5 Experts Give Advice On How to Build Your Speaking Career

4 min read
Is becoming a speaker at national or international conferences on your career bucket list? The dream is real, but so is the struggle to get there. To help, we’ve gathered advice from five top wellness speakers to get you one step closer to checking “speaker extraordinaire” off your list.

Latham Thomas, women’s wellness maven, founder of Mama Glow and author of the new book, OWN YOUR GLOW (@GlowMaven on IG + Twitter)

Get experience and speak everywhere you can, whether that is on radio, podcasts, conferences, or panels. Become a subject matter expert at something specific and amplify that message using social media. Create signature content. For instance, I always speak about self-care or the miracle of birth. People know when I am coming what to expect. Give those speeches regularly while establishing yourself in the space. Host your own lectures and event series where you can practice speaking in front of different audiences. Once you’re booking speaking events—create a sales package that outlines what you offer and use that to pitch and close new speaking opportunities.

Maxie McCoy, writer + speaker (@maxiemccoy)

When you’re beginning your speaking career, you have to jump right in and track down opportunities. What will make this easier and more effective for you is to create a one-pager or media kit that would tell someone who you are, what key topics you talk about (give them examples of keynote titles that are engaging and on point)… and if you have it, include past places you’ve appeared and even some testimonial quotes. Then, use this reference point to start where you’re at—by reaching out to friends and connections you have asking them to get your info to the right people at various companies, conferences and community groups. When I was first starting, I sent my one-pager (created in keynote, because… scrappy!) out to all my best friends saying, here’s what I’m working on… who can you send this to in order to help me do that? And within a week I was on the phone with three different companies pitching my offerings.

Sara DiVello, bestselling author, speaker and national yoga teacher (@saradivello)

“Due diligence”—something I used to hear a lot in my corporate careers, but it’s especially applicable here. Research the space, see where there is interest, and then take an honest look at your qualifications, experience, and expertise, and craft fresh content to offer. For instance, the wellness space is fast-growing and, but in some areas, already over-saturated. Too often, I see newcomers trying to replicate what’s already being done. But conference founders/recruiters will likely just go to the original source for that. However, nobody is exactly you! So take the time to really sit with this, take self-inventory (or do this with a trusted friend!), then build something with your own fresh twist that only you can deliver using your unique qualifications and experience.

Phoebe Lapine, gluten-free chef, food writer and author of The Wellness Project (@phoebelapine)

When I first started teaching cooking classes, I practiced on small groups of friends in their homes. It was so important to troubleshoot my “shtick” in a safe setting and get a sense for all the shifting variables that would arise when I began doing classes on site in different spaces. If you’re an instructor or practitioner of any kind (yoga, meditation, cooking, etc.) it can be very helpful to develop a workshop or demo around your craft. Beyond the traditional panel or stand-on-stage-and-talk structure, many events are looking for people to create more interactive experiences. If you can leverage your ability to teach in large groups, there will be many more opportunities to increase your speaking experience.

Cassandra Bodzak, author of Eat with Intention, and mindful cooking show host, (@cassandrabodzak)

If you are looking to start a speaking career in the wellness space, I would suggest that you focus on honing in on your unique story and message. Develop your platform, create great content and really be in the doing of your business. You have a voice now—don’t wait till someone gives you a microphone to use it. In my experience, when you are doing excellent work and living on mission then the speaking opportunities flow naturally. I would worry less about pitching yourself for anything and more about being so outstanding and respected in your field that you get offers. I’ve found that to be the secret sauce to my speaking success.

About The Author

Nicolle Mackinnon

Stemming from her personal journey to treat her celiac disease and Hashimoto's thyroiditis, Nicolle serves as a writer and editor for several leading publications helping women understand how important, stylish and fun it is to commit to clean beauty. By way of her contributions to No More Dirty Looks, Thoughtfully Magazine and numerous beauty brands' blogs, websites and social media, Nicolle has become a trusted voice on the correlation between health and beauty. Follow her journey on Instagram and connect with her via nicollemackinnon.com.

  • Lina Sims