25 Places To Find Speaking Gigs
by Sue Henry
This is a listing of places that bring speakers in to address their groups or members. Most do not pay the speaker but it can be a great lead-generating tool when you focus on groups filled with your target market.
1. Service Clubs – These are local chapters or groups that meet in many towns and cities. Their main purpose is to serve the community and/or people in a variety of ways through fundraising, etc. These groups attract business owners and professionals as members. Possible groups are Jaycees, Rotary, etc. Many of the groups have a guest speaker (does not need to belong to the service club) for 20-30 minutes each month at their chapter meetings.
2. Local Associations – These are local groups of members from a single profession. Many bring in speakers to educate members on other relevant and related topics.
3. Local Organizations – These are local organizations, often times they are nonprofit, with a goal to serve the community in some way.
4. State Associations – Many associations have state conferences, workshops, or seminars that bring in speakers. They generally have a budget for a speaker fee.
5. State Organizations – Many organizations have state conferences, workshops, or seminars and they bring in speakers. They generally have a budget for a speaker fee.
6.Regional/National Associations – Many associations have an annual national conference. Sometimes it’s open to all members; other associations only allow people in leadership positions at the local and state levels to attend. They generally have a budget for a speaker fee.
7. Regional/National Organizations - Many organizations have an annual national conference. Sometimes it’s open to all members; other organizations only allow people in leadership positions at the local and state levels to attend. They generally have a budget for a speaker fee.
8. Nonprofits – There are state, regional, and national workshops and trainings for all nonprofits to attend. They generally offer a speaker fee, although it is generally less than organizations, associations, and corporations.
9. Community Education Programs – Most communities offer a Community Education Program. Although you are limited in pay, it’s a great way to build your list. You aren’t allowed to “sell” so having a free offer and effective follow-up system is essential to generate income. It’s a great way to “show” your stuff to an audience someone else brings in for you.
10. Adjunct Professor – More and more colleges are bringing in teachers who are experts in their field. Pay varies depending on your expertise and how much effort you need to put into developing and delivering the program.
11. Small Companies – Some companies bring in a speaker or trainer on a specific topic that will help the staff do a better job or increase sales. Sales trainers seem to be the most popular.
12. Large Companies and/or Corporations – They bring speakers and trainers in for very specific purposes. Often it is sales training, getting along with co-workers, customer service, etc. Fees vary depending on the scope of the speaking or training. This can be very lucrative, especially if your training has levels to it.
13. Chamber of Commerce – Most cities have a local Chamber of Commerce that meets monthly. They have guest speakers at their events. Sometimes it’s for no-fee, sometimes they have a small budget. Speaking at Chamber events promotes you in the local area as an “expert”, creates massive visibility and credibility, and puts you in the position to promote a free offer that allows you to build rapport and a relationship with attendees.
14. Women’s Networking Groups – These are a growing trend. Most meet monthly. Some require you to be a member of the group, most of them bring in outside speakers. You generally get a table to promote your products and meet attendees, but no speaking fee. Hint: be sure to understand who attends the group. You’ll get much better results if the room is filled with your target market.
15. Men’s Networking Groups - These are a growing trend and sometimes are a spin-off of a larger association or organization. Most meet monthly. Some require you to be a member of the group, most of them bring in outside speakers. You generally get a table to promote your products and meet attendees, but no speaking fee. Hint: be sure to understand who attends the group. You’ll get much better results if the room is filled with your target market.
16. Host Your Own Live Event – Hosting your own event can be very rewarding, although it is more work than speaking at someone else’s event. Everything about your own event falls on you. This includes marketing, registration, collecting money, etc. I just started doing these and I have to admit, so far the results have definitely been worth it.
17. Webinars/Teleseminars – You can host your own, interview others, or be a guest on someone else’s webinar or teleseminar. Although you aren’t “in person”, your style, energy, passion, and what you share can positively impact others and generate sales without you having to get in a car or on a plane!
18. Podcasting (your own or as a guest) – Podcasting is relatively new. You record an audio, set up your own podcast channel, and upload your content. It’s a great way to share your content, build a following, and lead listeners to other products and services you offer.
19. Videos – An incredible opportunity for people to see you, hear you, and “feel” your message. Today’s technology makes it so easy! You can also add trainings and interviews with Google Hangouts. You’ll definitely want to have a few videos on YouTube for event planners and those who hire speakers to review. The best advice I ever got about video is this: “No one likes how they look. So get over it and do them anyway.”
20. Speakers Bureaus – There are a variety of speakers bureaus out there. But unless you are a big name already, it’s rare that they will promote you as a speaker. They do allow you to post a profile (for a fee) and include your keywords so if someone who is looking for a speaker searches your keywords and location, you may be found. If you obtain a speaking gig through their site, you pay the bureau a percentage of your fee.
21. SpeakerMatch - SpeakerMatch is the largest speakers bureau and it operates a little differently. Most of the speaker fees offered are under $2,500 but most of them are under $500 or no-fee. Membership at the Silver Level is $10/month and allows you to search through all the speaking gigs listed on their site. They scour the internet and other sites to find and post speaking opportunities. They do charge a very small fee when you apply to the speaking gig listed. The other thing I love is that every day I get a list of speaking gigs that match my criteria emailed to me. That makes it so easy!
22. Columbia Books – There are 2 versions of these books – one is state and regional professional associations and organizations and the other is national professional associations and organizations. Although the books are no longer in print, larger libraries may have older editions. The print is about a size 2 font so bring a magnifying glass! The nice thing about these books is that the name, website, and other information is given. Since most associations and organizations are member-driven, their sites aren’t very easy to find unless you know the exact name. I purchased both books about 3 years ago. Stacked on top of each other, they are about 6 inches high. At that time, they cost $700 for an edition printed in 2007. But the data is still correct.
23. Referrals – There are a couple of different angles you can take on asking for referrals. One is to ask the person who brought you in to speak and loved you; the second is to ask your best clients what organizations or associations they belong to and if those groups bring in speakers. Ask for a warm introduction to the decision maker for speakers.
24. National Seminar Companies – There are a few of these around. Often you will be presenting their information, not your own, but it’s a great way to speak and make some great money. Check out Fred Pryor & CareerTrack, Skillpath, Padget-Thompson online for more information.
25. Cruise Ships – Cruise ships do bring in speakers to entertain or teach the people on their cruises while at sea (in between stops). Generally there is no pay but you do get the cruise at no cost. Be careful of cruises that require you to promote the cruise and have others pay for the cruise with your link.
One of the most important parts of your speaking business is an automated and systematic follow-up process that shares great information after the speaking gig is over, builds rapport, and converts prospects to buyers. I teach you how to do this in my home study course.
Most sales will occur after the speaking event is over. Without an effective and strategic follow-up system in place, you are leaving a lot of money on the table!
Remember, people want to buy when THEY want to buy, not when WE want them to buy.
25 Ways To Find Speaking Gigs© All Rights Reserved 2014 Sue Henry Talks, Inc.