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Seven Sources for Finding Speaking Engagements

Establish Yourself as a Sought-after Speaker

Public speaking offers a range of opportunities—from professional growth, to promotion of you and your business, to breathing new life into your existing network. In addition, by doing a little preparation and research, you will find many excellent opportunities within your reach. In this article, the author helps the reader learn how to find the perfect audience for their expertise—and lay groundwork for speaking engagements that will help the expert and their company.

Public speaking offers a range of opportunities—from professional growth, to promotion of you and your business, to breathing new life into your existing network. In addition, by doing a little preparation and research, you will find many excellent opportunities within your reach. In this article, I will help you learn how to find the perfect audience for your expertise—and lay groundwork for speaking engagements that will help you and your company.

More marketing tips like these can be found in Hinge’s How-To Guides from Hinge University, our online learning platform.

1. Enhance Your Website by Adding a Press Kit

Before you even get started with finding opportunities to speak, make sure you have organized your press kit and made it accessible and inviting on your website. When you begin reaching out to prospective hosts for speaking engagements, this will make it much easier to share information about your background and areas of expertise.

A well-prepared press kit is one of the best ways to make a great first impression, so be sure to include video or audio clips from your past speaking engagements, if available. Such clips can be a very powerful way to convey your personality and speaking style to the people who will decide whether or not to invite you to speak to their groups.

Want more details on creating a press kit? Watch this video! [Video] How to Create a Press Kit

2. Share Your Expertise and Thought Leadership

If you have already written about topics that are relevant to your area of expertise, that is the very essence of thought leadership—and you should use it to your advantage. Contact prospective speaking hosts and share links to your blog, executive guides, or other resources that demonstrate your expertise. When they start to vet possible speakers, your writings can help to differentiate you and demonstrate the depth of your knowledge.

3. Contact Industry Associations

Professional associations often provide some of the best speaking opportunities. Establishing a track record as an effective speaker with one can also open the doors to others. Do some focused research to find the groups that are best fits for your industry focus and areas of expertise.

As you do this research, try to determine the point of view of each association. Organizations want speakers who can address the biggest topics, trends, and challenges that their members are facing. If you can identify those challenges and offer an interesting (or even better, provocative) point of view, you could quickly become a serious candidate for the group’s next major gathering.

4. Work Your Local Connections

Local organizations (such as Rotary, Kiwanis, and Chambers of Commerce) often feature speakers at their periodic meetings. These appearances may not attract crowds of the size that large association gatherings do, but they can still be great venues to get started and gain experience and confidence. Just as importantly, they offer face-to-face access to business owners and other senior employees who may be able to share information about speaking opportunities at their own companies. At a minimum, you could walk away from speaking engagements at such local events with experience that you can showcase in your press kit.

5. Scope Out Where Your Competition has Spoken

Another important source of insights is where your competition finds their audiences. Look at Google, LinkedIn, and competitors’ websites to learn where your peers have had speaking engagements. These venues may also be great opportunities for you, since such organizations often like to offer fresh presenters at their events.

6. Business Periodicals

Many major business publications, including Fortune and Inc. magazine, include lists of events that are relevant to their readers.

Look at trade publications targeting your own industry as well, as they often feature event calendars. Their articles about events may also include valuable information about the kind of content and speakers that your targeted organizations tend to feature.

7. Speaker Directories

Another useful source of leads and insight are speaker directories (be advised, however, that some of them charge for their services). Visit their sites, review your options, and decide if it might be worth it for you or your firm to seek a listing.

Investing time and energy into research about speaking opportunities may seem overwhelming at first. But you can make it more manageable by picking just a few resources and exploring them. In time, you will establish yourself as a sought-after speaker among your target audiences—and in the process, create exciting growth opportunities for both your firm and your own personal brand.

For more ideas and guidance on practical marketing techniques to implement at your firm, be sure to check out our Quick Start Kits and How-To Guides on this and many other marketing and branding topics at Hinge University.

Best of luck!


Lee W. Frederiksen, PhD, is Managing Partner at Hinge, the leading branding and marketing firm for the professional services. Hinge conducts groundbreaking research into high-growth firms and offers a complete suite of services for firms that want to become more visible and grow.

Dr. Frederiksen can be contacted at (703) 391-8870 or by e-mail to LFrederiksen@hingemarketing.com.

The National Association of Certified Valuators and Analysts (NACVA) supports the users of business and intangible asset valuation services and financial forensic services, including damages determinations of all kinds and fraud detection and prevention, by training and certifying financial professionals in these disciplines.

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