027: How To Become A Successful Youth Speaker (Josh Shipp)

Josh Shipp

Have you ever seen a speaker and thought, “I want to do that!”? Many of us have and here to talk about his journey into public speaking is one of my inspirations, Mr. Josh Shipp. Josh is a former foster kid turned youth speaker extraordinaire.

And he joins the How Did You Get Into That podcast to share his journey, what he’s learned along the way about finding a mentor to emulate, going your own way and how to create new challenges when you reach the mountaintop – and a whole lot more!


Growing up, Josh was shuttled from foster home to foster home. He was a deeply troubled child who no longer trusted adults after he’d been badly burned by a few. It wasn’t until he was about 14 that he landed in a foster home with parents who finally got through to him.

Around that same time, a teacher of his pulled him aside and had a chat with him. Josh had always been a class clown, but instead of seeing this as a nuisance, his teacher saw this as potential leadership within Josh. His teacher offered him a deal: stay quiet during class and the last 5 minutes of the period are yours to do whatever you want in front of the class. Josh accepted the offer and shortly after that same teacher told him he had leadership potential. Because Josh could hold the attention of his classmates, this teacher believed Josh was a true leader and had the potential to do something great. It was a catalytic moment for Josh.

A new path had been paved for Josh; he took on a leadership position in his local chapter of DECA and within his high school.

With newfound responsibilities, Josh also began speaking. He was asked to speak to middle school and elementary school kids about why they should join DECA. Soon the teachers asked him to return and speak to their kids about anything, it didn’t have to be about DECA. Those speeches led to even more speaking requests and Josh became fascinated with the art of speaking and how it could be a career path for him.


  • What two types of speakers did Josh need to see?
  • Selling the speech or giving the speech: which does Josh love more?
  • The three pillars of creating a successful speaking foundation.
  • What is his podcast called and who does he serve?
  • How he shifted his income to 5% speaking – and why he’s making even more money since.
  • And so much more!

Up until that point in his life, Josh was in total survival mode. He had no dreams for himself, his only thoughts were focused on getting through the day and surviving til the next. With a new future opening up for him, Josh took speaking a little more seriously. It stopped being about ego gratification and about making a difference, becoming a catalyst for others the way his teacher and a handful of other adults had been for him. He sought out other speakers and remembers watching some pretty terrible ones and some pretty great ones. The bad ones showed him he didn’t have to be amazing, he could just be a little bit better than that person.

And the great ones inspired him; he wanted to model himself after them, learn all he could from them and become as good as they are. The greatest he saw? Mark Scharenbroich.

Inspired by speakers like Mark, Josh still went to college. His fledgling speaking career hadn’t stabilized so he opted for college, all the while keeping public speaking at the forefront of his visions for the future. And he made a commitment to himself: he set a specific monetary goal he needed to be earning from speaking before he would pursue it full-time. Naturally he reached that goal; then he set others. Within about 8 years, he had realized all of those goals were reached.

He had no idea what to do next! He had no future plans for himself. It was time to reinvigorate his career. He wanted to take his business to a new level; he and his wife wanted to have a family, and he wanted a new challenge. It was time to do something that scared him silly and he picked a goal: to earn a 7-figure income in his current market, while speaking LESS.

Sounds crazy right? Maybe. But Josh did it. He has developed programs and more options for his same market, he was now able to serve more people and spend less time on the road which is what he does to this day.

Please join me in thanking Josh for sharing his knowledge biscuits on the show; he’s an awesome guest and it was great to chat with him. Leave him a comment or send him a Tweet.

Tweetable: “Speaking is nothing more than advice mediated through your personality.” Josh Shipp


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