How to get paid speaking gigs

Are you interested in landing some paid speaking gigs, but not sure where to start? Good news, we can help with that! Finding and getting paid speaking gigs can seem difficult, but by taking the right steps, you will be able to find the perfect opportunities to get in front of people and share your message, while also getting compensated!


Be specific

When you are trying to find paid speaking gigs, you need to think about precisely what you want. This can include the venue, the audience, and the industry. You can ask yourself questions like:

  • What about my expertise is different?
  • Which topics do I want to speak on?
  • What types of audiences do I want to speak to? I.e., formal, churches, colleges, business professionals, etc.
  • Do I want to speak locally, nationally, or globally?
  • How much do I want to get paid?
  • How often do I want to speak?

Think of your ideal speaking gig and write down all the details. Once you have all the specifics written down, you will have a much easier time looking for paid gigs. Being clear on your speaking goals helps narrow down where you look for gigs and sets you up for success when it comes time to pitch.


Start researching

Where do you even start when researching paid speaking opportunities? Pro-tip, do not just Google “paid speaking gigs.” Start by looking for upcoming conferences, development events, and conventions that are related to your industry. Start compiling lists of these opportunities that include:

  • Name of event
  • Topics being discussed or your proposed topic
  • When it is
  • Location
  • Contact information/ links
  • Additional notes or comments on the event
  • Deadline to apply as a speaker

Collecting all of this information will give you a comprehensive list of people and places to contact about being a speaker. This will streamline your process and help you personalize your messages when you start to reach out to event coordinators. 


Start contacting coordinators and planners

Now that you have a list of events you are interested in, it is time to start sending messages to the planners and coordinators. Pitch yourself to them by telling them about you, what you would like to speak on, and how their event would benefit from you being there.

Keep this message fairly brief and use clear yet compelling language. This is a pitch, not a speech. Make sure that you personalize each message; sending mass messages is bad practice and lowers your chances of hearing back from anyone. Put a little extra time into each message to prove that you did your research and that you really want to speak at their event.


Get involved with events of interest

What better way to get acquainted with venues and events than to attend? If you are interested in speaking at an event, but it is too late to request being a speaker, go to the event. You will get first-hand experiences that will help you be prepared to apply next time! You will also have the opportunity to meet people of influence, other industry leaders and build relationships.


Leverage a PR agency

Having the help and expertise of a public relations agency will aid in helping you find, and land paid speaking placements. PR personnel have contacts all over the place and typically have access to events meaning that they are the perfect people to have in your corner when you are looking for paid speaking opportunities. They can even help you reach out to the right people, and curate the perfect messages to send them.

Landing paid speaking gigs is a huge milestone for anyone, particularly those looking to increase their thought leadership or credibility as an industry leader. You can find opportunities on your own, but if you would like some help finding paid opportunities and help creating the perfect content to pitch, reach out to us!