6.23.2011

Tips On How To Get Yourself Booked To Speak In Schools!


Over the last few years I have been blessed to speak in many schools, on all levels, across the country. I get a lot of emails requesting advice on how I have been successful at getting booked. It's no secret formula. It takes work to establish yourself but once you get the opportunity to show what got--make sure you deliver! I learned alot by attending the speaker's bootcamp hosted by Jonathan Sprinkles a few years back. Since then I've spoken somewhere just about every month--paid and non-paid.

What did I do starting out? Most critical thing was I had to decide "WHY" I want to start speaking because that would determine my longevity. Motive is super important. Next, I wrote out what themes, areas and markets I wanted to cover when I spoke. Once I got those things down on paper, this is some of things I did to get rolling in the schools in Houston and across Texas:

1) I live in Houston so I first found a site for Texas that has a listing of all of the school districts in the state with email contacts and phone numbers.
2) I formulated a professional email to send to all of them. My letter offered my services rather than me trying to beg them to book me.
3) I followed up with a phone call the next week to make sure they received it and to see if they needed my services.
4) Once I got booked, I sent them a contract whether it was paid or non-paid. Why? Documentation beats conversation any day! I made sure I requested from the school that I needed a letterhead from the administration telling how much they enjoyed my talk. Plus I was cleared to take pics and to video.
5) Once I got to the school, I exceeded their expectations no matter if it was five or 500 in the audience. You can't rob people of your best because you never know how that one talk can lead to more bookings. So I prepared to give the best.
6) Made sure to follow up with the administration to get the testimonies on letterhead for my portfolio and left my contact information with them just in case they needed me again or wanted to refer me.

Bonus: I started out doing a lot of speaking engagements for free but by collecting all of that content (i.e. letter, video, pics) I now had things I could leverage via my blog to get paid speaking engagements. I'm still striving to master the business side of it all but it has been rewarding.

Next step? Take Action! Start speaking!

(Follow Brother Jesse's epic and boring Tweets at @BrotherJesse)