How to get booked for speaking engagements

This is probably one of our most commonly asked questions! And there is some prep work that needs to happen before you even get the gig.

So in this blog not only do we help you with the prep work we also give you a directory of over 200 stages to speak on to help you start that prospecting process!

We all want opportunities to influence and impact through speaking!

There are 2 different types of speaking gigs; promotional & paid engagements and they have completely different strategies to obtain them.

So we are mainly focusing on promotional speaking gigs in this blog as this is where many people have to start, but we do have training on paid speaking gigs in our Facebook group The Connection Hub.

Before you start researching how & where to speak on stages, it’s important to understand WHY you are doing promotional speaking engagements:

– To create footage for a speaker showreel. A key asset to have as a profession paid speaker is Speaker Showreel, so you might want to get high quality recorded footage by offering a promotional engagement to your ideal audience.

– To increase your reach & database. This is the most popular reason for speakers who have got a business model that contains products and you use speaking as your marketing tool. It’s important that you are selective of these engagements to ensure that they are with your ideal avatar and that you have a compelling lead magnet or offer to get them into your database, with a follow up process that converts! You can use something like to do this where you provide them with text a number that they send a text to & go straight into your CRM software & a funnel.

– You might be new to your speaking career and you want to test your material and get feedback, and also get a feel for your skills and confidence in your delivery

– You might have a call to action at the end of your keynote that is promoting a product or service. So even though you don’t get paid to speak, you do earn money from the sales made as a direct result.

If you know why you should be doing some promotional speaking the next step is discovering where to find other people’s stages and how to get those gigs.

Are you speaking to the right crowd?

Step 1: Know your audience. Who do you want to serve?

What are the problems that you can solve for them? What would you cover in a keynote that inspires & educates them? What are they typing into google to look for answers on?

Once you identify these points you can search for events, conferences, expos that cater for this audience & their needs.

For example if your audience are entrepreneurs who are looking for marketing advice on how to build their following on social media, some key words / phrases that you can search for are ‘business growth for entrepreneurs, marketing conferences, social media events for SMEs…. And you’ll get search results like The Business Growth Show, IDigital conference, B2C Marketing expo etc.

Step 2: Do your research

Who have they had speak before? Who is the events manager? What size audience do they have? Where Is it held? How often does it take place?

If you can attend the event before you approach them about speaking at it, so you can give first-hand advice on why you know their audience will benefit.

How can you offer something that they’ve not had before or can serve their audience & their needs?

Step 3: Contact the event organiser. The best first type of contact is a call.

Tell them how you came across the event & enquire if they are looking for speakers for the next event. Discover the application process of applying but also build some rapport up with the event organiser. Ask them what they would like from a speaker, what topics are they looking for as you might be able to refer other people too. Ask whether they’ve had people speak on your topic before & how the audience reacted to the topic. Find out who & when they should follow up with after you’ve applied.

Step 3: Be prepared & position yourself well

If you have a speaker brochure, showreel, professional bio, keynote topics, testimonials then send these to them as a follow up from speaking to them

Be clear on your pitch & your USP. The way you describe yourself with give them an indication on how clear & impactful you will be on their stage

What else can you offer the event organiser on top of your keynote? For example, can you help promote the event on social media? Can you suggest other speakers?

Step 4: Secure the speaking engagement with your own contract

Just because you aren’t getting paid for the gig there are elements that you’ll want to secure in a contract:

– Can you use video / photographic footage of the event for your own promotion (will you be recording this yourself of getting the footage from the organiser?)

– If you are selling at the event, do you giving the organiser any commission from the sales? What %, When & how will this be paid?

– If you intent to get data from the audience, get permission in your contract

– Cancellation policy. Your time is precious, so what compensation are you asking for if they cancel outside of the cancellation period?

– Are you asking for them to cover your expenses? If so these need to be outlined in the contract.

Now you should be clear on why doing promotional speaking can support you, and what to do to get these gigs.

Now here is a real treat!!! We have put together a list of over 200 stages that you can speak on so that you can start that prospecting process. You can download it here:

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