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Hired Speaker Adam Roa delivers a speech at the 2019 Grand Slam for Speaker Slam

How to Get Paid Speaking Gigs: Tips for the Aspiring Speaker

May 19, 2022

As the world becomes increasingly connected through technology, more people are getting opportunities to share their voices. More specifically, opportunities to share their talks. Everyone can get paid for speaking gigs. However, most speakers don’t know how to start getting paid for their speaking gigs. Before you can add speaking gigs to your resume, you must first be able to get speaking gigs. In this article, you’ll learn how to get paid for speaking gigs. 

What is a Speaking Gig?

A speaking gig is a type of event that you do to promote your expertise and teach others how to use that expertise. This event could be a conference, a seminar, or a workshop. You present a talk, usually for an audience of people who want to learn from you.

There are many different ways to do speaking gigs. There are also many different ways to get paid for speaking gigs. But, in general, here’s what you do:

  • You sign up with a booking agent or with a website that lists speaking gigs. Check out Speaker Hub or eSpeakers.
  • You research the types of events you can do and decide what you’re most interested in. Then find out who the organizer is and reach out to them and ask how you can be considered. In order to stand out, you should have a high-quality headshot, a one-sheet with your 3 talk titles, and a speaker reel that highlights your speaking. If you don't have those, that is okay. Provide relevant ways you can add value to the event.
  • Create a list of your top speaking gigs in the industry you want. Subscribe to their email list and check their websites for submission processes. Submit an application when you get the opportunity. Speaker Slam hosts a Momentum Conference every year for Entrepreneurs, Coaches, and Authors to Reignite their Passion for the latest trends in the industry. You can apply to be a speaker for the Momentum Conference here.
  • Attend conferences to meet other people in your niche. Find meetups to meet other people in your niche. They can recommend you for future gigs. Organizers typically do not bring back the same speaker for their next event. Speakers often recommend people in their networks to help each other get gigs. Pro Tip: It can create goodwill if you give 15% or more to the speaker who recommends you
  • Create an online presence for yourself by creating a website and a social media presence as a speaker.
  • Get a larger agent or host site like a speaking bureau to represent you.
  • Build a network of people who can help you get more gigs and get paid for them. Manage your time and money.
  • Get good at selling yourself.
  • Build a brand. Be consistent.

Note that this isn’t a get-rich-quick scheme. It takes time, planning, and research. But if you have a passion for sharing your thoughts with others, it’s worth it.

If you want to get started, the best way is to start sharing your story and see if people resonate. Speaker Slam offers many training programs and speaking opportunities to take you to the next level. Take our Speaker Journey Quiz to find out where you stand!

Author: Dan Shaikh