One of the BIGGEST questions I get is – “How do you become a paid speaker?” WELL let me tell ya, it takes a lot of ground work, content creation, and honing your craft and expertise before you can start demanding a speakers fee. It’s absolutely possible to become a paid speaker with the right platform, persistence, and strategic approach. There is no doubt that speaking in front of an audience is intimidating, but it could open endless possibilities for your personal brand and career.
I wanted to dive deeper into this subject, so I invited fellow keynote speaker and digital marketer, Brian Fanzo, to be last week’s #MillennialTalk guest. Brian is a rockstar at landing amazing speaking engagements and commanding the stage with his infectious energy and educational content. We covered many important elements to becoming a successful public speaker including structuring our speakers fee, marketing tools, key elements for your presentation and so much more!
Scroll down for a recap of this weeks Q&A:
@ChelseaKrost: Paid public speakers should:
Be an expert in a specialized skill, niche, tool/platform ,industry etc.
Have a respected reputation & personal brand following
Be able to provide value & tangible tips/advice to an audience
@iSocialFanz: Nice part about speaking is that anyone can be a paid public speaker… Crazy part is there isn’t a direct recipe or # of stages or years of experience required to get paid. Also many different types of speakers: Entertainers Celebrities Motivational Etc.. Based on my experience its a combo of having something to say of unique value, being able convey it in a relatable way and linking stories and experiences with solving problems and/or providing unique solutions & being a passionate storyteller on stage! Just because you’re great at your job or an influential content creator it doesn’t mean you’re a speaker worth getting paid.. It’s about mapping your value to the event managers needs knowing what problems you solve or solutions you provide!
@sarahdudley3: The best speakers I’ve seen have an optimal mix of:
Not sure this is a prescribed formula. But sometimes too many “qualifications” doesn’t necessarily make a great speaker.
@ChelseaKrost: When asked to speak for free ask yourself:
– Is there a cost involved in travel?
– Is exposure at this event a worthy investment in my brand/product/service?
– Is something being given to you in place of compensation? (Free trade booth, PR, Recording, etc.)
@iSocialFanz: It’s about positioning yourself.. You aren’t getting paid for the 1 hour you’re on stage you’re getting paid for the 15+ years of experiences and stories that you skillfully deliver in 1 hour on stage personalized for each audience. Although we all crave instant gratification that’s almost impossible as a speaker unless you’re a celebrity… So speaking at small events, building out testimonials, video footage and experience will lead to more paid conversations!
@BrowerKDnB: When you’re just starting out you should accept everything that makes complete sense for your industry and expertise. Always inquire about covering expenses, or you can even ask your employer (it’s great brand exposure!)
@ChelseaKrost: In order to become a paid speaker you must establish your personal brand and show your expertise! This includes things like building a social following, becoming a published author, and press/media exposure.
Structure your speakers fee based on the following elements:
– Years of experience
– Level of expertise & accolades
– Follower & Engagement level (social/blog)
– Amount of promotion you will be doing on behalf of event
– Length of presentation
@iSocialFanz: This differs for everyone but most important is starting with an amount that you BELIEVE you are worth therefore when you negotiate and present your fee it comes from a place of confidence… Took me 2 years to build out a package that matched my value! You can do packages that include other assets such as twitter chat sponsorship, live podcasts and include your speaking slot at 1 fee vs full day at event wiling to be on panels, live streams & stages all for one price. Early on I packaged everything!
@ChelseaKrost: Marketing tools are SO important! I recommend investing your time & money into creating these assets:
– speaker reel & micro vids (short soundbites to share on social like below)
– speaker sheet
– website tab to learn about your speaking services
@iSocialFanz: Early on it’s about providing content that establishes you as a thought leader on the topic you want to speak on and then examples of you on stage. For me I used my podcast
@FOMOFanz for thought leadership & live video to prove I can deliver & I was engaging! Now as a full time professional speaker my top 5:
1. Speaker recommendations and Stage side leads 2. Linkedin Video (3-week thought leadership focused) 3. Podcast (I host 3) 4. Twitter/Insta/Facebook turning fans into my speaking advocates 5. Website
@BrianHartPR: If you want speaking gigs, you need third-party credibility. You can only get so far telling the world how great you are. You need the press, influencers and brand ambassadors doing it, too
@ChelseaKrost: #SocialMedia is a powerful tool for landing speaking engagements! Use your online platform to share content that shows your expertise and experience. It is all about that CONTENT MARKETING ⚡️ Use social media to natively post your speaker reel & micro vids from previous keynotes. Show yourself in action & giving value vs telling people “Im a speaker.”
@iSocialFanz: Yes, Anyone can put public speaker in their bio but on social media it’s important to establish your knowledge while sprinkling in clips on stage. Dropping your speaker reel or a full keynote won’t work but grabbing a powerful memorable clip will!
If you aren’t going to be your own biggest cheerleader than why would anyone else cheer for you! Social media is about building trust & sharing WHY you were successful so we can learn together!
@matthewjcoleman: Not sure they’re “tricks” as much as just plain hard, authentic work. Put out quality content, make the right connections, nurture them, and then engage in the conversation
@ChelseaKrost: 🔑 elements to consider for presentations:
– Do you have INFO-TAINMENT? (content that is informative & entertaining)
– Is it relatable to the audience at hand?
– Are your slides eye-catching?
– Length of presentation
– Does it include and ‘AHA’ Moment?
@iSocialFanz: My rule for every presentation no matter the length is it has 5 key elements: 3 dynamic takeaways or data points 1 unforgettable story 1 element of humor or vulnerable personal moment I then build my slides from 5 key takeaways to validate, educate & inspire!
@TabreshaL: Most of the speakers that I have enjoyed have been engaging and humorous. It’s very important to keep people entertained. Don’t just talk at people. Talk with people and truly focus on providing relevant info
@ChelseaKrost: Storytelling is one of my favorite parts of giving a presentation. It is the best way to connect, relate and impact others. I like to always incorporate the 3 C’s in my presentations- Character, Conflict, and Conclusion.
@iSocialFanz: Storytelling is by far the most important aspect of speaking as you have to be able to build tension, establish trust, be relatable and in many cases spark emotion often times in just 30 minutes. Video can be extremely valuable as examples but for me adding video adds one more element that could go wrong on stage. I give a keynote on the power of social video w/o using one video clip and I’ve been paid to give it 30+ times! Video is great when it works!
@christhames35: At the end of the day, we are all human. Setting up your speaking event with something personal that has impacted you from what you learned will resonate well with the audience & provide you with the opportunity to easily transition into technical info.
@ChelseaKrost: Yes, but it must be done the right way! People don’t want to feel like they are being sold to, they want to feel like they are being educated.
Great perspective from @TheZigZiglar
Speaking presentations allow you to connect with the audience and gain their trust. Once you have shown them who you are, what you have to offer and provide them with a solution to a problem, then you can present them with your service offer naturally.
@iSocialFanz: Many events allow you to give a CTA or even sell from stage and with those events they aren’t paying you because they believe you will make money doing those things. no better way to build trust than establishing yourself as the thought leader on the topic. For me selling from stage always felt awkward for me therefore rather than selling my product/service I focus on being memorable and the best speaker at the event so the audience will come to me to purchase my services.
They can open doors to new opportunities and connections
They can negotiate fees on your behalf
@iSocialFanz: I’m not an expert on this topic as I just signed with a speaker agent in 2019 as the 4 years prior I was a team of 1. Most are an exclusive or non-exclusive relationship and if it’s exclusive ask what level of marketing, biz dev and advocating they’ll do!
@JenOleniczak: I’m with one, and they definitely get different gigs than me! Their cut is 20%
@ChelseaKrost:Get the audience in on the action! Make it engaging by asking them questions, doing live polls – interactive moments and add anecdotes. Getting the audience to laugh always keeps their attention.
@iSocialFanz: It’s a combo of what a speaker says, how a speaker says it, what the speaker does on stage and the level of trust the speaker has with the audience which takes practice! Best place to start is study those speakers that capture your attention….
@Polymathically: Tone/cadence are absolutely essential. You can’t just drone on and on, as if you’re reading from a book. Nor can you mindlessly trail off into tangents. You need to know what words to emphasize, what to make your audience focus on, etc.
@ChelseaKrost: BIGGEST TIP: invest in speaking for free a few times this way you can perfect your presentation, overcome any nerves, capture content of you speaking for a reel, and acquire testimonials – this will only help to command a speakers fee easier for the BIG opportunity around the corner.
@iSocialFanz: My number 1 tip is probably the one I share the most: Remember that you aren’t speaking in front of a nascar audience as they aren’t there to watch a crash. The audience wants to see you succeed often times more than you do so remember that and do your thing!
@MargueriteTort: Seize the opportunity to talk all the time! Check out local options, talk with family and friends, and use social media. Opportunities will flourish as you share your insights. And, help others along the way!
Ready for more? Check out our #Millennialtalk RECAP