Getting Paid Speaking Gigs

by Derek Featherstone

I get asked this question over and over and over again. How do you find paid speaking gigs? It's all about one simple word. And it rhymes with dalue. If you can clearly answer the questions I pose here, you're well on your way to getting paid to speak.

This is the first article in a series of articles on Getting Paid Speaking Gigs.

I get asked this all the time. People want to know how they can go from speaking for free to paid speaking engagements.

There are three really critical components or steps that you need to take to make this happen.

  1. Find a gig.
  2. Ask for money.
  3. Send an invoice.

Of course, thats a completely different question from this one:

“What does it take to repeatedly get paid as a speaker?”

Very different isn’t it?

People get paid to speak for a few main reasons. You can count them on one hand:

  1. they have unique experiences that can motivate and inspire others
  2. they are entertaining
  3. they are masters in their Subject Matter and are asked to share that expertise

They might even be all three at the same time.

And those that can do all three are the speakers that can pack the house and get paid well.

If you’re not providing value (entertaining, subject matter expertise and experiences), then you’re not going to get paid over and over again to speak in front of audiences.

The beauty of this premise is that if you can figure out how you can provide value over and over, you've also figured out how you can get paid to speak the first time. Seek out an event that has a budget that needs the value you provide.

Ummm… but how, exactly?

Start by answering these questions (don't worry if you struggle—these may take time!):

  1. What is your unique experience? What do you do best? Better than anyone else?
  2. Which parts of your experience are valuable, and to whom?
  3. Why are those the valuable bits? What's the benefit to the potential audience?

Once you've figured that out, go start looking for any speaking gigs, and deliver that incredible, unique value. That's the path to getting paid.

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