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podcast guest paid as public speaker

How Podcast Guests Can Also Get Booked and Paid As a Public Speaker

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How are you doing in podcasting as a guest, host, or both?

Want to learn how to grow your podcast and share your message with more people? You could be getting paid to speak — all while building your existing business and growing your podcast audience. In this post, Grant Baldwin is here to share why you should consider becoming a paid speaker, how to get started, and plenty of tips and tricks he learned while earning over $2 million from 500+ paid speaking gigs worldwide.



Read the Blog Post: How Podcast Guests Can Become Paid Public Speakers

I have been in the podcasting space for about eight years now. In that time, I have published nearly 600 episodes on my own podcast and been a guest on hundreds of podcasts. 

So I consume podcasts daily.

One of the things I love about podcasting is that it connects me to one of my other favorite things, which is speaking. 

I have been in the speaking industry for about 16 years now.

I love being on a stage and getting a message across to a live audience. More importantly, I love working with other speakers to help them share their message. 

As podcast hosts or guests, we want to share a message, and podcasting is one way to do that.

Speaking in front of a live audience

That’s another way to go about it.

I want to walk through five steps you need to take if you want to book more speaking engagements and get paid.

There are a lot of opportunities now to spread your message and connect with an audience, both online via podcast as well offline through speaking gigs.

Before we get to that, let me briefly describe how I got into speaking. 

I am married to my high school sweetheart and we recently celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary.

We have been together for 25 years and have three beautiful daughters. So it’s me and a house full of women.

It is the absolute best, and I really love it. 

I was a youth pastor for a while and had many opportunities to speak as a result. I enjoyed it and wanted to do more, but I had no idea how to find gigs consistently.

You may find yourself in a similar situation. You had some gigs fall into your lap through word of mouth, referrals, or because someone heard your podcast. Now you are thinking, “I’d like to do more of these, but I just do not know how.”

  • How do you find gigs?
  • How much do you charge?
  • What do you talk about?
  • How does this mysterious speaking world work?

That’s exactly the point I was at 

If we go back 16, 17 years or so, there were no podcasts 

There were no books, resources, or tools to find gigs or learn how the speaking industry worked.

I found myself emailing and stalking other speakers with the constant question, “Can I pick your brain?” type of emails.

What changed?

I learned a few things and got to a point where I could book a few gigs. Then more gigs followed until I got to a point where I was doing about 60 or 70 gigs a year!

And I absolutely loved it. Many people asked me, “Hey, I want to be a speaker. How would I go about doing that?” 

As a result, I started the Speaker Lab. Now we work with speakers at any stage of their career, helping them understand how to find and book paid speaking gigs.

podcaster speaking to live audience
I want to walk five steps, which we refer to as the Speaker Success Roadmap. 

It makes the acronym speak, S P E A K.

I would like to share five steps, which we refer to as the Speaker Success Roadmap. 

The acronym speaks for itself: S P E A K.

1.) S for Select

Select a problem you want to solve 

These are two important questions to think about.

  1. Who do you want to talk to?
  2. What problem are you solving for the audience?

One way to think about this is, “We always tell speakers you want to be the steakhouse, not the buffet.”

What we mean by that is we imagine going out for a bite to eat, preferably good steak. We could choose one of two options. We could go to a buffet where the steak is one of a hundred different mediocre dishes that are offered there.

Or we could go to a steakhouse where there’s only one thing, but it’s really good. As counterintuitive as it is, we want to do the same thing when it comes to speaking. 

Become Very Specific

We want to narrow it down and solve a specific problem for one specific audience.

The mistake we speakers often make is that we must cast the net as far and wide as possible.

Sometimes I ask speakers, “Tell me who you speak to.” 

Not the best analogy but here is another way to think about it.

Let us imagine, God forbid, you have a brain issue. You have a choice. You could go to your local family medical doctor.  They have probably done a surgery or two and definitely know more about the brain than you or I do. 

Or you could go to a brain surgeon who does nothing else day in and day out. They have one specialty, and that’s treating brain issues. 

I do not know about you, but I do not want my local family doctor working on my brain. 

I want to go to a person who solves one specific problem for one specific audience.

This means you do not want to create a podcast that is for everyone and about everything. Also, this does not work when you select the category in iTunes where you want your podcast to appear.

Map the podcast categories in iTunes

The narrower, the clearer, and the more focused you are, the easier it is to find and book a gig.

2.) P for Prepare

 Prepare your talk. If you are clear about what problem you are trying to solve, let us talk about how you will create the solution for it.

The good thing for you as a podcast or podcast guest is that you have a lot of experience as a speaker or as a communicator.

You have probably gotten good at telling stories, getting to the point, and keeping it short and sweet. The same is true when you speak on stage.

When you are on stage, of course, it’s live. There’s no editing and no “Hey, can we do that again?” You need to make sure you have time to practice.

Preparation is so important

Preparation is one of the best things a speaker can do to overcome nervousness or ensure they are ready.

The best speakers in the world. They do not just scribble a few ideas on an app, wing it, and hope everything magically works out. It does not work that way.

When it comes to preparing your speech or solution to the problem you want to solve, there are many ways you can do it.

You can give a keynote address, have a workshop, a breakout, or a seminar.

It can be a small group for several days or a large group. There is not one right or wrong way to speak 

There are a lot of different ways. You’ll have to decide and probably often try a few different formats to see what makes sense and what works best for you.

3.) E for Establish yourself as the expert.

So there are two key marketing tools that every speaker needs. You need a website and you need a demo video. 

First, let us talk about your website. 

podcaster need website
In this day and age, if you do not have a website, you do not exist.

It’s hard for people to take you seriously. You should make sure you have a website that clearly communicates who you are, what problem you solve, who you speak for, and ideally pictures of you speaking. 

As speakers, when we say, “Well, what should I talk about? I can talk about a variety of different things.” That doesn’t work.

They’re looking for what is your best dish, so to speak. What is the best talk you can present that fits well with this audience? 

Also, you should have a demo video. What exactly is a demo video? I want you to think of it like a movie trailer.

They take a two-hour movie and boil it down to two or three minutes in the form of a trailer 

The point of a trailer is to make people want to see more. 

Whenever you see a trailer, you think, “Oh, I want to see that.”

The intent behind the demo video is the same. When an event planner is considering hiring you, he or she is deciding, “Should I hire you compared to this other speaker?”

Also, remember that event planners are in the business of mitigating risk 

By that, I mean they are taking a risk when they hire you and put you on stage. They are working under the assumption that you will do a good job and not embarrass them or say something rude or inappropriate.

They want that demo video to determine whether you are a good fit for their event.

These two marketing assets are very important. 

4.) A for Acquire paid speaking gigs

This is the part we often want to fast forward to.

“Grant, just tell me how to book gigs.” 

But have you grasped the foundational pieces first? 

Are you clear about the problem you are solving and who you are solving it for?

Do you know what your solution is and have you prepared your talk?

Are your marketing assets available and accessible to event planners and decision-makers?

When we get to point A, acquiring paid speaking gigs, you should have a system or process in place. What you don’t want is to sit back and wait for the phone to ring.

People won’t magically find you. The same thing for guesting. You don’t want to post on social media and say, “Hey, I’m a guest. If you’re looking for a guest for your podcast, let me know.” It doesn’t work like that.


The best thing that you can do is direct one-to-one reach out and not just kind of a spray-and-pray type of approach.

You really need to be clear on who you speak to, what problem you solve, and how you solve that problem for that audience. Have a system in place that ensures you reach out and follow up.

5.) K for Know when to scale

There are many people who are interested in speaking but also in podcasts, courses, coaching, consulting, or writing a book. You can do all of these things, but you can not do them all at once.

Something will always take priority. You need to be clear about how speaking fits into that mix. Now you might be thinking, how does speaking fit into my podcast or my podcast guest appearances?

Well, you are probably already talking about a topic with some potential opportunities where you can connect what you do with podcasts and what you might do with your speaking.

Final Thoughts

Do not just listen to this and think, “These are some nice ideas.”

If you are serious about finding and booking gigs, then you need to take the next step. If you want to explore this topic further, be sure to check out the Speaker Lab podcast and the book The Successful Speaker, and I’ll give you another free tool.

People always ask me, Grant, how much should I charge as a speaker? The answer is, “It depends,” which is a terrible answer 

That’s why we have put together a free speaking fee calculator. If you are interested, you can check it out at

Answer a few questions, and you’ll get a number that indicates what you should charge for your next gig.

Take action on pursuing your speaking dreams and goals, and we’ll see you on the other side.

About Grant Baldwin

As founder and CEO of The Speaker Lab, Grant Baldwin has helped thousands of people build successful and sustainable speaking businesses.  Over the last 15 years, Grant has become a sought-after speaker, podcaster, author, and accomplished entrepreneur. Featured on the Inc. 5000 list, Forbes, Inc. Entrepreneur, and The Huffington Post, he has committed his expertise and insight to equip others to share their meaningful message with the masses. His leadership and dedication to creating a one-of-a-kind organizational culture are evidenced by the impact of the team he leads.