“Like so many other aspects of the working world, getting into speaking gigs can be a catch-22. You need experience to get the gigs, but you need the gigs to get the experience.”
- Megan Berry, VP of Product at Rebelmouse
When it comes to speaking at events and conferences, expecting to immediately book the biggest gigs or get paid is unrealistic and honestly, not the smartest idea. It’s important to think practical and realistic to start, target the right events for your expertise and audience, and work your way up.
Even the most popular, high profile speakers have had to start somewhere - and with good reason, as the worst place to do your first presentation would be on-stage in front of hundreds of people! Becoming a great speaker requires practice and comes with experience. It means being proactive and investing both time and effort in your message, as well as your speaking strategy.
The result is a ripple effect, as one speaking engagement can open the door to another. Plus, to get into some of those bigger, more established conferences, you usually need past speaking experience. (For those of you who are unfamiliar with the submission process, many applications even ask for videos of you speaking. Without one, you might not even be considered.)
So as Berry says, find the low-hanging fruit first. Not getting enough - or any - inbound requests to speak? Try meetups and panels. “Solo gigs are harder to get than panel gigs.” And there are dozens of meetups and small events happening in every city, every month. You just have to take the time to look for them.
Because remember: it’s a marathon, not a sprint.
For more tips on securing more speaking gigs, check out this article.
Need help getting started? Not sure what events would be interested in you? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.