How to Book More Speaking Engagements
Updated: Mar 14
There are two ways to book more speaking engagements: 1) Become an in-demand speaker where you are being sought after; and 2) look in the right places and ask to be booked. The solution for #1 is to already be speaking and be known so you are sought after and the solution to #2 is to know where to look.
Become an In-Demand Speaker
You can guarantee to speak and become known by hosting your own live seminars or workshops and promoting your events. Promote your events to your target market which may include Facebook (either advertising or non-advertising and in groups), LinkedIn on your feed and in groups, Twitter, Instagram, and any others. You can always call your target market, too.
You only need 5 to 10 people at your seminar/events to get started. The key is to have a feedback form at your event and include asking to what groups or companies that they could recommend you. By hosting your own events for several months, you’ll build your name and reputation. This has worked very well for me where I still get asked to speak and am known for my expertise. This can work for you too.
Other ways to get booked and become known are to blog regularly and post your blog in groups on Facebook and LinkedIn. Be sure to always follow the rules when you post in groups. Posting your blog articles in groups establishes your credibility and expertise. I have used this technique very successfully. Both hosting my own events and posting my blog in groups have led to paid speaking gigs.
Don’t overlook emailing your list. I have received requests for paid speaking engagements from people on my list. Similar to blogging and posting, emailing tips in your area of expertise establishes and maintains your credibility and exposure.
Speak every chance you get. Accept any invitations to speak for free locally (or non-local if you want to pay for travel) – just let them know you are “waiving” your fee. Be sure you can have a feedback form to get recommendations for speaking engagements and to fill your programs/get clients.
Where to Look for Speaking Engagements
Knowing where to look and asking for speaking engagements can easily be accomplished when you are clear about where you want to speak. Do you want to do a TED talk? Speak to health care professionals?
The key here is for you to be clear and specific. Once you are, your actions become clear. For example, saying you want to speak at colleges is actually vague. But, if you say you want to speak at a specific college like Berkeley or Harvard, or the University of Houston, then your next steps become really clear. You can then contact Campus Activities and find out who the people are to talk to and what they are looking for.
Clarity is the precursor to action. Clarity gives you the confidence to take the next step. It also gives you the certainty of your path.
Your steps to find speaking opportunities, rather than you being found, is to:
Be clear about who your audience is;
Think in terms of people and events;
Start researching people and events to gather names and info;
Then begin calling on them to ask what their process is to be a speaker; and
Follow their process and then follow up with them.
Let’s say you are clear that you want to speak to marketing managers or experts. Then, you would research marketing conferences.” Whoever your target market is, you can gather names and events three ways"
Research them online, on Google, Twitter, Facebook, etc.;
Visit hotels and see what events are there and connect with the people at the event’s registration desk; and
Subscribe to meeting planner magazines and email lists such as:
Meeting Professionals International (MPI),
Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM),
Destination Management Association (ADMEI),
International Association of Exhibition & Events (IAEE),
Look for names and events and add them to your list for contacting.
Best to do your research and gather names and info one day and then begin your calling. That way you can go into “beast mode” and a laser focus on your research. At the same time, always be on the lookout for events where you want to speak and the people who can book and/or hire you. Keep adding them to your list to contact.
Related: How to Become a Keynote Speaker