In our “Getting Started in Public Speaking” series, we have written about 7 Questions to Ask Yourself and How to Find Speaking Engagements. So now that you’re ready to get on stage, how do you actually get booked?

We have outlined a few helpful steps to guide you for a successful speaking engagement.

  1. Maximize your Online Profile

It is safe to say that the majority of our readers, if not all, have some sort of online presence. Whether it is on social media platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, or your own website, you should maximize these and use them to your advantage.

If you are trying to target a specific topic or industry, tailor your online profiles to demonstrate that: what do you do, what can you talk about, what’s your story? Make sure all your online channels are consistent.

Additionally, you can:

  • Follow industry or topic specific organizations and associations. These are often the people organizing big conferences and looking for speakers.
  • Research popular speakers in the chosen industry – what are they doing that you can be doing?

Remember that organizers looking for speakers sometimes have to go through an exhaustive list of potential candidates. If you give them all the information in one place, you’re making their job easier and also raising your chances of getting picked. This is why at Innovation Women, we urge you to complete your profile with as much detail as possible so that event managers can quickly get an idea of who you are as a speaker.  

  1. Video

As mentioned above, event managers sometimes have to look through exhaustive lists of candidates for speaking engagements. A text description, no matter how well written, can’t completely communicate who you are as a speaker or how you speak.

A sample video of you speaking is a KEY tool for event managers. It doesn’t have to be a long or fancy video, but a quick 5 minute video will help show event managers how you speak.

Don’t have a video of you speaking? Why not? Today most of us have the basic tools on our smartphones. Have a friend in the front row of your next presentation with your phone. Or set up a tripod and let it roll.

Innovation Women is here for you in this department. During our Innovation Women Pop-ups we offer our members the chance to record a simple video as part of their annual membership. Subscribe to our newsletter to find out when and where the next event will be. If you want a Pop-Up in your community, send us an email at

  1. Submit a Killer Speaker Proposal

Most conferences will ask for a proposal on a specific topic. When writing this, pay attention to the requirements and characteristics of the event. Often event managers will provide specific instructions, right down to a word limit!

Understanding the size and level of the audience and tone of the conference are also important. Remember that you will be one of many submitting a proposal. Make sure it is unique and consistent with the needs of the audience. Many people focus too much on what they want to say and forget to communicate what the audience and the event managers (the gatekeepers) want to hear.

For more information on this, visit our post on Advice For Submitting a Speaking Proposal.

  1. Speaker fee: yes or no? That is the question.

The truth is, just like everything else, it depends. We get asked this question very often. On Innovation Women, we have members who speak for visibility for themselves and their company, while others require travel expenses covered and/or charge a fee.

When we started Innovation Women, we surveyed event managers to find out the truth about getting paid to speak. Half said they don’t have any budget for speakers, and there seemed to be no correlation between the size of the organization and the ability to pay speakers.

We could write a whole blog post on getting paid to speak…so we did. See our post about Paid Speaking Engagements where we outline some important facts on paid speaking engagements.

Practice makes perfect. The more you apply to speak, the easier it will be. Literally. Over time you’ll build up a store of abstracts and hone your message.   

Now that we’ve given you the tools to get started in public speaking, is now the time to start?  As an Innovation Women member you’ll receive dozens of speaking opportunities through our Speaker Exclusive newsletter.

Visit and register for a free account to browse the platform. If you like what you see, click ‘Become a Speaker’ and prepare yourself for the stage!

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