly, you can only do so much to control how everything looks and sounds for your marketing when someone else is promoting you, especially as a speaker. You certainly don’t want the reputation of a control freak — that will make it harder to land jobs when word gets out you’re difficult to work with!

By emailing the event planner or marketing director your highest resolution photo at a large enough pixel size, you significantly minimize the risk of looking like you didn’t care. How the event planner or marketing director put the visual together is up to their branding guidelines and size requirements; that’s out of your control, so don’t sweat it.

In the case of one of these presenters, there had an issue with verbiage. Nothing hugely wrong, but it wasn’t well-received, either. I’ll cover that in the next article as well as a few tips to minimize any potential issues that may conflict with your own marketing.

Quick Tips For Visuals To Promote Your Presentation

  1. Head Shot #1. Never assume the event planner needs a certain size or resolution of your head shot. Ask. If they don’t know what they need, email a photo that’s high-resolution (300dpi) and at least 5” x 7”.
  2. Head Shot #2. Think of your head shot as a mug shot, similar to what you would see in a newspaper or magazine. Hire a professional to help you.
  3. Colors. You may not have any control over this at all. As stated above, colors and fonts largely depend on the branding guidelines of the organization. You absolutely can let them know what your preferences are, including secondary preferences, but please don’t be offended if the organization sends a polite “thank you but no thank you” note.
  4. Graphic Size. You may find your head shot is either much smaller or larger than you would have expected. Some organizations may make a “one size fits all” to use on as many of the social media platforms as possible without recreating the wheel, to save them time. Recently (around April 22nd) Facebook updated its optimum image post size to 940px X 788px. The event planner may or may not know this, and I wouldn’t assume they do. Working with the event planner or marketing director will help ensure the optimum image size is used on each platform.
  5. Platforms. What will the event planner use to promote your presentation? Inter-office email? Snail mail? Press/Media release? Social media? If this choice, which platforms? This can’t be taken for granted — you should know what kind of audience awareness they plan to generate to help you plan on your engagement. For example, if the event planner or marketing director tags your Facebook profile or page in their promotion post, you want to let them know which one (or neither) to tag and how. If you’re not on Facebook platform, they can’t tag you. Suppose they use a platform you’re unfamiliar with? You’ll want to find out what their audience demographics on that platform are.
  6. Introduction. A well-written introduction can raise your audience’s expectations and anticipation; a half-written introduction can lower your audience’s expectations and actually encourage them NOT to attend. Keep it in the first person with positive action words. Again, I’ll go into more detail in the next article.

An Easy Way To Create Graphics And Check Sizes

For some of our clients’ online visuals, I use Canva instead of Adobe. Canva keeps the sizes of the social media graphics up-to-date (they have the latest Facebook image post size!) so you don’t have to guess what’s going to change next. It also makes it super easy to share files I’ve made with our clients for review and approval.

For additional resources, I recommend checking with Hubspot, Social Media Today, and Social Media Examiner — solid social media resources.

Check back for additional articles on this topic. If you have a specific question regarding promotion, send it to us and we’ll include it in our next article.

Be strategic. Be visible. Be found.


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  • Lisa Raymond

    Lisa Raymond is the owner and creative genius of Visibly Media. She has been in graphic and website design since 1997, social media management & marketing since 2007, married over 30 years, 4 children, 4 grandbabies, and Queen in her organized realm of chaos! Lisa & Visibly Media do not use any AI in the creation of marketing strategies, posts, and graphics.

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