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  • Writer's pictureChristine Myers Certified VA

How to Get Speaking Engagements ( Part 3)

Speaking Engagement

In the first two parts of this series, we talked about the foundational basics of speaking engagements as well as where to speak. Here are a few more tips to keep in mind.

Speaking Engagements

You’ll often speak for free before you speak for a fee.

If you’ve never really spoken much and you don’t have a massive platform already, there’s a good chance you won’t get paid for many of the times you speak. That’s not to say you’ll never get paid, but to get your foot in the door, you’ll often be speaking for free. Remember, you’re trying to build a relationship with the decision maker, so if you can present an insanely good workshop at their conference for free one year, there’s a better shot at getting paid the next year.

Know what speakers get paid for

Just because you’re an expert on a topic doesn’t mean people will pay for it. There are lots of topics that work well as a free workshop but the event planner wouldn’t pay you to talk about. If you notice, most keynote speakers talk about broad topics that most everyone in the audience can connect with. But the workshops or breakout sessions are generally on more niche subjects that appeal to narrower groups of people. As a general rule, keynote speakers are paid and workshop presenters are not (unless that presenter is a “name” in that space, then maybe).

In the corporation/association world, speakers generally get paid for things that tangibly affect the bottom line. If you can help improve sales, customer service or company morale, you can get paid. If you want to talk about how QuickBooks can make accounting more fun…good luck.

Your best marketing is a great presentation

Marketing for a speaker is telling someone what to think about you until you show up and open your mouth. Someone who is a good marketer but a poor speaker can get booked initially but that won’t last. With any service, you still have to be able to deliver. If you’re good, word travels.

One of the best ways to get booked is to get other people to see you live – when you are speaking somewhere, ask yourself who is in the area (or at the conference) that has the potential to book me for something else? If you can get them in the room and deliver a great presentation, there’s a good chance they’ll book you in the future. Why? Look back at the previous point…your best marketing is a great presentation. So, make sure you pack the room with potential decision makers!

Here’s one final thing to remember…. relationships take time. Getting to speak (and preferably paid) is not an overnight process. It’s a slow growth process that takes time. Don’t rush that process.

If you’re committed to not only the craft of speaking but also the marketing and hustle it takes to get started, you can become a great (and frequently booked) speaker!

Taken from the Blog of Grant Baldwin

Grant Baldwin is a motivational speaker, podcaster, author and entrepreneur. He travels and speaks at conferences, corporations, colleges and other events. Plus, hosts The Speaker Lab Podcast and helps other speakers start, build and grow their business. Find out more about Grant at

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