How to Become a Speaker and Book Your First Speaking Gig
As a professional coach, there are a variety of different ways you can build your authority in order to attract new clients and new opportunities.
One of the most powerful ways to take your personal brand to the next level is to become a speaker. Public speaking is not only lucrative; it establishes you as an expert in your field.
Once you’ve broken in to the rewarding world of speaking, you can
- charge more for your services
- increase your hourly rate
- participate in joint ventures with others at the top of your field
Here are 13 ways you can become a speaker and book that first speaking gig fast:
1. Act globally, think locally
As you build your online presence internationally, chances are the bulk of your coaching clients still keep you close to home.
That’s a great thing if you’re looking to become a speaker. Start with opportunities in your city or neighborhood.
Check out the local Kiwanis Club or Chamber of Commerce, introduce yourself to the person in charge of meetings, and pitch your idea for a great speech that will resonate with their members.
2. Network with other business owners
Join your local chapter of the Local Business Network or another business-related meetup or mastermind. The members in these groups are dedicated to helping each find business opportunities, so be sure to make it known you want to become a speaker.
3. Go back to school
Universities are always looking for inspiring speakers to speak to their students on relevant topics.
Decide which topic you’d like to speak on in the world of health, wellness, fitness, or business, and contact the Dean of that department about speaking opportunities.
4. Join the (special interest) club
All of your coaching and training clients have something in common – they’re interested in improving their health and well-being by working with you, their coach!
You can become a speaker by finding similar groups that share common interests and goals. For instance, a club for mothers of young children might love to hear a guest speaker talk about post-baby weight loss, work/life balance, or preventing childhood obesity.
5. Connect with event planners
Up until now, your networking focus has most likely been on finding new clients and connecting with other coaches and wellness professionals.
As a speaker, you need to network with event planners because they’re the ones who book the gigs!
Research organizations you’d like to speak for and start by connecting with their event planner via social media.
6. Leverage LinkedIn
The best way to become a speaker overnight? Spy on the competition!
Check the LinkedIn profiles of your fellow wellness entrepreneurs and see which companies and organizations they’ve spoken for.
From there, you can contact the appropriate event planner and pitch yourself as their next speaker.
7. Ask your clients
Take a look around your gym or scroll down your client roster to find speaking gigs – all you have to do is ask your clients which clubs, organizations, or meetups they’re already a part of.
You can also inquire as to the latest event they attended, or who the last speaker they saw was. This is a great way to find new, relevant opportunities in the wellness/fitness field.
8. Host your own event
An entrepreneur doesn’t sit around waiting for someone to give them a job. So why would a public speaker sit around waiting for someone to hire them to talk?
Rent a space, rally some friends, family, and clients, and videotape yourself speaking for the first time. You can then use the video as a sample reel and share it with event planners who are looking to hire.
9. Think and Grow
Check out ThinkAndGrowEvents.com, a website dedicated to personal development events around the world.
Not only will you be able to see what’s going on and when, you’ll get the information you need to contact the appropriate event planner and pitch yourself as a speaker.
10. Embrace the competition
Getting more training clients is always easier when you join forces with another coach or trainer. The same is true if you want to become a speaker.
Find another wellness professional interested in speaking, and pitch yourselves as a two-person show.
Make sure the topics you cover complement and build upon each other, and consider giving the company a discount if they hire the two of you together.
11. Re-read your favorite magazine
Obsessed with Personal Trainer Magazine? Can’t wait to devour the latest issue of Inc?
Check your favorite magazines for upcoming industry events. Even if an event has already booked speakers, inquiring is a great way to start a conversation with the event planner in charge and keep the door open for subsequent events down the road.
12. Get listed in directories
Event planners need you just as much as you need them. That’s why it’s a good idea to get yourself listed in as many speaker directories as possible.
A good place to begin is with SpeakerServices.com, a site that will list your profile and speaking specialty for around $50/month.
While it’s always best to build a personal connection with event planners, being visible in directories is beneficial if the planner in question happens to be looking for the exact expertise you offer as a speaker.
13. Hit up your vendors
At your gym and in your business, you use a variety of tools and services – everything from CRM programs and email marketing to payment processing software.
Chances are good that these vendors also host their own events throughout the year. As a loyal customer, they’re highly likely to listen to a pitch from you, especially if your speech incorporates the ways in which their product has benefited your business.
When you’re first getting started, it may seem difficult – or even impossible – to become a speaker.
But remember that even the Tony Robbins and Zig Ziglars of the speaking world had to start somewhere.
So reach out to event planners, be willing to speak for free initially, and consider producing your own event to get the ball rolling.
Remember that there are an unlimited number of events going on in your town, in your state, or online, and that all of them need great speakers like you!
The Professional Speaker Certification course was created for professionals who understand the compounding benefits of sharing your business or lifestyle idea with large groups of people and do so in a way that makes you look prepared, intelligent, and convincing.
Spencer Institute and NESTA coaching programs are open to anyone with a desire to learn and help others. There are no prerequisites.
That’s it for now.