Free Assessment: How does your inbound marketing measure up?

Get Started

Free Assessment:

How does your inbound marketing measure up?
Take this free, 5-minute assessment and learn what you can start doing today to boost traffic, leads, and sales.
Get Started

Free Assessment:

The 13 Step Plan to Getting Started with Public Speaking

By Bob Ruffolo

The 13 Step Plan to Getting Started with Public Speaking

getting-started-with-public-speaking.jpgPublic speaking is a powerful way to attract more clients and develop your personal brand as a leader.

In The In-Demand Marketing Agency: How to Use Public Speaking to Become an Agency of Choice by Karl Sakas, you’ll find straightforward, actionable advice on developing your speaking career.

Sakas holds nothing back and I was impressed at how useful the material in this book is even outside of an agency setting.

Not only agency leaders, but any entrepreneur or business leader could use the information from this book to launch a successful speaking career.

Sakas covers the entire process from planning to execution.

How to Create a Speaking Plan

According to Sakas, creating a speaking plan is one of the best ways to quickly grow your career as a public speaker. 

Not only will you be more prepared, but this speaking plan, filled with Sakas' advice, will help you build momentum by giving talks at smaller, intimate venues before building up to larger keynotes.

Below are the guideline Sakas provides for creating a speaking plan. He recommends doing the following tasks over the next 3-12 months:

1. Write an “advance retrospective”

Your advance retrospective is a brief summary about where you intend to be in the future as a speaker and as a business leader.

2. Block-out “heads down” time in your calendar for doing your speaking work

The process of launching your speaking career requires dedicated attention, especially as the skill of public speaking requires refinement on its own. Just like all business endeavors, you need to prioritize more of your time in the beginning if you are to lay a strong foundation. Blocking out this dedicated time will help you do that.

3. Develop titles and blurbs for your highest-potential topics

Whenever you pitch a speaking engagement, you’ll use these titles and blurbs to provide a summary of what could be included in your talk.

Sakas repeatedly emphasizes the value of case studies, so include one if you can. 

Here’s an example of how David Meerman Scott does this on his website:




4. Flesh out your highest-potential talk as an outline

Sakas recommends holding off on creating your full slide deck until you’ve actually got a speaking gig booked. Having a confirmed venue is an instant motivation booster that makes it easier to finish the slides and also allows you to adapt them for that venue and audience.

5. Give your first talk in lower-profile venues

The same way that comics test out new material in small comedy clubs before introducing them to a wide audience, all public speakers should practice their presentation at smaller venues.

Once you’ve gotten your feet wet, you can then use that feedback to make changes and improve your routine. 

After you’ve practiced, you’ll feel more confident presenting in front of your larger audience.

6. Build social proof

Compile a list of testimonials, venues from previous speaking engagements, and an estimate of your “talks per year” count.

Outside of your actual presentations, this social proof along with your speaker resume will make the biggest impact on the quality and quantity of speaking gigs you book. 

For example, motivational speaker and author, Tony Robbins highlights testimonials from high-profile celebrities like Usher, Maria Menounos, and Derek Hough, while Seth Godin mentions his appearances at “Disney, Cadillac, eBay, Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Adobe, American Eagle, Eddie Bauer and hundreds of others.”

To continue, click "keep reading" below.

Free Assessment:

How does your inbound marketing measure up?
Take this free, 5-minute assessment and learn what you can start doing today to boost traffic, leads, and sales.


Marketing Strategy
Published on April 18, 2016

Recent Articles

7 Must-have Word-of-Mouth Marketing Strategies [Infographic]
May 8, 2023 • 4 min read
What Small Business Leaders Need To Know to Thrive During a Recession
April 19, 2023 • 7 min read
5 Keys to Marketing Your Business During a Recession
April 17, 2023 • 5 min read
Should Your Demand Gen Strategy Change in a Slumping Economy?
April 12, 2023 • 5 min read
Demand Generation vs. Lead Generation: What’s the Difference?
April 10, 2023 • 5 min read
How a Lack of Sales and Leadership Buy-in Is Killing Marketing Morale Worldwide
March 6, 2023 • 5 min read
Website Conversions in 2023 — STOP, START, KEEP
January 25, 2023 • 5 min read
HubSpot Pricing: Your Guide to Everything HubSpot Costs for 2023
January 9, 2023 • 13 min read
Sales vs Marketing in 2023: What’s The Difference?
January 5, 2023 • 7 min read
How To Set Content Marketing Goals for Growth
December 29, 2022 • 6 min read
Should You Hire An Agency to Create Your Content?
December 12, 2022 • 4 min read
24 Essential Questions for Understanding Your Ideal Customer (+ Infographic)
December 1, 2022 • 5 min read
Take It From an Expert: You Probably Don’t Need a New Website
November 16, 2022 • 4 min read
Inbound Marketing Benefits Explained (Updated for 2023)
November 15, 2022 • 6 min read
Want to Win More and Improve Company Culture? Do More Role-playing
November 9, 2022 • 4 min read
4 Ways To Recession-proof Your Website In 2023
November 1, 2022 • 5 min read
Why Trust Is the True Currency for All Business
September 5, 2022 • 6 min read
The Big 5: Best Business Blog Topics to Drive Traffic, Leads, and Sales
August 29, 2022 • 10 min read
What is a Content Strategy? (Definition + Templates)
August 25, 2022 • 12 min read
10 Marketing Objective Examples To Guide and Focus Your Strategy
August 18, 2022 • 6 min read
What Marketers Need To Know About Switching to GA4 [Google Analytics 4]
July 30, 2022 • 5 min read
How To Inspire Your Marketing Team To Try New Ideas
July 25, 2022 • 5 min read
Do I Need To Invest in Marketing When My Business is Thriving? (+ Video)
July 21, 2022 • 7 min read
How Much Does It Cost To Become a World-class They Ask, You Answer Case Study?
July 16, 2022 • 12 min read
Blog Editorial Calendar for 2022: Templates, Examples, and Tips
May 21, 2022 • 6 min read