I was talking to a conference planner not long ago, pitching some of the Speaker Sponsor speakers, and he told me that if a speaker was any good they wouldn’t need to market themselves or get anyone to do it for them. Really? Well, I guess if you’re Hillary Clinton or Tony Robbins, you can basically just sit back and let the speaking jobs come to you, but for most speakers I strongly believe you need to get out and let people know who you are and what you do through speaker marketing.

Apparently, every speaker I talked to agreed, though everyone markets in a different way. Here are some of their responses to the question on speaker marketing and how they do it:


For sure speakers have to market themselves! Especially when you’re new to speaking on your own, without the exposure that comes from a corporate position or your book publisher, you’re unlikely to be “found” by conference or meeting planners. I’ve been speaking since I was in my 20s, when I began sponsoring marketing workshops in 1979 while finishing my MBA and writing a book on small business marketing. In that era before webinars, before Skype, before audio-conferencing (and before significant continuing education budget cuts at employers), it seemed easier to market yourself. Today, people have less time for events and less money for workshop registration or travel, and there’s more competition online from free or low-cost webinars. (more…)

business speaker

business speaker

To be good at what you do, you should watch what others do. As a speaker I like to see everything, even the worst speakers because I can always learn from them. So, when I run across a really good speaker I feel like I can learn even more.

I did happen to see a good speaker who is also in my industry. I found him because I was curious to see who the company ended up hiring. After being in the running for the job I wanted to check him out. After seeing his video I could see why he was picked.

What makes a good speaker?

I’m not one who is impressed by all sizzle and no steak. So to be great, in my opinion, you have to have both. I’m not dazzled by BS, but like to hear great, unique information delivered well.

I quickly realized that this guy had done his homework. He had years of experience in the industry and had written a couple of books on the topic as well. He also knew his audience and it showed.

I’ve paid to see $25,000 speakers that I thought would also have great information delivered well and was very disappointed. Like I said, I’m not one who is dazzled by BS. (I’ve been in Hollywood too long) So, when someone is an A list speaker because they have a good publicist, yet falls short in the information department I feel cheated.

The first guy wasn’t on the A list. I had never heard of him. And I don’t think he is in the $25,000 speaker category. But if the two were side by side he would have blown the A list dude out of the water.

By seeing both of these speakers it really helped me to see what I needed to improve on. It also gave me some confidence that just because someone makes the big bucks, doesn’t mean they are better. I’ve worked in casting offices and I can tell you that is definitely not always the case.

Like I always say “You can learn something from everyone”.

If you’re working as a speaker, you must be an expert at something. But what makes someone an expert? Does writing a book make you one? I could write a book about scuba diving. In fact, I could write a whole series of books about scuba diving, but it’ll never make me an expert.

sexpert speaker

expert speaker

I have a crazy theory that you should have actually put in a certain number of years into practice that which you claim to be an expert in. My doctor’s been practicing medicine for 30 years, but he’s never written a book. I would call him an expert.

The trifecta for speakers

But I’m not the one who makes the decision to hire speakers. And having a book and being high profile does appeal to plenty of meeting planners. Of course, if you have the experience and a book and you’ve gotten a lot of press, you’re way ahead of the game. (more…)