become a paid speaker

Here’s How to Become a Paid Speaker

I spoke to head coach Mary Ann Sedor who is the founder of  Intent Multisport. She is an awesome “all-in” person and I interviewed her for my book- NO ONE Gets There ALONE. 

I sent her a video clip about my experience completing a 1/2 Ironman, and she commented how she connected with me as a speaker. 

That’s always nice to hear since I’m an approval junkie sometimes. I mean who doesn’t like to hear that their stuff is awesome? 

I told her my “style” was from my very first time speaking. 

I was in a drunk-driving accident in college. I also fell off an 80-foot cliff. It was not the best freshman year of college. 

My accident occurred on April 20th in the early evening as I was attempting to drive back to college.

I crossed the center line and hit another car head-on.

I never wanted to hurt anyone and it was a horrible mistake. Thank God I was the only person injured in that crash.

Just a few weeks later as I tried to finish the semester, I received a call from someone in charge of Prom Promise at a local high-school. They wanted me to speak about the dangers of drinking and driving.

My jaw was broke, my arm in a sling, and it would be at a rival high-school where I still knew some of the people.

It was humbling, but I could not say “no.”

In front of a thousand high-school students, I told my story. And that’s when and where my speaking career began.

My mess was my message.

I realized that people enjoy hearing about your successes, but they identify with your struggle. 

Here’s how you become a paid speaker.

Be real and be genuine. 

Not for your ego’s sake, but because we connect with the vulnerabilities of suffering.

Develop a 15-minute talk.

Give your talk from a personal example and speak about the one story you probably don’t want to share either.

Give this 15-minute talk away.

Seek out Optimists clubs, Rotary Clubs, and Chamber of Commerce to perfect your talk. In doing so someone in attendance will want to hire you to speak to their own company or team.

Video your talk.

Every year, I give a Tedx type talk, called Sparks. Here’s a compilation of these talks that serve as great marketing.  With video, people can watch you in action and it takes the guesswork if you’re any “good.” It’s a huge marketing piece to becoming a paid speaker. 

Create a one-page speaker sheet.

Invest in an interactive PDF that shows your work, expertise, and topics. 

When you are asked to speak, charge.

If you’re invited to speak, it simply means that you’re ready to become a paid speaker.

If you don’t charge, then you’re not mentally ready to get paid for speaking and more work on your own head trash is needed. It’s better to disappoint someone who wants you to speak, then to be resentful that you keep doing it for free.

top mental toughness coachDr. Rob Bell is a Sport Psychology Coach. His company DRB & associates is based in Indianapolis.  Some clients have included: University of Notre Dame, Marriott, and Walgreens. Check out all the books on Mental Toughness-