20 proven ways to get paid more as a speaker.

Updated to Speaking on May 3, 2023.

I had fun with this list making exercise. I wanted to create a short list (maybe 5 or 6 things) that I do to grow my speaking business.

Sure, I also make money from book sales and on-line courses, but speaking is still the lion’s share of my revenues. So, I started the list. And then the list grew.

And grew.

And grew.

I hacked it back as much as I could, but still ended up with 20.

Here are some examples:

  • Show up early. Prima donnas wear slippers. Working speakers should be a part of the event. Network, ask questions, listen, and be genuinely curious. Show you care and they will care what you have to say.
  • Start with a problem. Skip the airport, taxi, or hotel story and get to their problem. The faster you prove you know their pain, the sooner they will listen to your solutions.
  • Tell your story. Audiences want to know you – your successes, failures, quirks, and insights. Share from your journey (not what some dead-white-guy did 80 years ago.)           
  • Relive your stories (don’t recite them). Script them, perfect the delivery, and then let it go. Relive your stories (like the first time) and keep your audience leaning in, learning, and loving it.
  • Keep your promises. A speech is a series of contracts: arrive on time, deliver what you promised, end on time, don’t hard sell back-of-room. Nail your promises and watch your business grow.

At the end of the day, I don’t care what’s on your bio. You might be a past Olympic athlete, mountain climber, or retired CEO. But your performance on stage and customer service will overrule any Ph.D, or multi-million dollar startup. Be great with your clients and awesome on stage and you can enjoy a 6-figure income and busy calendar every year until you finally move to Arizona and take up golf.

Here’s the full list in Slideshare. Let me know in the comments which is your favorite.