How To Get Booked To Speak At Conferences [A Guide]

How To Get Booked To Speak At Conferences [A Guide]


Trust & Credibility
Cost Details
The main cost is your time. Speaking at conferences is free (and you might even get paid for it).

What Is Conference Speaking?

Conference speaking is a key strategy in thought-leadership marketing. Speaking to an audience gives your business a stage to demonstrate expertise, gain credibility and engage potential audiences.

In addition, conference speaking gives a business the opportunity to develop and nurture relationships in a neutral non-sales environment. If done right, conference speaking creates a visceral reaction to your thought-leadership.

Conference Speaking Key Takeaways

  • Speaking at conferences is the #1 way to build thought leadership for you and your company
  • Conferencing offers a welcome reception and an opportunity to network
  • Finding the right conferences requires an investment of time and research
  • Talking at conferences position you (and your company) as a visible expert in your field

How Marketing Through Conference Speaking Works

Speaking at conferences can create an unmatched level of trust and can drive valuable business opportunities. People never forget how they feel during the conference.

The memory is what makes thought leaders top of mind, and generates qualified leads directly into your sales funnel.

Therefore, you have to understand the event audience, and by so doing, be sure your target audience is actually attending. Besides, understanding the attendee demographic breakdown helps in preparing your talk. Ultimately, conference speakers can focus on the right message

For conference speaking to achieve the objective speakers, need to:

  • Know the audience and speak their language
  • Start strong and provide an interest grabber prior to the talk
  • Utilize props and visual aids when available and appropriate
  • Educate and appeal to the audiences, their desires, issues and opportunities

Real-World Examples Of Lead Generation Through Conference Speaking

Here are some real-world examples of how conference speaking helps with lead generation

1. How Laura Elizabeth Created Business Opportunity By Speaking At A Conference

Laura Elizabeth runs Client Portal, a lightweight project management tool for WordPress.

When selling Client Portal to other freelancers, she decided to build a personal brand to get more clients. She did this by speaking at a lot of conferences about freelancing and design.


At one conference, in particular, she spoke on how to work remotely with clients. Laura mentioned this little portal that she made for herself and suggested that if the other attendees have ever faced the same problems as her, they could make one.

But as it turned out, nobody wanted to spend the time making their own – they wanted to buy hers. When getting feedback on the talks, more than 50% of attendees said the most valuable part of the conference was, “Laura's client portal idea – it’s freakin’ genius!”

And for the rest of the weekend, she had people coming up to her saying, “Look, can I just buy this? This is exactly what I need. It solves a problem that I didn't even realize that I had. And now I need it!”

So, after a lot of encouragement from her peers, she ended up selling it. She didn’t have a name, so she simply called it Client Portal and within a few short (but crazy) months she was able to quit freelancing and rely solely on Client Portal revenue for her income.

2. How Conference Speaking Helped Craig Campbell To Build a Business Empire

Craig Campbell is a digital marketing expert and a successful affiliate marketer. Craig also sells training courses online, a business venture he promotes through his public speaking all over the world.

Craig started out doing local meetups and gained experience speaking in front of smaller audiences. Today, he offers actionable advice to his audience and provides information or advice that adds some value.

Through conference speaking, Craig has established himself as a subject matter expert. Owing to his conference speaking, he drives trainees to his online training portal and gets dozens of invitations to speak at SEO-related conferences.

Getting Started

Conference speaking takes a lot of planning. Here are important basics to help you get started:

  1. Find a conference in your niche
  2. Pitch your topic to the organizers of the conference
  3. Create an engaging talk
    • Focus on the right message for the audience that will be in attendance
    • Create content that has a beginning, middle, and end, to help audiences make a connection
    • Prepare adequately and communicate in an engaging way
    • Hone your public speaking skills

To be an effective conference speaker, leverage online resources focused on developing the skills. Record practice sessions, and actual speaking events and refine body language.


Contributors to this article:

  • Pat Walls, Founder @ Starter Story
  • David Gitonga, Writer @ Starter Story
Pat Walls,  Founder of Starter Story
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Pat Walls

I'm Pat Walls and I created Starter Story - a website dedicated to helping people start businesses. We interview entrepreneurs from around the world about how they started and grew their businesses.