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How to get referrals, video footage and pictures of you speaking!

Whoever is booking the speaker --- generally a meeting planner, a speakers agent, conference organizer or executive - has pressure to the select the right speaker.

If it's a conference - it's massive pressure. If they report to a CEO or Vice President, their job could be on the line to verify the speaker is credible and worthy. In fact, they have more pressure than the speaker!

** And how they select the right speaker usually is by ruling everyone else OUT.

So how do you rule yourself IN and make sure you're the proven speaker they want and need?

If you don't have a testimonials demonstrating the power of your speech to a prior audience, it's very likely that you will be ruled OUT rather than IN.

Also, if you do not have a professional speaker demo video, speaker website or some type of marketing packet (generally called a One Sheet or Speaker Packet), then you're going to be ruled out.

This is the reality and a reason why most speakers struggle. They don't position themselves properly as a professional speaker.

But Kevin, I don't have those materials yet? How do I get demo video, action shot pictures, testimonials, a website or referrals?

My answer? YOU SPEAK in order to get the elements to create them! And you speak for free - i.e. pro bono, complimentary - to build up a small library of video, action shot pictures, testimonials ... and more experience!

Anything you do NOT have is a reason to speak for FREE in order to get them.

I outline throughout PAID to $PEAK how to find speaking opportunities - whether PAID or not. I also guide you in all the ways to monetize a free speech to maximize the real value you can gain from it that isn't monetary.

Especially if you are new(er) to speaking, if you don't have the basics, you speak for free in order to get them. Follow my guidance and you could have several speaking engagements lined up in the next 1-3 months and then have what you need!

The speaker market is already quite crowded and lots of speakers have what is needed -- although many have outdated materials!

So if you don't have video footage or a demo video yet? Speak.

Don't have action photos? Speak! (headshots do NOT count!)

Don't have any testimonials? Speak! You can't receive a referral for speaking if you aren't speaking.

Not 100% confident in your speech or delivery? Speak. Practice. Refine. Speak again!

Also, when you speak, MONETIZE the he*ck out of it so that opportunity gives you what you need for your future speaking business.

Knowing how to monetize a pro bono speech is solid business strategy. You're not speaking for FREE. Rather, you're speaking to get what you need in order to get the FEE in the future.


ˈmänəˌtīz/ verb

1. convert into or express in the form of value

2. earn benefit from (an asset, business, etc.).

There are numerous strategies you can proactively initiate to ensure you receive value and benefit that will help ensure you're building your speaking business.

Besides, speakers who are early establishing their speaking business won't have everything needed when they first start off ... so they learn how to monetize a speech to get them what IS needed.

And once you do have a few speaking videos (even video from your phone!), testimonials and action photos, you might have just enough for a demo video, website and speaker packet.

This is why I created the Ultimate Speaker Package!! To help you create everything you need -- demo video, website and speaker package. Click here for details.

Below are my top tips helping you monetize your next speech - whether it's pro bono or not!

1. Realize a speech is a speaker's absolute best marketing

Over 80%+ of my speaking comes from people who have seen me speak or heard about me from someone who did. It's rare that a meeting planner or event organizer will inquire with me about speaking if I don't have testimonials and referrals that back up my presentation content and delivery.

2. Spin-off inquiries and referrals

In short, every speech should help you build your future speaking business. As long as your speech went well you should get spin-off inquiries and referrals. If you're not getting referrals and inquiries after a speech, then the speech needs work. See Module 2 in my book, PAID to $PEAK for tips on how to outline a dynamic, engaging speech and a copy of my Speaker Storyboard outline.

3. Stage-time experience

There is no better way to improve your speaking than presenting in front of live, human bodies - not a mirror or your paper outline or a tree in your backyard. You will absolutely gain the most and best confidence and learn your greatest lessons in a live setting with people who can provide you with constructive feedback. If you don't already have a supportive group to practice with, I encourage you to check out Speaking Professionally Toastmasters. I started this group recently and we meet monthly to help speakers continually improve their delivery and practice content.

4. Every audience is a client - whether full fee PAID, discounted or pro bono

Whether you get PAID to SPEAK or not, that organization is now a client and you should add them to your client list on your website, speaker packet, demo video, etc. The only two people who know your speaking fee are you and the person asking you to speak. It doesn't matter whether you were PAID or not.

(BONUS speaker tip: Make sure your contract -- even if it's pro bono -- outlines a confidentiality clause that your speaking fee agreement is not to be shared. I have sample contracts in my book, PAID to SPEAK, as well as proposals, invoices and contracts inside "The Vault.")

5. Testimonials

Where do you think testimonials come from? ... from people hearing you speak! It doesn't matter whether you were PAID or not. What matters is an outstanding testimonial. Nine times out of ten you'll need to ask for testimonials in a clever fashion (in tip #10 below you'll read how I accomplish this), and having them is gold. Check out testimonials on my website here for ideas on testimonials. And you should be obtaining testimonials from both meeting planners booking you AND the audience.

6. Demo video samples

My best demo video segments are from pro bono audiences when I just slapped a camera somewhere in the room to collect footage. In fact, 80%+ of all my demo video footage comes from free speaking engagements!!

90% of my speaking clips have come speeches where I used my own camera from the back and/or front of the room on a tripod. And when I first started speaking, ALL my videos were from pro bono speeches. You can still accomplish this with virtual speeches as well. Record yourself and record your virtual session. This is what a meeting planner will want, and need, to see to hire you for a $3,500+ speaking engagement.

Folks, if you're serious about speaking and don't have video, the only way to get video is to speak. Don't go into a studio and record yourself speaking to a camera if you don't have live audience video supplementing it. You don't need demo video to get started in speaking, but you need video to get PAID at levels you can pay the bills. Unless it's a unique situation, a meeting planner is not going to pay you $2,500 - $5,000 - $10,000+ to speak if they can't see you speak on video. It doesn't matter what your website and speaker packet looks like if they can't watch you on video.

7. Action photos

Similar to video in tip #6 above, action photos of you speaking in front of a live or virtual audience are gold. I see speakers with headshots or photos of them speaking but there is no audience in the background. A meeting planner will rule this type of speaker OUT because there is no audience. They want to be confident in bringing you IN!

8. Building your list

Every time you present, there are opportunities to build a contact list for future presentations. Strategies to accomplish this are through evaluations, text to subscribe, email newsletters, opt-in giveaways on your website, collecting business cards, etc.

When I speak, I prefer just names and email addresses so I can connect with them on LinkedIn and add them to my email newsletter. I have a short evaluation card that is handed to each audience and I also inform them that my slide deck and videos shared during the presentation are already free downloads on my website here (try it out). Also, when they visit my website, my opt-in pop up message collects their email.

9. Share new content

Similar to stage-time experience, every time you present, you should try something new. Perhaps it's a new content puzzle piece, a new delivery technique, or just a new angle of a common story. The best way to keep your "speaking saw" sharp is by constantly practicing new content. I do this in every speech. Every single speech I am doing something different.

10. Receive constructive feedback

And similar to building your list, #8, you should be collecting feedback every time you speak in some way. It will often lead to testimonials, referrals and building your list as well. Whether I'm presenting a one-hour keynote, a 1/2 day leadership training, or a full day retreat, I always provide my own evaluation. I only ask a few simple questions - and you can view samples in my book, PAID to SPEAK. The feedback I receive is invaluable for me to be aware what worked well and what might need to be tweaked for the future in some way. The audience's feedback is paramount. How I felt my presentation went doesn't mean anything if I don't know how the audience felt.

Was 10 tips enough? Feeling overwhelmed?

Don't get frustrated or overwhelmed. There's a lot to think about ... and take action on.

What I've shared with you is actually just a short list of ideas to benefit from a speech - whether PAID or not.

Whatever you do, just keep speaking. Speak for FREE until you get the FEE! And as you're speaking pro bono and applying these 10 tips, you'll be monetizing that speech and building your speaking business like never before.

Stay passionate about your story, your message, and your WHY for speaking. You'll get there. Contact me if I can help. See below.


Desire to become a professional speaker?

Not getting the speaking business you had hoped for?

Contact me to schedule your free speaker consultation!

In addition to my own speaking business, I have a passion for helping and coaching speakers develop their own. Whether it's in crafting a speech, identifying target groups who can pay, and/or how to get the speaking gig itself, I can help. I've keynoted over 1,150 presentations in practically every industry you can imagine. My book, PAID to SPEAK, outlines a proven model for speakers. If you are serious about becoming a professional speaker, contact me for a free consultation. I don't want you to flounder like I did and be frustrated. If you're not a subscriber to these speaker articles, submit your email today!



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