Proven Ways to
Book More Speeches From
One Presentation to the Next
by Burt Dubin
Here’s how to make every presentation lead to requests for
you to speak again at other events. Make building your reputation
and enhancing your perceived value the primary function of
Here are seven tested, proven methods I've discovered from
my study of the skills of the masters of the professional
speaking business. Use this concentrated wisdom to improve
your speaking business skills from booking to booking!
1. Satisfy the decision maker and the meeting planner
- With your skills, credentials, experience, books, articles,
and media coverage.
- Make your program description show exactly what your presentation
- State your recommendations, guarantees, and endorsements.
2. Exploit your window of opportunity
- With associations that have annual meetings, make your
initial contact about one month after their last annual
meeting. Ask when their planning starts for the next meeting.
Ask when the theme is selected. The time window for booking
your presentation opens at that point. This window to book
more speeches lasts as little as one month.
- Decisions on keynote speaker and other general session
presentations are made first. This may be 3 months before
Breakout Session presentations are selected.
- Study your market and know that market intimately. Think
like your market’s decision makers think. Get the right
promotional materials before the right person at the right
time. It is a critical to demonstrate your professional
skills at this time.
3. Give decision makers and meeting planners the value they
- Provide in-depth knowledge, wisdom, and strategies on
a topic or issue that is hot at the time.
- Offer two, sometimes three programs. For example, offer
a keynote speech for the major program followed by a breakout
session addressing the “how-tos”. Offer also to speak on
a panel or lead a presentation to senior executives. Use
your skills and ingenuity. Deliver extra value.
- Offer pre-event presentations or training, too. Add value
every way you can.
4. Generate five areas of expertise
- Topic expertise. Get known as the skilled specialist
– the expert who speaks.
- Platform artistry. Showmanship skills are everything.
- Promotional expertise. Market yourself professionally.
- Negotiating skills. Make their booking you win-win.
- Credibility as an expert presenter in your topic.
(See 5, below.)
5. Develop your credibility
- Become a celebrity.
- Publish articles and books.
- Document your skills and accomplishments; be recognized;
earn academic degrees and industry certifications.
- Create a proven track record.
- Develop a client list. Big names are best.
- Earn magnificent evaluations.
- Keep your fees appropriate, even a bit less than you're
- Seek prestige engagements. Target well-known prospects.
- Answer your office phone professionally.
- Upgrade your promo kit and your brochure.
- Upgrade your demo tapes, both audio and video.
6. Make yourself worthy of higher fees
- Improve your topic expertise, presentation skills, negotiating
- Ask for what you want. Be prepared to reject inappropriate
- Relate any difference in fees to the total meeting budget,
total head count at your session, cost of the luncheon or
banquet per person.
7. Fit the Budget without altering your fee structure
- Offer multiple programs at the same engagement.
- Offer multiple engagements of the same presentation.
- Offer to split travel expenses between meetings of other
organizations at the same time in the same city.
- Offer a flat fee; combine speaking fees and expenses into
- Offer a product sale arrangement. Sell product and reduce
your speaking fee.
- Offer a separate presentation the next day at no extra
- Find a sponsor. Have a profit-making organization
or member sponsor or co-sponsor your presentation, paying
all or part of your fee.
- Offer to barter for something they have that you want,
for example a free booth at their trade show or a master
videotape of your presentation.
- Offer to permit the association to market videos and recordings
of your presentations as well as your products and you share
the revenue with them.