If you strive to speak for a living (or have part of it as your business model), I assume you want to be paid for your talks.

In past posts, I’ve talked about how new speakers are often expected to deliver a keynote for free. It’s a sad reality, but there it is. But the bottom line is that you should be paid to speak, no matter what the organization tells you about their budget. You are working. Hard. And dammit, you deserve to be paid for it.

Okay. That’s that…. (I am very passionate about speakers getting paid for their time.)

So where can you find these paid speaking opportunities?
I’m glad you asked. 🙂  

If you don’t have an agent or belong to a bureau, that’s fine. You don’t always need one. Some speakers don’t want one. I personally have never had one. Having said that, here are 3 Ways to Find Paid Speaking Opportunities:


1) Check Other Speakers Websites

find paid speaking opportunitiesYes, you heard me correctly. I’m encouraging you to go to the websites of other speakers that are similar to you, and check out where they’ve delivered a keynote.

Lots of speakers have a page with testimonials or logos of businesses and organizations they’ve spoken at. (The image here is from my site.) For fairly new speakers, this is a great way to begin to learn what kind of companies and industries need speakers like you.

You’re not taking anything from anybody, either. These companies bring speakers in all the time. All your doing is expediting the search process by visiting the websites of other speakers. The companies they spoke at are open range. They are not exclusive to those particular speakers.

You can even take it a step further and drop that particular speaker an email. “Hi There. I’m Sally Speaker. I see you spoke at the Pepsi Corporation last year. Congratulations! I would love to know how it went and how you were received. I’m considering submitting a proposal to them soon.”

Sometimes they respond, sometimes they don’t. If they’re coming from a place of service, they won’t mind sharing some details with you.


2) Invest in Columbia Books and Information Services

find paid speaking opportunitiesColumbia Books and Information Services
is truly a wealth of information.

For an annual fee, you can have access to association databases and meeting planner databases in every corner of the country. These databases don’t just offer links to industry websites – oh no, my friends – these databases give you contact names, emails, and phone numbers of the right people you need to talk to.

They also give you the annual budget of the association. This is good to know when negotiating your speaker fee. You’ll also discover how many members are in the organization, where they meet annually for their conference, and if they have more than one conference. It’s awesome.

I’ve purchased a few of these books before, but I highly recommend you spend a few extra dollars for the online database. They are both the same, but the books are massive and can put a crick in your neck. Consider a free trial at the AssociationsExecs database or the Meeting Planner List.

I don’t know if these are resources you can find at your local library? If you can find them, SCORE! They can be pricey. So check out libraries in your areas.


3) Use Google Alerts

find paid speaking opportunitiesSeems obvious, doesn’t it? Yet not many of us think about it.

Another cost-free way to find speaking engagements is utilizing Google’s alert system. This little tool has shown me speaking opportunities I would have never known existed if I hadn’t set up an automated search. If you’re not familiar with Google Alerts, it’s very simple to use. Consider keywords like:
“speaker submission 2017”
“call for speakers 2017”
“conference, summit 2017”
“speaker submission 2017”
“call for speakers 2017”
“conference, summit 2017”

Set up alerts and see what comes your way. Be advised that some alerts will be for platform speaking opportunities that don’t pay. There are hundreds of conferences out there that need platform (or breakout session) speakers. 

If you are a speaker that sells high-ticket services like coaching or branding, you may be okay with this because you’ll have a room full of potential clients sitting in front of you. I did a ton of these when I was a business coach. I didn’t mind because at the time, I was selling high-ticket coaching services. Just one new client was worth the trip.


Other  Resources

find paid speaking opportunitiesIf you struggle with selling or making an offer at the end of a talk, consider my$3.99 eBook, my How To Write a Talk That Sells that shows you how to sell with integrity. The last thing you want to feel is to feel “salesy” or manipulative while making an offer.

If you want to peek at a free excerpt before you buy, get it here.

I also have a second $3.99 eBook called How To Find Paid Speaking Opportunities. It goes into great detail where you can find paid speaking gigs, how to negotiate them, and what you need to say and do when you reach out to different organizations.

If you want to peek at peek at a free excerpt of this book before you buy, get it here.

There are rooms all over the world that need you. Truly. Take the time to find them and share your voice or your services. The world is waiting for you.


Joleene Moody is a former television reporter and anchor turned freelance writer, blogger, and speaker, based in Central New York.
(No, not New York City. Not even close. 🙂
Learn more at www.joleenemoody.com