How to Book More Speaking Engagements & Paid Speaking Gigs
Are you struggling to book speaking engagements as a professional public speaker?
After over 40 years of public speaking I’ve found that sharing your message is very important, but so is having the right audience to share it with.
A central focus of any professional speaker should be:
How many bookings do they have on their schedule and how many speeches do they have planned and paid for?
We’re always thinking in terms of how to get more speaking engagements and become better at what we do.
How to Find Speaking Opportunities
The most powerful word in how to become a public speaker is “ask.”
The future belongs to the askers. The future belongs to people who confidently ask for what they want, and especially to speak to a company or organization.
You can call them up and explain that you specialize in this subject and that you’d love to speak to their organization.
Ask them for the opportunity. Ask them for more information. Ask them if they use speakers and when they will next be using a speaker again.
The more you ask, the more answers you get.
When I began my speaking career I advertised my seminars in every possible way: radio, television, newspapers, and even billboards if you can imagine, and direct mail by the thousands of pieces. And I did that until I was broke.
I used to joke that when I started off in professional speaking I learned how to sell again. I sold my house. I sold my car and my furniture. I sold nearly everything trying to buy a business with public advertising.
You cannot get speaking engagements or even seminar attendees by simply advertising.
Finally, when I had no more money I picked up the telephone and got a hold of decision-makers and made appointments. Then I went out and made presentations and sold people into hiring me, by asking.
That started to transform my speaking career.
So when you ask, be sure that you have an offering in terms of your message, that people want and need, and are willing to pay for.
How to Book Paid Speaking Engagements
It is really important that people want and need your message and are willing to pay for it.
Some people want to talk on a particular subject but it’s not important to others. I found at a very early age that the most powerful subject was selling.
Since I had many years of experience in selling and had read 20 or so books on the subject, I combined everything I had learned and put together seminar programs and audio programs that became very successful. It was because that’s what people wanted, needed and were willing to pay for.
When I started I would often ask them if I could speak for free or at minimum cost to get experience and credibility.
Sometimes if they don’t know you and you don’t have a reputation, you have to kiss a lot of horny toads before you meet the handsome prince. You have to give free talks before you can get paid talks.
Here are two tips to help you book more paid speaking gigs.
1. Use The Power of Testimonials
Now 85% or more of all speakers are hired because someone else recommended them. Someone who heard them speak said, “This is a great speaker.”
When we began it was before the Internet and we would use a full sheet of paper full of positive comments. We would contact 20 or 30 people who had been to the seminar and ask them to say something nice about Brian.
Now we get audio quotes and video testimonials which we run on our website. The more people who can say that you did a great job when you spoke somewhere else, the faster and easier it is for them to hire you.
2. Giving a Great Talk is the Best Advertising
Remember that giving a great talk or a seminar is the best advertising.
There is nothing that ultimately replaces what is on the plate. I used to work for a restaurant chain, and they said that the key to success is what’s on the plate.
It’s not the surroundings or the advertising, but the food on the plate that determines whether people come back to the restaurant.
The food on your plate is a really great, high content talk delivered with warmth and energy that causes people to say, “Boy, this is a really great talk.”
The first questions that a prospective client asks are “Who else has heard you speak, and what do they say about you?”
Be sure you’ve got a good answer for this.
How to Get More Speaking Engagements
When you’ve given a speech or a talk, stay around after and offer to speak again to others, maybe even on different subjects.
It’s amazing how much business comes when you stick around, have coffee, and talk to people. Sometimes, this will cause people to ask you to come and speak to their organization.
Many speakers have developed this to the point that they get two bookings from every talk they give. In the course of their talk they’ll say, “By the way, I give variations of this talk to different organizations in different industries with different problems.” People will come up afterward and tell them about their business and ask if their talk would be helpful to them.
These are all things you can do to get bookings as a professional speaker.
If you want to learn how to get your name out there as a speaker and get more speaking engagements, click the button below to get Brian Tracy’s free guide.
About Brian Tracy — Brian is recognized as the top sales training and personal success authority in the world today. He has authored more than 60 books and has produced more than 500 audio and video learning programs on sales, management, business success and personal development, including worldwide bestseller The Psychology of Achievement. Brian's goal is to help you achieve your personal and business goals faster and easier than you ever imagined. You can follow him on Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Linkedin and Youtube.