7 tips for getting speaking gigs

As a presentation coach and sometimes curator, folks are constantly walking up to me and saying “Wow, I love speaking.  How do I get big speaking gigs?”  This is what I tell them:

  1. Do something.  Just because you like speaking, doesn’t mean you’ve got something to speak about.  Write a book, start a blog, start a vlog, start something (ideally with your own take).  Write about what you started so people know what you think.  Pitch articles for big sites like The Huffington Post.
  2. Have findable video samples.  If you have a personal website and want to speak, have your videos out there.  Put them on YouTube and Vimeo (both is ideal).  Make sure your links have your full name and topics you can talk about.  It’s also good to put in your demographic information in the tags.
  3. Network.  If you know you want to speak at xyz events, go to them.  Network at the after party with the staff.  Twitter about them during the event.  Write up a blog post after the event and copy the staff.
  4. Be patient.  You may be perfect for the topic, but you might not be perfect for the desired energy of some curators.  or perhaps you’re not fitting a demographic  (many curators are conscious of diversity and want to have both genders, all ages, sexualities, and all races on stage)
  5. Cut your teeth at smaller events.  Meet Up groups are fantastic for this.  Get some practice.  You’ll work your way up to bigger events.  You really don’t know who’s in a room.
  6. Be willing to do panels.  This is a great way to get exposure on a topic.  Plus it’s an awesome way to network!  Frequently your fellow panelists host events.
  7. Throw your own event.  Sometimes the best way to find a speaking gig is to make your own speaking gig.  This also helps you with #1:  DO SOMETHING WORTH TALKING ABOUT.

Follow these and you should get a few speaking gigs within a few years.

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