How to become a paid speaker

Maybe becoming a paid speaker is something you’ve thought about before, or maybe it’s something you haven’t even really considered as part of your business journey yet? In today’s episode, I share how you can transition to not just becoming a speaker, but becoming a paid speaker, to talk about your area of expertise.

In this Episode:

  • How I started my public speaking journey (and overcame my fears)
  • My top reasons why you should become a speaker to grow your business
  • How to become a paid speaker
  • How to price your speaking services


Book me as a speaker >



* Transcript created by AI – may contain errors or omissions from original podcast audio

 Maybe becoming a paid speaker is something you’ve thought about before, or maybe it’s something you haven’t even really considered as part of your business journey yet. Either way in today’s episode of the podcast, I’m going to be talking to you about how you can transition to not just becoming a speaker, but becoming a paid speaker to talk about your area of expertise.

Let’s dive on in.

 Okay. First things first, if you are here and thinking, becoming a paid speaker, I am so freaking nervous. I can’t imagine actually even wanting to speak in front of people, let alone transitioning to becoming a paid speaker. And if that is you, Do not worry. You are still in the right place. I would describe myself as having had a terrible public speaking phobia. It was something that has crippled me since my first memory was when I was in primary school. And I was going for a role as the school captain of the primary school. And I got up to speak in front of everyone and my body completely shut down. I went into total panic and I was unable to speak. I can’t remember exactly what happened, but long story short, I didn’t end up becoming the school captain of primary school and I should have been.

So that was my first, I guess, negative memory of public speaking. And over the years I have had many, many more where even when intellectually I wanted to be able to speak to an audience, my body just went into a panic state. So if that is you, I can totally relate because trust me, I have been there.

However, now I am, as you can probably hear on this podcast itself, a lot more confident with speaking and even speaking to bigger audiences. It wasn’t that long ago, my first guest appearance on a podcast, it was about eight years ago. And I went into such a state of panic when we were doing the interview that I had to stop the recording. And now, eight years later, here I am with my own podcast, hundreds of episodes later, and interviewed some really well known names from across the planet on this very podcast here.

So how did I go on this journey? How did I, I guess, become a lot more confident with my speaking?

Over the years, I’ve tried many things. I’ve done Toastmasters more times than I care to count. I’ve spent thousands of dollars being hypnotized. I’ve worked with coaches. I’ve done all kinds of things. I’ve even used medication. And the one thing that I would say that really has improved my speaking is doing it. Again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and particularly having positive experience after positive experience.

So this is something that I’ve just got a lot more comfortable with. And this, this very podcast that you’re listening to has been one particular platform that’s really supported that. Is that having that consistency with recording episodes every week, I also over on my Instagram account, I do Instagram lives every week.

And I remember that when I first even thought about doing that, it seemed like an impossible feat to me to go live and talk to my audience. And the more that I’ve done it. I can honestly say, I don’t even get nervous when I do my Instagram lives anymore. It’s just become a part of my every day in business.

So I wanted to share all of that at the start, because if you were someone who is at a state where. You’re not even a confident speaker. I just want to assure you, if me, someone who is incredibly, incredibly nervous, I just couldn’t speak in public. I’m now a paid public speaker and trust me, if I can do it. Anyone can do it.

So why would you want to become a speaker? Like what’s the advantage of becoming a speaker? Well, there’s a couple of things.

Firstly, it establishes you as an authority in your industry. And this is relevant, whether you have. What maybe you’re not a coach, maybe you have a service based business, or perhaps you even have a product based business. One of the things that undoubtedly you will know about running a business is that marketing is key and you don’t have to be a speaker to market your business, but it is a really cool and effective strategy for being able to reach more people. And the reason for this? People buy from people they like and speaking is a great way to build rapport with potential clients. This is true whether you have a product or a service, and when I think about it, I bought products off people that I just know because of their own personal brand and profile. So it can be a great opportunity to sell your product or service and get profile for your business.

Another key thing is visibility and reach. So when you are speaking, if you’re speaking on a stage, guess what? Chances are you are getting in front of new audiences. So if your primary social media platform, like mine is on Instagram, when you go and speak at an event, you’re not just speaking to your same old audience. You are getting new potential clients to see you and get, learn about the service or product that you have. So visibility, new audiences, reach.

And last but not least, and the reason why I really think that you should consider becoming a speaker. is because of money. And particularly what we’re talking about in today’s episode is about how to get paid for your speaking. Now, this was never something I really considered as part of my revenue opportunities for my business, but speaking has now become, an actual real way that I’m making revenue in my business. And I’m not just talking about speaking at events, big high profile speaking. I’m actually getting paid now as well for speaking to people’s communities for doing zoom presentations. And I’m getting new opportunities to speak on a very regular basis and I can only imagine that this will grow over time. So might be something worth considering as well.

And in case you’re wondering, well, exactly how much money are we talking about here? I’m going to talk more about price, about how to ask to be paid for your speaking later on. But when it comes down to how much you will get paid, this, of course, depends a lot on you, your profile, how you are able to position and market yourself, but we know there are some speakers that are paid hundreds of thousands, even millions of dollars to do speaking gigs. Like for example, Barack Obama, I imagine that to have him come and speak in an event would be hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars to have him come and speak. So the potential to earn money from speaking gigs in and of itself, let alone the extra sales reach, that you get from getting more eyeballs on your brand, speaking in and of itself has an amazing revenue opportunity behind it.

So how exactly do you go about becoming paid speaker?

First and foremost, you need to become seen as being an authority in your industry. If you’re in social media, Are you someone that people look up to and want to learn more from? If you run a product based business, do you have one of those brands, a cult brand that people want to learn from? At an event that I spoke at recently, Kristina Karlson, the founder of Kikki K was one of the speakers at the event as well. And you can imagine she’s got a huge brand or had a huge brand, a big profile and so people are happy to pay to learn about her business journey of how she built such a massive global brand.

So have a think, are you known? As an expert in your industry. And one of the things that I think is a really great tip here is, can you niche down what you are known for? And let me explain what I mean by that. I’m a business coach is what I’ve been doing mentoring for eight years now, but there’s a lot of business coaches out there. And if I was just another business coach, I might not have such a compelling message or people mightn’t be a hundred percent sure exactly what content I would be delivering to help their audience have a transformation.

And what I realized relatively early on in my journey was that I needed to be known for something. And my background’s actually in accounting, I’m a CPA, a qualified accountant, and I realized how much I love talking about money and specifically about profit. So that’s really become how I’ve niched down what I’m known for. I also call myself the cool accountant.

So you know, have a think about what is it that you are known for? And can you perhaps make it a little bit more specific? Another example of this, a friend of mine, she’s been on the podcast before a couple of times, Alisha, she was a social media person and she niched down to really become known as an expert in the space of Reels and has become recognized as one of the global leaders in teaching about Reels.

So have a think about that. Are you an authority? And is there a way that you can become a little bit more specific in what it is that you are known for?

Now, the next part of becoming a paid and recognized speaker is learning how to become a good speaker. That was a really unfortunate stumble. I probably should have said learn how to be a good speaker without stumbling over my words, the irony there.

. But in all seriousness, learning the skill of getting your audience engaged. And what are some tips here? Well, one tip is to use humor. If you’re a funny person, can you make people laugh? If you’re not naturally a funny person, what are some ways that you can buy people into your story? Can you use the power of storytelling? In the way that you share information, can you be a little bit vulnerable and share a bit about your own experiences and specifically how that relates to the transformation that you are selling?

Which leads me to the next point… people love a transformation. So when you were thinking about your message, think about the transformation or the story that you want to share. Some examples of what this might look like, you might want to share about your own personal journey. So perhaps you want to share about how you started your business hovering at the end of your dining table at nighttime after your day job, and then now you’ve got this business that serves people right across the world. And you’ve got your own office space. Maybe you might want to share about how you used to be terrified of public speaking. And now you’re a paid public speaker. Think about how you can share a story of transformation, maybe your own, or maybe of your clients or students of yours.

If you are really stuck in the area of how to become a good speaker, consider getting some help in this space.

And so you might want to hire someone who is a PR expert, someone who’s an expert in storytelling, or even someone who can teach you the skills of public speaking. So early in my speaking journey, I hired Katrina Blowers, who is actually a newsreader in Brisbane, my hometown. And she taught me some skills about crafting my story, but also about how to speak more confidently and how to get past saying the ums and the ahs and get a little bit more confident.

Other experts in this space that I recommend, my friend, Sally Prosser, who is based in Brisbane and one of my former clients Annalise McCarthy, the founder of Her Speaking Coach. Two absolute legends who, if you need some help in the space of public speaking or crafting your message, they can absolutely help you. So, get clear about the message and how you want to deliver your speech or your story.

So let’s actually talk about getting into the space of speaking. Now the first thing, and again, you don’t have to do this, but this is just something that I personally did on my own journey, was getting some runs on the board. What do I mean by that? That meant that in the early days I was doing some Free public speaking. And quite a bit of it. I’ve actually done that over a couple of years. And it doesn’t mean that every single opportunity you have to speak you need to be paid for, nor does it mean that every single time you’re asked to speak that you do it for free. But sometimes it does help to get some video footage of you speaking, to get in front of some audiences, to build your own confidence, to do some speaking for free. Again, I’m not saying that you have to do that, but that was part of my own journey.

So next, what you want to do is to be marketing yourself as a speaker.

Now first things first, do you have a speakers page on your website? If not, Why not create one? You can go and check mine out. Mine has had several reiterations over the years, but I’ll pop a link to it in the show notes for today’s episode so that you can go and check out the kind of things that I’ve included on my page. If you have a speakers reel, or if you have examples of you speaking or presenting, that would work really well on this page as well. But you want to include some testimonials, what people have said about you as a speaker, maybe some clips of you speaking so that people can get a bit of a feel for your vibe. But actually just putting it out there, I’m a speaker. And this will work in a lot of different industries. Like I said, uh, Kristina that I spoke with, she was from Kikki K, she still has a speakers page. So how can you actually put it out there? I’m a speaker.

The next thing of course is to continue to market yourself in this space.

So at the moment, for example, I’m talking about it here on the podcast, I’m talking about it on my socials, and I’m also going to be sharing with my email list, Hey, if you’re looking for a speaker for your membership, mastermind, community, uh, consider me, put it out there, actually tell people that this is something you are now doing.

Next, how to transition to charging or speaking. So first things first, if you are a long time listener of the podcast, you will know that I talk about money mindset. So money mindset is how you feel about money and a big part of being able to ask to get paid for your speaking is having the confidence to ask, can I be paid for this?

As I touched on earlier, you do not have to be standing on a stage with one of those little earpiece mics and delivering a hour long keynote to be paid for speaking. I get paid for presenting on Zoom. People are paying me very regularly to come and speak to their community, their membership, so there are lots of different ways that you can be paid for your speaking. But as I said, it is getting past the mindset of it, particularly for me, when I used to do free speaking, it was a bit uncomfortable to start saying to people, Hey, I actually charged to come and do a zoom presentation to your audience.

Or if you want me to come and sit on a panel, I am going to charge my time. And I had to go through my own mindset battles around it. So a big part of it is actually having your money mindset work in place, being confident in your ability to charge for speaking.

So the next natural question that I know you’re going to have is how to price.

One of the core foundations, and this is actually relevant in any area of your business, when you are setting your prices for your products or services is remembering this all price is, is an energetic exchange. It is someone saying, I want to make this much money for that thing and someone else saying, yeah, I reckon it’s worth it. And then them being happy and saying that seems fair to them.

So an example of this, a bottle of water at a supermarket might be 80 cents, but if I was buying a bottle of water in a nightclub where it was very hot, I’d been dancing a lot. Not that I go to nightclubs at all these days, but I’m just giving an example. I might be happy to pay 7. 50 for a chilled bottle of water at that point in time. So my point is this, what is expensive in some situations or expensive to some people is reasonable to other people. All it is, is it’s about, is that person happy to pay that price at that point in time in that particular place? And even all of us will have a different amount that seems reasonable at different points in time or in different environments.

So when you’re pricing both what you charge and what people are willing to pay will be different depending on the circumstances. And this is why, you know, I’m a big, big fan of being super transparent about pricing, about, I don’t like people having to get on a call before you tell them how much you charge for something, it’s to me, it just doesn’t feel aligned, but in the space of speaking, that’s why I don’t have my speaking fees on my website because it really does depend. And let me share what I mean by this.

So it depends on a couple of things. It depends on obviously availability. It depends on the requirements. It depends on the inclusions and it depends on the location.

Let me share what I mean. I am based on the Gold Coast here in Australia. So if there is a local speaking gig that I can drive down to or catch an Uber to, I’m going to charge a lot less than if I need to travel interstate or overseas. I had an offer recently, I think it was last year, to go and speak at a retreat in Mexico. And in exchange for me to do that, I said, well, I’m going to need business class tickets because that is a very long trip. I have a neck injury and for me to sit in economy, all the way to Mexico is just not feeling aligned for me at this point in time. So I said, I would need return business class tickets. Plus, because the retreat was, I think it was five nights long, that is a whole week away from my family by the time we build in the travel time as well. So for me, I needed to charge a sizable fee plus the business class tickets to make it worth my while. Another factor that came into play there was that I’ve actually been to Mexico. I don’t know if I’ve shared this on the podcast before or not, but I got married in Mexico. I’ve been to Mexico a couple of times and it doesn’t overly excite me to go back there again. It’s also not a super safe place. So for me, it wasn’t, there wasn’t that kind of excitement factor, to go along with it. Whereas let’s say that someone wanted me to go and speak in, I’m trying to think of somewhere I haven’t been to Sri Lanka, or India, somewhere that I’m, I’m really excited to go to, I might be happy to do that for a different price because I would go and tack on a little bit of travel along with it.

It really does depend for you on what that looks like. One of my friends is single and when she gets speaking opportunities overseas, she’s happy to go, at a, a much less cost than I would be because she’s not leaving behind partner or kids, she’s just getting to go on a trip and that’s, that’s fun. So you need to work out what that looks like for you. For me, if I need to travel somewhere, obviously I definitely want my travel costs covered, so accommodation and, and flights and meals, um, and or Ubers as well as a speaking fee. But for you, you need to have a think about what that looks like. If you are happy to travel interstate, you know, you love to jump on a plane at the drop of a hat. Maybe you say, do you know what? I’m happy to just come for the exposure and the experience, and if that feels aligned for you, amazing. Go for it. As I said earlier, pricing is an energetic exchange. If it feels good to you and the other party’s happy with it, then that is a win win.

When you’re thinking about your inclusion, something else that I consider is what else is required as part of it. So sometimes people ask me to promote. For example, if I’m speaking an event, they might say, Hey, I’d really love if you could share this with your audience, do a dedicated post or real on Instagram or share it with your email list. So again, if that is part of the deal, my expectation is that there’ll be a different price attached to that as well. So think about all of these factors. Again, I had a friend of mine who had a speaking opportunity and the person who was hosting the event firstly was not paying very much money at all, and then hounded and hounded that person to share on their social media. And that did not feel aligned because they didn’t have a, you know, they were basically trying to use their audience to sell tickets to their event. So again, all of these factors need to come into play.

So I know lately there’s, um, a bit of a trend, people hosting big events and asking you to speak for free. And again, maybe that feels aligned for you. Maybe it doesn’t. If I’m asked to speak at an event where, basically, they ask you to share the event with your audience, your social media, you need to post five times to your social media to send to your email list. And when I look at all the other speakers and I don’t know any of the other speakers names, for me, that doesn’t excite me. Maybe for you, it’s a good opportunity, but for me, that doesn’t excite me. I’ve also seen recently a couple of people pitching to me saying, Hey, do you want to become an international speaker?

And I’m like, yeah, let me find out more about this opportunity. And then they say, you have to pay me to come and speak at my event. And again, maybe that feels aligned for you. I can imagine there’s some circumstances where I’d be super happy to pay to get on a stage with certain people. But for me, these particular opportunities, I said, there’s no way I would want to pay to go and speak at these events. But again, you need to check in what feels aligned for you.

Something just to remember, if you are transitioning to becoming a paid speaker is that there are a lot of costs involved. Again, you don’t have to do all this stuff, but this is certainly what I do.

Don’t underestimate your travel costs. Even if you build in your flights, for example, you still have to catch, um, where I live at the Gold Coast, it is a minimum of cost. 50 up to 80 each way in an Uber to get to the airport, depending on the time. So that’s a significant other investment. I also get my hair and makeup professionally done before I speak. Often I will buy a new outfit or, potentially I don’t want to be seen in the same outfit at all the events that I speak at. There’s also the time in preparing the speech or customizing your speech to your audience. And there’s also the opportunity cost of what else you could be doing at that time, as well as the energy. While I’ve become a lot more confident with my public speaking, I still do get nervous. And I still do think about it before the event. And there is still that, uh, I guess, energy that you need to consider about, particularly if you are speaking live at an event, like I said, for me to speak on, on zoom or Instagram these days, I really don’t get nervous anymore, but some circumstances I do need to factor that in. Maybe that’s relevant to you. Maybe it’s not, but think about all of these things when you are considering your speaking fee.

So the last thing I want to touch on, this has become a really long episode. I wasn’t intending it to be this long, but as you know, if you’re a long time listener, I love to add heaps of value into my podcast episodes.

The last thing is how do you actually go about getting these speaking gigs? Well, truthfully, most of the opportunities that have come my way, in fact, I think all of the opportunities that have come my way so far have been where people are pitching me. They’ve seen me speaking at an event. They’re listeners of my podcast. They’re students, clients of mine, friends of mine and they come and say, I’d really like for you to speak at this event. Moving forward, I will be moving into the space of pitching, and actually, going to events and saying, Hey, I’d love to be a speaker. Here’s what it looks like to work with me.

So while a lot, I think all of the opportunities I’ve had so far, I think today have been people coming to me, moving forward, I’m actually going to really put myself out there and say, Hey, I’d love to speak at your event in the future. Is this something you would be open to?

Hopefully there’s been a lot of value in today’s episode for you. If you would like to hire me to come and speak to your membership, to do an online zoom presentation, to come along to your retreat, especially if it’s somewhere glamorous, hello, I’m so up for that. If you would like me to speak at an event that you are hosting, please get in touch. Like I said, I will share with you what the package looks like depending on, on the requirements, inclusions, things like that. And if you are on your own journey to paid speaking, I’m sending you every success. I am loving being a speaker these days. And like I said, even if you aren’t quite there yet, if I can do it, you can do it. To your success and sharing your amazing message with the world.

* Transcript created by AI – may contain errors or omissions from original podcast audio


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