3 Steps to Getting Paid Speaking Engagements

3 Steps to Getting Paid Speaking Engagements

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So you want to be paid to speak in a personal or business growth strategy ,, but don’t know where to start? As someone who’s been a paid speaker since 2001, I’m pleased to share that the process is actually not as hard as you might think. If you are a service professional who can deliver a clear message and is entertaining, it is possible to get a few paid gigs per year.

There are a few steps to follow to get there:

. Get Super-Clear About Topic Titles

This sounds like the easiest step, but can actually be tricky. Why? Because when you’re doing free gigs, organizers don’t typically ask many questions regarding what you’re going to talk about. They may already know you (or have worked with you), and are excited that you will make them look good in front their group. But a paid speaking gig is the professional equivalent of going from the minors to the majors (and that implies no disrespect: I still do the odd free engagement).

Related: 3 Straightforward Ways to Get Paid for Speaking Engagements

Just like going from the Birmingham Barons to a starting position for the Yankees is a quantum leap, so is this. It’s not that you’re playing a different sport (speaking is still speaking), but conference organizers often have different expectations once you get paid. Proper preparation starts with a clear title. It should clearly and concisely describe the topic as well as what you will offer an audience. Personally, I’m a “how-to” man when it comes to titles, such as:

“How to Overachieve Without Over-Committing”

“How to Lead So Others Will Follow”

“How to Talk So Others Will Listen”

Titles that include phrases like “communication skills” or “leadership skills,” by contrast, might sound a lot less appealing to an organizer looking at 20 other folks for a paid speaking gig.

Related: 3 Steps to Book Your First Paid Speaking Gig

2. Provide Video of You Speaking

One small positive ramification of Covid is that this step isn’t nearly as hard as it used to be, as most of the presentations over the better part of the past 24 months have been virtual. If that’s all you have to go, then so be it. But in a perfect world you’ll have footage of yourself on stage, which gives organizers and planners a better idea of your style. My experience has shown that professionals prefer two videos: one with the entire presentation (“full reel”), and one with just a few highlights, professionally edited and possibly with a music track.

If you don’t have something quite so refined on offer, that’s fine, but you have to supply something that people can look at.

Related: The 5 Things You Must Know Before You Pursue Paid Speaking

3. Get clear on the Types Of Events You Want A common misconception I have seen is that speaking at corporations is the only way to get paid. These gigs are certainly lucrative, but don’t forget about other paid opportunities like schools, trade associations, and business conferences. Find the right avenue for you and then take action to find good opportunities.

While there are some additional steps you should take, such as setting up your website and creating a lead pipeline to potential gigs, these first steps will get you started on the road to success.

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