When it comes to potential speaking engagements – you always want to weigh the pros vs. cons when it comes to considering whether to speak for free. There are a NUMBER of ways you can still get “paid” even if the organization can’t give you money. But for right now, let’s just look at WHEN you’d consider a free engagement in the first place.
1. You may decide to speak for free to test out new presentation material. This is something comedians do all the time. They’ll go to a smaller club where they can test out which material elicits the best response from the audience, and then once they know what works – they use that set for the bigger stages. You can use a free engagement as an opportunity to do this too with new content.
2. If you have a cause you really care about, you may decide to speak for free to generate more awareness for it. This is a great way to garner more attention around it and gain support for something that is important to you.
3. It can definitely be worth it to speak for free if your ideal client will be in the audience. If they love what they see and hear from you, they may refer you as a speaker for their organization for a paid opportunity. Always find out who will be in the audience! Just getting in front of YOUR people can literally pay off in so many ways later.
4. If you are new to the speaking scene, doing some free engagements is a great way to increase your visibility AND build your resume. The more stages you can get on, the more credibility you gain as a serious speaker. You may not get paid right away when you first start speaking (many new speakers don’t!), so it’s important to go into it with the mindset that you’re doing the work to build your brand.
Is becoming a professional speaker one of your goals this year, but your public speaking skills need some work? Or you’re not sure where to begin with this endeavor? Let’s talk! Schedule a complimentary discovery call with me here so we can discuss which coaching option would be best for you.
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As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
- 1 Peter 4:10-11
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