How to get booked as a speaker

July 3rd, 2016

get booked as a speaker

One of the biggest questions I get asked as a public speaking coach is “How do I get booked as a speaker?”

I usually don’t have to convince people that speaking in front of a room full of people is the best thing since sliced bread. (Even though speaking in front of a room full of people has been around since long before sliced bread.)

Your business,  your passion, your story, your world-changing idea. Whatever it is, you want to broadcast it through speaking.

You know that’s the way to grow a following. Reach your clients. Position yourself as the expert you are.

You just don’t know how to get on a stage and deliver your extraordinary talk.

Great! Let me help you.  Here are the 7 steps you need to take to book those gigs:

1. Know your goals.

What do you want out of this talk? Do you want exposure? Do you want to be paid? Do you want to use it as a way to grow your business? Do you want to take a risk? Do something scary? Say something you’ve never said on stage before?

What do you want for your audience? Do you want them to be enraged? inspired? moved to action? Do you want them to sign up to work with you? Do you want them to have conversations with other people about it after they leave?

Getting clear about this will help you talk about it, speak about it, write about it, pitch it. It will help you better connect your talk with the people who need & want to hear it.

2. Do a braindump of all the possible places you might speak.

Where are your people? Where do they hang out? Which Meetups? Which conferences? Which clubs?

Do a brain dump of every possible place. PTA meetings. Swim clubs. Churches. Meditation groups.

No censoring. No editing. There will be enough time for that later.

For now, just make a list and go with it. Remember, you can’t correct course standing still.

3. Tell everyone you know that you’re a speaker.

Don’t be shy about letting people know you’re a speaker and you want to speak.

Say to the guy at the corner grocer (do they still have corner grocers?) “I’m a speaker. I speak about how working on your public speaking skills will make your sex life way better.”

Tell your neighbor’s neighbor. Your mom’s pharmacist. You kid’s teacher. The guy you met on the bus when the snow was so bad you had to wait an extra 20 minutes to get to where you were going.

At the risk of sounding woowoo, not only will all those people know you’re a speaker, and will think of you when the guy they meet at the next bus stop says he’s looking for a speaker, but the universe will hear you too.

When you’re clear about what you want, the universe is better able to get in behind you and make it happen.

4. Pick up the phone.

I have a sign next to my desk that says “Pick up the phone, Johanna. Make the call.”

As an introvert who would sometimes rather sit at her computer and check her email than pick up the phone and make a scary phone call, I have to remind myself to pick up the phone. Yes sometimes you gotta make a cold call.

And yes sometimes you gotta sound really confident even if you don’t feel it inside.

In many cases, that uncomfortable phone call is what’s going to open the door to your next speaking gig

In my FREE 5-day Getting Booked Challenge, I share templates for how to have these phone conversations. Click here and let us know if you’d like to be notified next time we run it live. 

5. Make ridiculously bold asks

You’re not going to get very far if you sit back and wait. That agent is most likely not going to walk into your living room and offer you a $50,000 gig if you did nothing to earn it.

So ask yourself:

Where do you really really really want to speak that you think maaaaaybe one day down the road there’s a remote possibility that you could get on that stage?  Or where’s the place your mind is telling you you could never possibly get on that stage?

Make the list. Believe it’s possible.

Then introduce yourself. Get to know the decision maker. Let them know what you have to offer. Let them know how you can rock that stage.

Engage your ridiculous boldness and ask.

6. Get an accountabilibuddy.

Don’t do it alone. Get a buddy. Get a team of buddies.

Tell your buddy what your goals are and what steps you’re going to take to get there. Put your heads together and make a plan, then support each other in following up with the plan.

You can even make calls for each other. Be one another’s agent.

Just don’t try to do it alone. Seriously. 

7. Be gentle with yourself.

Putting yourself out there is HARD.

I work with a lot of people who are speaking for the first time, and I can attest to the fact that once you decide you have something to say and you want to say it in a bigger way, the demons who want to keep you small come out in full force.

Get to know those little guys (or gals). Get familiar with them. Don’t give them too much power. You’ve got the power. Own it. Claim it. It’s yours. Not theirs.

Have fun. Take action. Get real. Get out there. GET SUPPORT. Get booked.

What’s your next action step? Post it in the comments below!


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