how to get started as a speaker image

How To Get Started As A Speaker

how to get started as a speaker image

I travel a lot, so I’m used to spending lots of time on the road traveling to a hotel.

And thankfully in today’s world, we have technology like GPS and Google Maps that generally makes that drive a lot simpler.

Generally.

But has this ever happened to you?

You’re going to your hotel (or some other location) and there’s construction or detours or lots of one-way streets that make it a little difficult to get to your destination.

You can actually see your hotel or the building you’re going to, but you just can’t figure out how to get there!

It’s right there! It shouldn’t be this hard!

And yet you circle all around it but are never quite sure how to get inside.

Being a public speaker is kind of like that to a lot of people.

It’s easy to get close to it, to dip our toes in the water and decide we really want more, but it seems like there’s this invisible fence that keeps us on the outside.

And to make matters worse, it seems like there’s no real clear entry point of how to get on the inside.

In order to become a speaker, maybe you’ve wondered if…

  • You have to have overcome some tragic life story
  • You have to have accomplished something insanely huge like cure cancer or win an Olympic gold medal
  • You have to have a huge platform
  • You need a best-selling book
  • You have to have a massive blog with millions of readers
  • You need a huge social media following
  • You gotta have a ginormous podcast
  • You must be a world-renowned expert on a topic
  • You have to be super sales-y to get speaking engagements
  • You need to have built a multimillion dollar startup
  • You need to be one of the lucky ones who just accidentally stumble into speaking

If you’ve wondered about any of these before, I have two pieces of good news for you.

1. You’re not alone. I’ve wondered these things too.

2. None of these are requirements to become a speaker.

Let that second point sink in for a minute…

Having a tragic life, overcoming a huge obstacle, having a massive platform and being super sales-y are NOT requirements to be a speaker. 

When I got started as a speaker, I had none of these “prerequisites.” I’m a normal guy from the midwest has had a pretty average life (although a really good one I wouldn’t trade).

But I haven’t overcome some massive life obstacle. I don’t have some inspirational life story about how I was supposed to be on a plane that ended up crashing. I’ve never really dealt with death or tragedy.

When I started speaking, I didn’t have a platform. At all. I didn’t even know that was a thing. I had no blog. No book. No podcast. No brand. No online presence. No big name. Literally nothing.

And yet despite not having any of those things, I’ve built a successful business as a speaker. I’ve earned well over a million dollars from speaking fees. I’ve spoken at over 400 paid events. I’ve sold over 30,000 copies of my self-published book. I’ve spoken to audiences as big as 13,000.

And I promise you that if I can do it, so can you. I’m no one special. I was committed to working hard and making this dream of being a speaker a reality.

And I know you’re the same way.

But there’s one more thing you need…

A plan.

It’s just like when you’re driving and can see where you want to end up but aren’t quite sure how to get there.

You have two options…

1. You could just keep circling the area hoping that magically you’ll stumble across some secret passage way that gets you on the inside (doesn’t exist).

2. You could stop, create a plan of where you want to be, and then execute on the plan to move towards where you want to end up.

Got it Grant…I need a plan. Where can I find one?

Well I’m glad you asked 🙂

I put together a free 9-email course called Get Started As A Speaker. Within the course, I’ll teach you…

  • How to understand why you want to speak in the first place and how it affects your business
  • How to discover what you should speak about
  • Getting clear on your ideal audience
  • How to create both the sizzle & the steak for your presentation
  • Two key tools you need to market yourself
  • How to actually find speaking opportunities
  • How to contact decision makers even if you hate selling
  • How to get paid as a speaker

Here’s why I’m so excited about this email course…because you know you have the potential to be a speaker, but you just need the plan. You need to know how to get started and what to do next.

By the end of this email course, not only will you have the plan, but I promise you’ll have the confidence that you can actually do this.

I know you can do this. You know you can do this. But you just need some guidance.

Chris Steininger How Did You Get Into That

124 – How To Become a LEGO Master Builder, with Chris Steininger


Chris Steininger How Did You Get Into That

What if you could get paid to play with toys from your childhood? That’s exactly what today’s guest, Chris Steinenger does! Chris works at LEGO headquarters in Enfield, Connecticut.

In this episode, Chris details his journey to becoming one of seven LEGO Master Builders and shares his insight into the toy brick business. He explains his time in the shop building, attending special events, and more on this episode of How Did You Get Into That?.

THE FINER DETAILS OF THIS SHOW:

  • How big is the world’s largest LEGO model?
  • What is Chris’ number one tip for building a strong model?
  • What was Chris’ first gig with LEGO?
  • The importance of working in an environment that fosters creativity.
  • Do the Master Builders have specialty pieces?
  • What are his recommendations for getting into a creative field?
  • And so much more!

BONUS MATERIAL:

  • What materials are used to reinforce large LEGO models?
  • What upcoming big projects does Chris have?
  • What happened when a giant model of a great white shark was shipped to Australia?

If you enjoyed this episode and want to hear a few additional minutes of the interview, Click here to get the exclusive bonus material.

EPISODE RESOURCES


Ryan Moran Freedom Fast Lane

123 – How To Build a Business Based On Your Skills, with Ryan Moran


Ryan Moran Freedom Fast Lane

Have you ever wanted to duplicate someone’s success? Today’s guest, Ryan Moran knows a better way!

In this episode Ryan details his entrepreneurial journey, going back to when he was just five years old.

Today he runs a multitude of successful businesses, including online stores, a coaching business, and a mastermind group. Ryan shares why you should consider your own unique skills and interests in the process.

THE FINER DETAILS OF THIS SHOW:

  • How did being a self-proclaimed computer nerd help Ryan?
  • Why you can’t duplicate someone else’s success.
  • The difference between being motivated and being committed to results: Ryan explains.
  • What is his ultimate dream?
  • Ryan’s resource for meeting goals: what is it and how can you use it?
  • What is the one question he asks himself daily?
  • What are the steps to validate a business idea?
  • Ryan explains why there are no hacks to success.
  • And much more!

BONUS MATERIAL:

  • How to create and sell a product.
  • Why it’s always smart to test your idea.
  • How to rank high in search results in a competitive market.

If you enjoyed this episode and want to hear a few additional minutes of the interview, Click here to get the exclusive bonus material.

EPISODE RESOURCES


Mariah Coz

122 – How to Build and Launch Online Products with Mariah Coz


Mariah Coz

Many people today call themselves online entrepreneurs or online marketers. But what are they really doing, what are they really about?

Our guest for today calls herself an online entrepreneur and she’s got the chops to back it up!

In this episode of How Did You Get Into That, Mariah Coz shares how she went from a surf-punk band to selling vintage clothing on Etsy to helping people create and launch online products today – and the valuable lessons she’s gathered along the way.

THE FINER DETAILS OF THIS SHOW:

  • Why it’s important to create packages for your services.
  • How long does it take to build a business before you can automate it?
  • How writing 10,000 words a day has helped her.
  • How her education has helped her craft her businesses.
  • Building your own products vs being an affiliate: the pros and cons of each.
  • Do you need to build your audience to 100k uniques before monetizing?
  • How to find what your audience wants.
  • And so much more!

BONUS MATERIAL:

  • How to begin creating your product.
  • How big should your first product be?
  • What’s the best way to pre-sell and why should you do it?

If you enjoyed this episode and want to hear a few additional minutes of the interview, Click here to get the exclusive bonus material.

EPISODE RESOURCES


cole hatter

121 – How to Thrive with Cole Hatter


cole hatter

Sometimes we experience events so profound they alter the fabric of our existence. And when they do we have two choices: allow those events to pull us under into despair, or use them as a wake-up call to make our lives matter.

Our guest for today’s show, Cole Hatter, experienced not one but two life-altering accidents that claimed the lives of his best friends.

In this episode of How Did You Get Into That, Cole talks about those accidents, what they meant to him personally and how they served as his personal wake-up call to make his life meaningful and impactful in the world.

THE FINER DETAILS OF THIS SHOW:

  • What was his first “ah-ha wake up” moment?
  • What’s been the biggest contributor to his success?
  • How can you give to others when your own cup is empty? Cole shares.
  • Why you don’t have to start the next Red Cross to contribute to the world.
  • Do you have to be passionate about what you do to be successful?
  • How to balance profit and passion.
  • If you’re great at something do you have to start a company?
  • And so much more!

BONUS MATERIAL:

  • Why you don’t have to use your own money to invest in real estate.
  • Is there a difference between good and bad debt?
  • The first step to take when investing in real estate – what is it?

If you enjoyed this episode and want to hear a few additional minutes of the interview, Click here to get the exclusive bonus material.

EPISODE RESOURCES


5 Dollar Dinners Erin Chase

120 – How to Create A Food Blog, with Erin Chase


5 Dollar Dinners Erin Chase

Have you ever had a flash of insight – and then taken action on it? Our guest for today’s show has and it paid off handsomely!

Erin Chase is the founder of 5 Dollar Dinners, a blog that has evolved into a sustainable business.

In this episode of How Did You Get Into That, Erin shares where the idea for 5 Dollar Dinners came from, how she has successfully married numerous interests and passions to monetize her blog. and how 5 Dollar Dinners has evolved into a brand of its own.

THE FINER DETAILS OF THIS SHOW:

  • Where did she come up with the name for her brand?
  • Does she have any formal culinary training?
  • How did she build her following?
  • Did she have a monetization strategy when she started this?
  • What advice does she have for those just starting out in business?
  • Why she’d rather have lower quality traffic than Buzzfeed-like traffic.
  • And so much more!

BONUS MATERIAL:

  • How do you keep readers loyal and connected to you?
  • Who is your tribe?
  • Why your email list is important and what content you should provide for them.

If you enjoyed this episode and want to hear a few additional minutes of the interview, Click here to get the exclusive bonus material.

EPISODE RESOURCES


Hal_headshot_black-suite_maroon-tie

119 – How to Create a Miracle Morning, with Hal Elrod


Hal_headshot_black-suite_maroon-tie

How the most successful people start their days is something that has been studied and talked about. But have you ever considered what would happen if you combined the six most common practices of the most successful? our guest for today’s show did and he’s created a sensation!

In this episode, Hal Elrod of The Miracle Morning talks about his near-death experience, what it was like to hit rock bottom (twice!), and how those experiences helped him create his New York Times best-seller The Miracle Morning.

THE FINER DETAILS OF THIS SHOW:

  • His first entrepreneurial venture at 15 was doing what?
  • Was he a high achiever in high school?
  • How long was he clinically dead?
  • How he willed himself to walk again, when the doctors said he wouldn’t.
  • What is the 5 minute rule?
  • What are the SAVERS and why do they matter?
  • And so much more!

BONUS MATERIAL:

  • Can you do The Miracle Morning if you aren’t a morning person?
  • How to beat your snooze button: Hal shares his top tips.

If you enjoyed this episode and want to hear a few additional minutes of the interview, Click here to get the exclusive bonus material.

EPISODE RESOURCES


LaMorris Crawford

How to Create A Speaking Demo Video

 

Grant here. This is a guest post written by my friend Erin Lashley. Erin has a business helping speakers shoot, edit, and create demo videos to help promote their business. I firmly believe that a solid demo video is one of the best marketing tools a speaker can have. Erin goes really in-depth here to teach you about how to create your own video and what tools you need. Take it away Erin!

Meet LaMorris.

LaMorris Crawford is a 35 year old married man with 4 beautiful children.

Having come from a impoverished childhood, he has overcome incredible odds.

His mother was murdered at the age of 17.

His uncle was murdered at the age of 17.

His aunt, at the age of 15, caught a brain tumor and died.

His aunt at the age of 28 was drugged up by her boyfriend and died.

He never knew his father and was raised by his grandmother.

He has faced A LOT of hard things…but has overcome all of them.

In 2003 LaMorris decided he wanted to start a career in speaking.

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For 9 years he HUSTLED…but without a demo video.

In 2012 LaMorris asked me to create another demo video for him.

The first one was him speaking to a camera and the second was him speaking to a group of athletes about character.

Check it out:

Now, get this. The same year I did the demo video for the LaMorris is the same year he got hired by the NFL as Chaplain of the Cincinnati Bengals. THE SAME YEAR!

LaMorrisBengals

Having a demo video drastically increased my speaking engagements. Today, I’m an NFL Chaplain and also speak over 200 times a year across the United States.” – LaMorris Crawford

Let’s be honest.

That’s great for LaMorris.

But what about YOU?

How did his demo video lead him to speak for the NFL?bonuses1

 

This secret can be broken down into 4 Must-Haves to every great demo video:

  1. Hook me – captivate your audience from the start.
  2. Show me – show yourself speaking in front of an audience.
  3. Prove me – use testimonials to prove your effectiveness.
  4. Close me – close the sale and give a clear call to action.

Easy-peasy-pumpkin-breezy. Now let me show you exactly how, but first I must explain…

THE ART

Over the last 5 years I’ve developed a special interest in demo videos because I believe editing is an art.

The look, the feel, the music, the content…all play a vital role in the END goal.

When you’re creating a demo video, the first thing you need to ask yourself is WHAT IS THE GOAL?

What do you want your audience to DO?

Is it pick up the phone and hire you to speak?

If so…what do they need to FEEL in order to bring them to that action?

Better yet…what do they need to be THINKING ABOUT…in order to FEEL that feeling…and bring them to that action?

That’s why when you’re selecting music…you don’t just pick good music…

You have to pick something that compliments your end goal.

What music is going to get them in a certain frame of mind…to feel a certain thing…to do a certain thing?

What story are you telling?

What colors are you using to tell your story?

Now this process of think, feel, and do is a formula I use to create amazing demo videos.

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THE DEMO VIDEO FORMULA

#1. HOOK ME

HookMe

The first 60 seconds should showcase you as a speaker in a variety of settings and platforms.

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This portion must captivate the viewer and get them interested in who you are and what you have to say.

If you don’t have footage of yourself speaking in different settings…

Open up the video with something that’s going to keep them listening.

For example, in the beginning of LaMorris’s demo video he opens up talking about the most dramatic parts of his childhood…

So shocking, you want to keep listening…

#2. SHOW ME

showMe

The next 2-3 minutes should SHOW the viewer HOW you speak and what value you add when you speak.

This should Include powerful snippets from your best talks in this portion.

For example, check out the way youth speaker, LaVell Griffin, makes his main points…

His principles are short, powerful, and to the point:

He does an amazing job of knowing exactly what his walk away points are and communicates them in short snippets that make it easy to capture on camera.

#3. PROVE ME

proveMe

The next 60 seconds should be testimonials.

These stories are proof that people enjoy hearing you speak and actually learn something when you speak.

The more specific the results, the better.

The answers you receive are determined by the questions you ask.

Here are three questions you can ask for stellar testimonials!

1. What, specifically, was your favorite part about ________ and why?

2. If you were to recommend _________ to your best friend, what would you say?

3. What’s one thing you want to do differently after listening to __________?

#4. CLOSE ME

closeMe

The last 60 seconds should validate interest in your content and testimonials by showing more clips of you speaking and interacting with people.

I recommend including a website, phone, or email for people to use to book you to speak.

This is the finale.

This is your last chance to get me to act upon how I think and feel.

Once again I want you to take a look at LaMorris’s video.

The last lines in his video are so inspirational.

It purposefully leaves you wanting more.

Notice the text at the END of the video (start at 3min 9sec):

The last lines in his video are so inspirational.

It purposefully leaves you wanting more.

Notice the text at the end of the video…

“Your athletes need it. Your community needs it.”

It makes you think…

What do they need?

Which leads you to answer your own question.

They need Character In Athletes. They need LaMorris Crawford.

What you’re reading confirms what you’re thinking and feeling.

And it drives you to DO something about it.

So let’s review.

Great demo videos are made up of 4 must haves:

  1. Hook me — hook the viewer with something that keeps them watching.
  2. Show me — show the viewer what it’s like to be in the audience when you speak.
  3. Prove me — give testimonials that prove to the viewer that people like you and you make a difference.
  4. Close me — Make the ending so good, so believable, so compelling, that it compels the viewer to respond.

That’s really it.

Now for the good stuff…

BONUSES

I’ve put together a DIY DEMO VIDEO PACK that includes the following:

  • The shot list you need to create a great HOOK
  • My BEST cinematographer contact information for you to use.
  • My BEST editor contact information for you to use.
  • At-home-tool kit you can buy on Amazon for less than $70 to record and edit yourself using your JUST your iPhone.

Click here to download it.

download

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What Should I Speak About?

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Any speaker, author, blogger or content creator has been there before. Staring at a blank screen without a clue in the world about what to write or where to start. When you’re getting started, you may not know what you want to speak about. That’s okay!

But figuring out what you want to speak about doesn’t have to be complicated. Let’s start with a simple question…

Assuming you were put in front of your ideal audience to talk about any subject, what would you speak on?

Take out all pre-concieved ideas of what you should or could talk about. What are you dying to talk about? What is the perfect topic for you to share about?

5 Ways To Discover What You Want To Speak About…

1. Experience

What experiences do you have in life? These can be both personal or professional. Maybe you’ve worked in a certain industry or business that has given you specific experiences. Maybe you’ve had some type of personal, life experience you want to speak about. Generally we think of these to be overcoming negative challenges such as divorce, death, abuse, or bankruptcy.

But maybe your experiences have been positive. You built and sold a business. You’ve had a successful marriage. You traveled the world. These could all be experiences you could share with others that they could learn from.

2. Expertise/Knowledge

What topics do you just know a lot about? What do you feel extremely knowledgable on? What do people commonly ask you questions about?

For example, people regularly ask me about how to get started as a speaker. So naturally, I know there’s an opportunity to teach that expertise and knowledge to others. Your knowledge may be in in something like time management, dealing with people, leading a team, overcoming adversity, starting a business, writing a blog, or homeschooling your kids. The options are literally endless.

3. Awards/Recognition

Perhaps, you’ve won some type of award or recognition that gives you credibility in a certain space. My friend Omar Zenhom hosts the hugely successful podcast, The $100 MBA Show. Last year, the show won a Best of iTunes award which is only awarded to a handful of the thousands and thousands of shows that exist.

So guess what? Omar is seen as a go-to person on the subject of podcasting because of that award.

Within our Booked & Paid To Speak private community, one of our members, Lisa Simpson, was a contestant on the TV show, The Biggest Loser, and even lost 108 pounds as a result! That experience and recognition gives Lisa the opportunity to get booked to speak on that topic.

4. Passion

A key component of a good speaker is someone who is passionate about and loves the topic. If you’re just going through the motions or you don’t care about the subject, that shows through. Passionate speakers are much more engaging and enjoyable to listen to.

So what are you passionate about? What do you love to read and talk about the most? If you were to ask 5 people who really know you well, what would they say you’re passionate about? (hint: maybe you should actually do that 🙂

5. Enjoyment

On behalf of audiences everywhere, please, please, please only speak on topics you actually like talking about! When you talk about subjects you enjoy, you’ll have more fun, and the audience will have more fun as well.

Also, keep in mind though that just because you’re knowledgable on a topic doesn’t mean it necessarily has to be something you speak about. There are plenty of topics that I’m knowledgable on that either A) I’m not interested in speaking about or B) there’s just not a market for.


While it’s important to do some internal work to figure out what you might want to speak about, the reality is that the more often you speak, the sooner you’ll discover…

  • What topics resonate with your audience – This is similar to any type of communication medium. Whether you’re blogging, podcasting, or producing some type of content, some material will resonate with the audience more than others. You got to get out there to discover what resonates and what doesn’t.
  • What topics are easier to get booked for – I have a list of 4 different workshop topics we offer for clients. Only 2 of them ever really get booked. You don’t know that unless you’re out there actually speaking.
  • What topics you most enjoy speaking about – Sometimes you don’t know until you try. You may find you really enjoy speaking on one subject more than another. Again, you have to give it a shot to know for sure either way.

If you’re going to be a speaker, you have to start speaking. Whatever topics or subjects you choose to talk about are not permanent. Most speakers are always reinventing themselves and moving to different topics as the market shifts as well as when they shift in life.

But at some point, you have to stop researching and doing homework and start actually promoting yourself as a speaker.

Get Started As A Speaker!

A free, 9 lesson course that will give you the plan you’re looking for to help you become a speaker.

Get Started As A Speaker Today!

what-do-speakers-get-paid-for

What Topics Do Speakers Get Paid For?

what-do-speakers-get-paid-for

When it comes to discovering what you want to speak about and what speakers get paid for, there’s a huge principle to keep in mind…

There’s a balance between what you want to speak about and what clients will pay for.

Just because you’re knowledgeable, passionate, and have massive expertise on knitting scarves for kittens doesn’t mean anyone else cares. Or at least not enough to pay you to talk about it.

This means knowing why you’re speaking is so critically important. If you just love speaking about the scarves you’ve knitted for Whiskers, Banana Muffin, and Kitty Kitty and couldn’t care less about getting paid, then by all means, speak away.

But if you want to get paid, you have to find the balance between what you want to talk about and what clients will pay for.

6 Principles For Speech Topics & Getting Paid…

1. Some topics are easier to get booked for than others.

If you want to speak about sales, customer service or leadership, there are plenty of opportunities for those topics. Keep in mind though that you’ll be competing with a lot of other speakers on those topics.

2. The more unique your presentation on a common topic, the easier it is to get booked.

If you want to speak about teamwork, what makes you different than the 98238908 other speakers who talk about that? A good example is the speaker duo known as the Passing Zone. These guys have a unique presentation using juggling and comedy that makes a common topic more distinguishable.

3. The more niche your topic, the tougher it is to get booked.

If you want to speak about “Investment Portfolio Diversification Strategies for 7 Year Olds,” you’re going to have a tough time. Also, I’ve heard “Scarve Knitting for Kittens 101” is also a tough topic.

4. Some topics are easier to get paid for than others.

In general, the more your topic contributes to the bottom line, the more you can charge. The more you can measure the results of your talk, the more you can charge. For example, if a company pays you $10,000 to teach their sales team how to improve what they do and as a result, they make an extra $100,000, your fee looks like a no brainer.

5. The more well known you are in a niche, the more you can be paid.

You don’t have to be well known in the entire world, just within your niche. You can be a pseudo celebrity in your industry and do really well as a speaker.

6. Keynotes are generally paid while workshops are generally not.

Certain topics work better as a keynote rather than a workshop. A keynote generally appeals to a broader audience, while a workshop may just be for a smaller group of people. The wider the range of appeal for your topic, the easier it is to get booked as a keynote. But keep in mind that the wider the range of appeal of your topic, the more competition you’ll have as a speaker.

For example, a motivational presentation is generally going to be applicable to most any audience. But let’s say you want to talk about how the layout of an office has an effect on company morale. That might be interesting, but it’s probably only interesting to a niche audience, so it would work better as a workshop.

Here’s a variation though…you could do a presentation on how to increase company morale that would work well as a keynote and within that keynote talk about how the layout of an office effects morale. That way you can ‘trojan horse’ your topic.

Again, a large part of this process comes back to why you want to speak. That may help define how important it is to you to get paid and what you want speaking to help you accomplish.

Get Started As A Speaker!

A free, 9 lesson course that will give you the plan you’re looking for to help you become a speaker.

Get Started As A Speaker Today!