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Make 2024 your speaking breakout year! Here's what I would do to find PAID speaking opportunities.

When I first started speaking, it was for free. I had no clue what I was doing. I didn't even know what I didn't know.

Speaking for me was just a hobby initially. I had a full-time job working on a college campus so my focus was not on getting PAID. A hobby income is what I earned too - zero. But I was fine with that.

Ironically though, I hired dozens of speakers for various student events at my college as well as various state and national events. In short, I was the "meeting planner." I knew what events hired speakers, how much they got paid, the contract process and the different topics and styles of speakers. And most importantly, I learned how to select the best speakers by finding the right ones.

Little did I know how important those experiences would be for me when the spark hit me one day and I realized there was more to speaking than meets the eye. If you watch my recent TEDx talk, you'll hear exactly the tipping point that changed my life.

After a few years of speaking 1-2-3 times a month for other campuses and conferences across the country, I started making just as much money as my full-time job. This is when I started thinking seriously about launching into speaking full-time.

There's more to that story, but the essence of it is that I got more intentional and focused about learning the BUSINESS of speaking. I hired a coach from pulling out 401K money and it quickly paid for itself in dividends! I followed his advice, applied myself and the ROI manifested.

After a few years of successful speaking, other speakers started asking me questions, taking me out to lunch, buying me coffee, etc. I was happy to help others, but the time we spent together answering a few questions just was not enough for them. They needed more business guidance. There was so much to know. They also needed accountability to follow through.

In short this why I wrote my book PAID to $PEAK, to give perspective how I started my speaking journey while working full-time. But the book also provides a detailed roadmap for exactly how I continue to run my speaking business today.

I've organized PAID to $PEAK in 5 Modules that build upon each other step-by-step. The process is orderly, actionable and proven.

To my knowledge, no other book about professional speaking exists that was written from a full-time speaker and actually walks you through a specific roadmap with resources and examples.

PAID to $PEAK is available in any format you need - print, eBook, audiobook and my new Online Course. It also includes a private website where you can download samples of what I share throughout the book, Module worksheets AND a complimentary 30 minute coaching session with me after you complete the book. I'm an Educator at heart and honored that I can leverage what I know about professional speaking to help others at various levels.

My goal is to make the complex simple as it relates to helping you find PAID speaking engagements.

So if you're finally ready to make 2024 your speaking breakout year in speaking, below is what I would do to get READY, AIM and FIRE to find abundant PAID speaking opportunities. The fundamentals are fundamental to your speaking.

There are hundreds of events and meeting planners and committees just waiting to know about you!

Step 1: Know what type of speaker you want to be (Module 1 focus inside PAID to $PEAK)

There are many ways to speak and get PAID for speaking. And you can get PAID in different ways for each engagement! You just need to know the different types of speaker options and which you will pursue.

For example, do you envision becoming a keynote speaker, workshop trainer, retreat facilitator, emcee coach, consultant, all of the above?

Also, do you desire to speak and get PAID or is the exposure from speaking desirous because you have a training program, coaching or consulting business? I know many speakers who have many different business models. It's crucial for you to reflect on which speaking business model suits you best.

This is why Module 1 inside PAID to $PEAK will help you best.

Step 2: Develop a proven presentation (Module 2 focus)

What constitutes a presentation? A title, description, learning outcomes and bio gets you started. Most speakers don't have this. Work through PAID to $PEAK and you will!

You don't even need presentation slides. I know extraordinary speakers who just require a microphone. However, I recommend at least a few slides to provide visual stimulation and intrigue that align with your content. Slide design is fairly simple.

What do I mean by proven presentation? Well, a presentation that is ready and referable. Nothing else matters if you're speech needs work.

Your speech is the product of your speaking business. Nothing else matters if your speech isn't ready or it needs work.

A great speech will ALWAYS be referred! My speaking calendar last year was 70% from referrals and people who had seen me speak in the past.

Having a great, proven presentation is the minimum requirement for any successful speaker. It's an expectation meeting planners, executives and conference organizers will have of you. PAID to $PEAK can help you not only get ready but be referable!

We started Speaking Professionally Toastmasters to help you get your speech developed, practiced and polished. If you do not have a community like this where you have the chance to practice and get professional feedback, you will be developing bad habits and blind spots in your speaking. Speaking Professionally Toastmasters meets the first Tuesday of each month from 12pm EST to 1:30pm EST. All members have the chance to speak AND it provides professional speaking resources as a huge member benefit. Visit

If you're out there speaking but not getting PAID speaking inquiries and referrals afterward, then your speech needs work, respectfully.

If you want to get out there speaking and wondering where to start, then begin with your speech by (a) working through PAID to $PEAK (Module 2) and attend Speaking Professionally Toastmasters.

*** If you plan to attend a future meeting, visit our website and reach out to us so we know to expect you and can filter away any Zoom bombers!

Step 3: Identify your target audience (Module 3) and learn how to qualify them whether they hire speakers

Most speakers get stuck because they think their audience is anyone. It's not.

They also get frustrated when hearing from groups who don't have budget to pay speakers.

Module 3 will show you how to achieve FOCUS in which associations to target as an audience AND which ones pay speakers.

My recommendation? Work through Module 3 which will help you "pick a lane" by starting with one industry.

I walk you through how to identify a premier association within your targeted industry in Module 3 of PAID to $PEAK and I reveal three (3) criteria I look for to ensure that association has the ability to pay speakers.

Once you identify the target, then it's all about Ready, Aim, Fire! How do you make outreach? What do you say or write via email? Inside Module 3 I provide samples for you!

You also want to be set up on FREE platforms where speaking opportunities can find you without you doing a thing! I share several strategies with you in Module 3.

Step 4: Know when and what to charge (Module 4)

Do you have an established speaking fee? How do you know whether your audience can afford you? Are you charging enough? Do you have a speaking proposal that is professional? Is your proposal organized into 3 different options?

Module 4 inside PAID to $PEAK helps you not only determine your speaking fee, but identifying 3 options that will get you HIRED and paid more!

Step 5: Have a system that glues everything together (Module 5)

The most important aspect of any successful business is having a system that runs itself ... at times even while you're sleeping. It's not just one thing; rather, it's several. The system is the "glue" that keeps it all together, feel organized, appear organized, and reveal professionalism.

"I'm an optimist and a realist. Most people do not rise to the level of their goals. They fall to the quality of their systems."

Throughout Module 5 I share numerous tips and strategies that are my glue. Module 5 is especially where my private website is valuable because you have access to these samples and resources as a reader of PAID to $PEAK!

This is also why I created my new PAID to $PEAK Webinar Series which walks you through so many additional systems and lessons "earned" since I published PAID to $PEAK a few years ago. I highly encourage you to explore the webinar series (click here or image) because you'll find extraordinary value in these topics!

If you've read this far, congratulations!

FOCUS, commitment and accountability are essential.

By outlining PAID to $PEAK in 5 steps, I sincerely hope I've made the seemingly complex a bit more simple for you!

If you have questions and want to set up a coaching call or set up a time to explore enrolling in my PAID to $PEAK coaching program where I guarantee $2,500 speaking engagements, click here.

Earn greatness today! Onward and upward!


Want to speak professionally, part-time or full-time?

Tired of not getting PAID speaking engagements?

I've been honored to present for over 1,000,000 people through 1,150+ audiences in all 50 states and several countries. Whether I'm on a stage or in a training room with professionals or students, I absolutely LOVE motivating and inspiring people for higher performance. And in addition to my own speaking business, I have a passion for helping and coaching speakers learn how to catapult their speaking whether part-time or full-time. My book, PAID to SPEAK, outlines a proven model for speakers and is now an online course as well! Click here for online course info!

If you are serious about becoming a professional speaker, explore my coaching and mentorship options. I don't want you to flounder like I did and be frustrated.


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