How to find paid public speaking engagements

by | Feb 9, 2021

While it’s not the only thing that matters in your public speaking business, booking relevant (and paid) public speaking events is probably high on the priority list. What could be more exciting than speaking in front of a room of people excited and eager to hear what you have to say?  

While there may be an abundance of events out there at any given time, many entrepreneurs know the struggle of booking paid public speaking engagements. Whether you are just starting out or you’re a little more seasoned in your career, eventually you will want to be paid to do what you love. 

So where can you start? Here are a few ways to secure paid public speaking engagements.

1. Be Specific. Wanting to get paid to speak isn’t enough. As a public speaking entrepreneur, it’s important to be intentional about your brand, audience and even venue. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do I want to speak at smaller, more intimate venues or larger, conference-like events?
  • Who do I want to speak to and who is my audience?
  • How do I want to structure my message to reach my target audience?

These are just a few questions you should be asking yourself but the idea here is to narrow down the specifics as much as possible to make things easier when searching for or asking for resources.

2. Get Organized. Take this opportunity to search for any events that pique your interest. Search by industry, location, size or whatever metric you believe will get you to your desired result. When you start to gather information, create a list or spreadsheet that includes the conference name, location, size, etc.

This organized list can help you see all of the potential events that may need a speaker and help you narrow down and prioritize speaking engagements that align closely with your brand.  

3. Reach Out to Organizers. Now that you know the events you want to target, start reaching out to the organizers or contacts of those events. How will anyone know about your business if you don’t reach out and sell yourself? You may want to work on a elevator pitch that will very quickly grab the attention of whoever you’re speaking to. 

4. Use Social Media. Social media is useful for so many things including finding paid speaking events. You’re able to use hashtags and follow trends that are aligned with your brand or message. For example, on Facebook and Twitter, you can search things like #EventSpeaker or #MarylandConferences to find potential speaking engagements that may be willing to pay.

Additionally, it also allows you to connect with your target audiences. Entrepreneurs have the ability to post videos, create content and share ideas with the people they want to reach with their message. You never know who will see you and want to book you for their event. Use this opportunity to reach out to people in your industry, build relationships and market yourself and your brand.

5. Look For Industry Associations. Industry associations is a great place to start if you’re looking for paid speaking opportunities. Industries such as healthcare, finance, education, etc. are often looking for ways to improve and have been known to bring in speakers to help them. Speaking for industry associations doesn’t necessarily mean you need to be an industry expert. Associations pay speakers for things like training, team bonding and overall industry improvement.

 6. Be a Consultant. There are thousands of companies that are willing to pay top dollar for a consultant to help them train on various topics. These are typically smaller, team-centered speaking engagements but still paid, nonetheless.

As with previous points, it’s important to research the company, identify a problem you can solve for them, and reach out to the decision maker. While you may not yet be speaking to an auditorium full of people, this is still a great way to earn money while perfecting your public speaking skills.

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