The Speaker Lab

Grant Baldwin from The Speaker Lab podcast will be sharing speaking business tactics, tips, and strategies from his own experience, case studies, and interviewing the experts. Whether you're just getting started trying to get your first booking or you're a veteran speaker looking to build and grow your business, this is for you. Grant has built a multiple six-figure per year business as a speaker having presented to over 500,000 people in over 450 paid speaking gigs. We'll talk about speaker marketing, working with speaker bureaus and agents, building your platform, negotiating fees, social media marketing, networking, storytelling, humor, operating the business and so much more!
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Dec 3, 2019

How do you know what to ask for your speaking fees and when to raise them? And should you work with speaking bureaus?

Josh Linkner is the man to ask and he's here with the answers on today's The Speaker Lab. Today with Josh, we discuss how to know if your fees are too high or just right, and how to know when to raise them.

He also shares how to set yourself up to be ready to work with bureaus and how to know if they are a good fit for your business.

Get ready for all of that and more on episode 266 of The Speaker Lab!  


  • How did he grow his business to receiving 5-15 inbound leads per day today?
  • What does the balance of gratitude and hunger offer?
  • What is his strongest recommendation for speakers who want to grow their business?
  • Should you ever lower your fees?
  • What does it mean to be "bureau ready"?
  • Who are bureaus interested in?
  • When should you initiate conversations with bureaus?
  • What percentage of leads should say yes to your fees?
  • And so much more!


Nov 26, 2019

One of the important aspects of speaking is solving a problem for the right audience.

So how do you choose the right audience and find the most pressing problem they are facing? There's one man to answer these questions and he is here today: Mr. Terry Brock.

Terry has been in the speaking industry for a few decades and he has a wealth of knowledge! Today he shares how to ensure you are solving a specific problem for a specific audience, and how to validate that in the marketplace. We also touch on virtual speaking: how he's done it and what that has looked like for his business.

You'll hear from Mr. Terry Brock on those subjects and more on this edition of The Speaker Lab!  


  • What is his connection to Thomas J. Stanley, author of The Millionaire Next Door?
  • What it means to grow bigger ears as a speaker.
  • How can you use social media to find what the market is looking for?
  • How do you know which opportunities to focus on?
  • What is a CSP and why do speakers need to be one?
  • Do the most successful speakers do just one thing?
  • How much of his business is virtual speaking gigs?
  • Who is the National Speakers Association right for and how do you get the most out of it?
  • And so much more!


Nov 19, 2019

Wouldn't it be great if someone could guide you through how to find your first paid speaking gig?

One of our own team members is here to demonstrate, Mr. Bryan Allain. Bryan has worked with us for a year now and he wants to know if what we teach actually works. This is an unscripted walk the process of how to find your first paid speaking gig.

Get ready to hear the details on this edition of The Speaker Lab.  


  • What should one of your first goals be?
  • Is there a simple way to build your confidence?
  • What are the two sides to selecting a problem to solve?
  • What does it mean to establish your speaking expertise?
  • Why it's completely normal to second-guess your decisions.
  • What to do when you don't know where to start.
  • How can you use your real world experience to start your speaking journey?
  • Why it's easier to pivot and adjust when you have momentum.
  • And so much more!



Nov 12, 2019

Our guest for episode 263 of The Speaker Lab is Mike Pacchione and he's giving us his 5 strategies for storytelling from stage.

Mike is a speaker and coach who works with a lot of names you'd recognize and he helps his clients tell better stories during their speaking engagements. You can find out more about his back story on his first visit to The Speaker Lab in episode 9.

We will also do a brief breakdown of one of Seth Godin's stories. You can hear that breakdown and more on the 263rd edition of The Speaker Lab.


  • What does it mean to prime your audience for a story?
  • How do you build credibility into your stories?
  • When do details help and when do they hinder your story?
  • How many characters in a story is too many?
  • Why stories need tension and a release of that tension.
  • What does it look like to build the right amount of tension?
  • How do you summarize the lesson of your story properly?
  • Can you tell a longer story at the beginning or at the end of your speech?
  • And much, much more!




Nov 5, 2019

How to use slides, stories, and data in your speeches is something every speaker should know, whether you're new to the game or have been around for a while.

And there's no one better to spell it out for us than Nancy Duarte. Nancy is the author of several books including Illuminate, Resonate and her most recent book, DataStory.

She is also a prolific speaker and storyteller and on today's show, she explains when to use slides, the most common slide mistakes speakers make and how to use both data and stories in the most powerful way possible. Join us and you can find out all of this and more on episode 262 of The Speaker Lab.  


  • How did she start working with Apple over 30 years ago?
  • How the audience affects the content of your slides.
  • What number of slides is too many?
  • Who are the finest speech crafters in her experience: introverts or extroverts?
  • What is the messy middle and how do you apply it to speaking?
  • Why first-person stories are most effective.
  • How do you determine whether or not a story should be shared?
  • And much, much more!




Oct 29, 2019

What does it mean to be a self-reliant entrepreneur? Our guest today is here to tell us; he has literally written the book on the subject!

John Jantsch is a phenomenal speaker and author, and today we're talking about how he uses speaking for lead generation for his business and how he has created longevity and relevancy as a speaker for over 30 years.

We wrap up with his latest book, The Self-Reliant Entrepreneur and we do something that we've never done before on any show. Stay tuned for that and much more on today's edition of The Speaker Lab!  


  • How did he quadruple his speaking fees?
  • The importance of being able to evolve your message.
  • Why did he start his podcast?
  • How do you ultimately build the strongest business eco-system?
  • Speakers who get a lot of referrals do this one thing: what is it?
  • Can you determine if you are referable?
  • Why trusting yourself is key to being a speaker and an entrepreneur.
  • What is one of the key markers to success?
  • And much, much more!  



Oct 22, 2019

How do you know if your speaking topic is financially viable or if your audience will actually pay to hear what you have to say? The man to answer those questions and more is your friend and mine, Clay Hebert.

Clay was here way back on episode 5 of The Speaker Lab and today he is back. We have a fun conversation about several topics including how to figure out if your audience or target market can actually pay speaking fees, the best way to respond to the question of what do you do and why you need to work on your personal brand while also working on your craft.

Tune in to hear the details on episode 260 of The Speaker Lab!  


  • Why certain talks don't pay but can still build your brand and change your career.
  • What three entities pay for speakers?
  • What's one of the big untold secrets in the speaking industry?
  • Why it's important to work on your personal brand while you're also working on your craft.
  • Is it true that winners quit all the time?
  • When does a talk become great?
  • Why do speakers some times choose safe topics?
  • Success leaves what?
  • And much, much more! 



Oct 15, 2019

Scott Stratten is a phenomenal professional speaker who has been in the business well over a decade, and today he tells us what he's learned about how to stay relevant as a speaker.

We also talk about Imposter Syndrome why even the most accomplished speakers are not immune, and his latest book, The Jackass Whisperer.

This is a fun conversation full of Scott's trademark honest wisdom so join us for episode 259 of The Speaker Lab.  


  • Do you have to be the expert on something before you speak on it?
  • Why it's not keynote or bust in the speaking world.
  • What it means to follow your grain.
  • Why did he have to focus on non-Canadian markets at a certain point?
  • What is his advice for people who think they'll "make it" once they sign with a bureau?
  • Why is he pivoting with his next book?
  • What is his biggest issue with the speaking world?
  • How and when does he say no?
  • And so much more!




Oct 8, 2019

How can you create a really great event? One person who knows is Chris Mefford.

Chris knows the 5 parts to a successful event and he's going to tell us what they are on today's episode of The Speaker Lab. As the former VP of Development with Dave Ramsey and a business coach and consultant today, Chris has a massive amount of experience when it comes to putting on events of all sizes.

Today he tells us how to think about, plan and program events. He has a lot of tricks of the trade and you'll hear them all when you listen to episode 258 of The Speaker Lab!


  • These are the two things you must-have for a successful event: what are they?
  • Where do you start when planning your event?
  • Why it's ok to think small!
  • How do you calculate the costs involved?
  • Can you launch too early?
  • Should you have multiple tracks or just one?
  • When do you send out your post-event survey?
  • What are the three ways to make money from an event?
  • And so much more!



Oct 1, 2019

How to create a speaking pipeline might be one of the most important differentiators between those who speak full-time and those who wish they did!

On today's The Speaker, we will be diving headlong into how to create, develop and manage a strong and healthy speaking pipeline. We each share how this one strategy has helped both of us build successful speaking businesses.

Get ready to take some notes when you join us on episode 257 of The Speaker Lab.    


  • What is a pipeline exactly?
  • The two reasons it is important to have a system.
  • What three key areas are needed when you create your pipeline?
  • Why your pipeline must have a trigger.
  • What stages should you have for your contacts?
  • Why is it better to take someone's business card versus giving out yours?
  • When do you need to check your metrics and update them?
  • How long should you work your pipeline system to know it's working?
  • And so much more!




Sep 24, 2019

Do you have fears that hold you back?

Most speakers do and here to tell us the five most common fears among speakers is your friend and mine, Eric Rheam.

On today's show, we also talk about how to overcome those fears and we remind you that you are not alone on this journey. Get ready to tackle your fears and more on episode 256 of The Speaker Lab.    


  • How do you know if your message matters?
  • Should you be willing to speak for free?
  • Is your message going to evolve over time?
  • How do you become a better speaker and get over self-doubt?
  • How long does it take most speakers to go from amateur to speaking full-time?
  • Why it's important to surround yourself with people who believe in you.
  • How do you battle fear?
  • Why resistance is a sign you are on the right path.
  • And so much more!




Sep 17, 2019

How do you make a living speaking your life's story and stand out from other motivational speakers?

How do you position yourself and make your story relevant and applicable to the right audiences? The man with the answers to those questions is our guest today, Josh Sundquist.

Josh is an incredible speaker with an equally incredible life story, which he shares today along with what separates those speakers who make it from those who don't and the importance of hustle. It's all here on episode 255 of The Speaker Lab.


  • How does he track the data of potential clients and leads?
  • Do you have to have a crazy life story to speak about your life?
  • How can you find your story?
  • What is a requirement to be successful at sharing and speaking your life's story?
  • What is his motto and how does it relate to his speeches?
  • How he has narrowed down his topic to appeal to specific groups.
  • Why should you speak to anyone, anytime and anywhere?
  • Why the job of being a motivational speaker isn't just giving speeches.
  • And so much more!




Sep 10, 2019

One of the most challenging aspects of being a speaker is avoiding the feast or famine financial rollercoaster.

Our guest today has advice on how to leave the rollercoaster ride at the amusement park, and keep your bank balance on an even keel. Mike Michalowicz first joined us on episode 119 and today he's back to talk about the financial side of speaking.

Mike is an entrepreneur, well-known keynote speaker and best-selling author who has written several books including Profit First and his latest, Clockwork. His strategies have had a big impact on my life and on this edition of The Speaker Lab you'll get a taste of why. Join us for episode 254 with Mike Michalowicz.


  • What is "the drip"?
  • How does he approach quarterly tax estimates?
  • What are we actually taxed on?
  • How much should you reserve off your fees for tax liabilities?
  • Can you own your content and have someone else deliver it?
  • How he has specialized his Profit First content for different verticals.
  • When does it become about the product and not the speaker?
  • How do you know what size business is appropriate for you?
  • And so much more!




Sep 3, 2019

If you begin your career speaking to certain people do you know how to change target audiences?

Or even if you should change target audiences? Never fear our guest for this episode has done it and she is sharing all the details! Vanessa Van Edwards began her speaking career talking to teens and parents, but today she runs the site Science of People.

On episode 253 of The Speaker Lab she tells us why she changed audiences and how she did it as well as why she's moving to a new part of the country to help her speaking business, and why doing the same might help you, too! Join us to hear all of that and more on today's The Speaker Lab.


  • How did her online course help her narrow down her target market?
  • What are the differences between introverts, extroverts and ambiverts?
  • How can you appeal to all three types of people in your presentation?
  • What was the moral turning point when she changed her business model?
  • How did she make the shift from teens and their parents to corporate audiences?
  • Why she opted to niche her speaking topics rather than her audience.
  • How did she leverage her web site traffic to cultivate her own research?
  • What are some reasons she didn't raise her rates sooner?
  • And so much more!




Aug 27, 2019

What's one of the most important aspects of your business? Cultivating relationships as a speaker, and here to give us wisdom on that topic (and more) is Harriet Turk.

On episode 252 of The Speaker Lab, we talk about a wide range of topics including how to connect with event planners and meeting planners via text and email and how to manage the busy times and the slow times in the speaking business.

There's a lot to uncover and learn from Harriet so join us on this edition of The Speaker Lab.


  • Do seasoned veteran speakers feel insecure at times?
  • What are the top 2 things speakers do that annoy planners?
  • What are a few cold email approaches that work?
  • When is a text conversation with planners appropriate?
  • What links should you include in your introductory email?
  • Why is she reaching out to potential clients via the postal mail right now?
  • How do you know when to try a different method of contacting planners?
  • Is the speaking world big enough for everyone to get a piece of the pie?
  • And so much more!



Aug 20, 2019

Change is inevitable, but what is it like navigating life changes as a speaker? Our guest for today's episode of The Speaker Lab shares her journey. She's someone you know and love - Ms. Melanie Deziel.

Since her last visit to the show, she's had some major life changes: like becoming pregnant! Having a child is a major life event and she'll tell us how she's changing her speaking business as a result.

Listen in to hear how to navigate a significant change like having a child or any other major life milestone on episode 251 of The Speaker Lab.  


  • What was the most important question she asked herself?
  • Are there speaking options that don't require travel?
  • What was one of her fears about sharing her pregnancy?
  • How has she navigated planning and booking gigs around her due date?
  • What elements has she ramped up to offset the lack of speaking gigs?
  • Why did she create a remote mastermind group?
  • Should you charge a higher fee to compensate for having fewer gigs?
  • How to share expectations with your significant other and family about travel and speaking gigs.
  • And much, much more!




Aug 13, 2019

What's the best way to create and use new speaking material? Our guest, Ron Tite, knows how and he is sharing all the details on today's The Speaker Lab!

Ron is a phenomenal speaker and accomplished entrepreneur who you might remember from episode 45. He is back for episode 250 of The Speaker Lab to talk about his process when creating new content and testing it out, as well as how to put it together in a new talk.

You'll hear all of that and so much more on the 250th edition of The Speaker Lab with Ron Tite.  


  • What are the three things he does when capturing new ideas?
  • How can you keep your material current?
  • Does geography play a part in what subjects he discusses?
  • What is the "new two"?
  • When should you try out new content?
  • How new speaking material can help you secure repeat clients faster.
  • Why did he retire one of his funniest bits?
  • What is the importance of keeping your material in the development stage?
  • And much, much more!



Aug 6, 2019

What does a day in the life of a professional speaker look like? You'll find out on today's show!

Today on The Speaker Lab, we get into how to organize your day and how to maximize your time, especially if you are growing your business on the side. Lastly, we wrap up with a look at a day in the life of a professional speaker: we walk you through what each of us does every day.

Listen in to hear all of that and more on episode 249 of The Speaker Lab.


  • What's the difference between being busy versus being productive?
  • How can you avoid the comparison trap?
  • What Abe Lincoln can teach us about preparation.
  • When is your peak energy and how do you leverage it?
  • Which tasks are those that actually move the needle in your speaking business?
  • What is the #1 thing speakers struggle with?
  • Why you don't need full-time employees in order to effectively delegate.
  • What's the value of experimenting within your business?
  • And so much more!




Jul 30, 2019

How can you leverage your network to land more speaking gigs? There are plenty of ways and here to tell us is my co-host, Eric Rheam.

On this episode of The Speaker Lab, we talk about specific ways to leverage your network including the importance of shifting your mindset and prioritizing your contacts in your network. 

Join us for all the details on those topics plus so much more on today's The Speaker Lab.


  • What is a simple way can you better engage your market?
  • Which two questions will help reverse engineer potential referrals in your network?
  • What are the three priorities in your network?
  • Why the “spray and pray” email strategy does not work.
  • What should you say in your first contact email to your network?
  • How to create win-win scenarios for you and your contacts.
  • How do you follow up without being annoying?
  • What are ways to show appreciation for people who help you?
  • And so much more!




Jul 23, 2019

If the idea of selling yourself as a speaker is your least favorite aspect of speaking then we have the solution for you!

On this edition of The Speaker Lab, we are joined by my co-host, Mr. Eric Rheam. Eric is a successful speaker in his own right, and he's also a coach from our Booked and Paid to Speak.

Today, Eric and I give you tips and strategies on how to develop the mindset of selling yourself as a speaker, how to organize your marketing assets and ways to experiment with what works and what doesn't work. You'll hear us dig into those topics and more on episode 247 of The Speaker Lab!


  • What are the most common challenges speakers face when selling themselves?
  • Does selling come naturally to people?
  • Rejection is part of the game: how to get used to it.
  • Does the mental hurdle of quoting your fees ever go away?
  • Why it's important to develop a consistent work habit.
  • What is the priority of work and how do you use it?
  • There are three key marketing assets you need as a speaker: what are they?
  • What four organizational tools are important when you are starting out?
  • And so much more!




Jul 16, 2019

What could you accomplish if you were truly free to focus on the things you love most? A man who will help you find out is our guest today, the one and only Michael Hyatt.

Michael is an amazing, successful speaker, author, and entrepreneur, as well as a husband and father.

On today's edition of The Speaker Lab, Michael and I cover a lot of ground including his evolution as a speaker, and specific elements of his book Free to Focus that relate to your speaking journey. We talk about the freedom compass and the weekly and daily three, and more.

This is an exceptionally insightful episode you won't want to miss so join us for number 246 of The Speaker Lab with Michael Hyatt.


  • What's the hustle fallacy?
  • What does the power of constraints mean?
  • How can you include your family in your side hustle dreams?
  • Why he recommends having someone else with you on the road.
  • What is a weekly preview and how do you do it?
  • How do we apply the Pareto Principle?
  • How many goals should you set per quarter and per year?
  • What happens once you've worked more than 55 hours in a week?
  • And so much more!



Jul 9, 2019

What event planners look for in a speaker may seem like a mystery, but today's guest is going to reveal all the secrets!

Josh McGhee is an event planner who books professional speakers with fees ranging from a few thousand dollars up to $40,000.

Today he'll tell us how he and his team choose those speakers, including the one thing they all must have or he won't book them, and what you can do to be a better partner with your clients and grow your referrals.

Join us for those great insights from the other side of the table on the 245th episode of The Speaker Lab!


  • How many speakers does his organization hire annually?
  • What are the three tiers of speaker fees in their non-profit?
  • How can you be pro-active without being irritating?
  • What specific details in your videos are important to event planners?
  • Why does he talk with the potential speaker before hiring them?
  • What role does post-event communication play in your referability?
  • How does his organization determine if a speaker provided their value?
  • How partnerships and sponsorships can work to cover your speaking fees.
  • And so much more!



Jul 2, 2019

How to leverage YouTube for more speaking gigs may be a question you've asked yourself. If so your answer is on today's episode of The Speaker Lab, and you'll definitely want to hear!

Joining us to talk about leveraging YouTube to build and grow your speaking business is Amy Landino. Amy has a YouTube following over 300k subscribers, and she's leveraged her success there to become an author and grow her speaking business.

Today we talk all things YouTube, but we also dig into the broad topics she speaks on, the details of her recent speaking agency experience: why she signed exclusively with Vayner Speakers and the pros and cons of signing with any agency.

You'll hear all of that and more during our conversation with Amy Landino on episode 244 of The Speaker Lab.


  • What is good content marketing at its core?
  • How do you know you've hit your stride?
  • Why you should not use your YouTube content in your demo video.
  • What is the biggest mistake she sees people making in their speaker trailers?
  • What should be included in your speaker trailer?
  • How often should you upload your videos to YouTube?
  • What's the biggest benefit of creating videos?
  • How asking this one question can massively help your career.
  • And so much more!




Jun 25, 2019

Do you know how to make a good first impression? Have you thought about it? You will after you listen to this episode!

On The Speaker Lab today, Sylvie di Giusto talks with us about how to make a good first impression, something she speaks about in the corporate world. Specifically, she tells us the four people to consider when choosing what to wear, the 3 S's to picking out your onstage outfit and the ABCDs of your personal brand.

There's a lot of great content she brings to the show so join us and hear it all on episode 243 of The Speaker Lab!


  • What is confirmation bias and how does it work?
  • How did she land on the topic of first impressions?
  • Why your speaking topic evolves over time.
  • Why accents can be an asset and not a hindrance.
  • What are the first steps to making a good impression?
  • How do you find your signature style?
  • How does branding impact our everyday life?
  • What is your reputation based on?
  • And so much more!




Jun 18, 2019

What's the current state of the speaking market like right now? Our guest, Brandon Edmonson, has the answers and he is telling all on episode 242 of The Speaker Lab!

Brandon is the Vice-President of Premiere Speakers Bureau and today he'll share what they are seeing in the marketplace right now. We'll get into details like how far out clients are booking, what the fee range is and the different topics clients are booking.

That's just a small slice of what we cover so join us and listen in to episode 242 of The Speaker Lab.


  • What do all speakers need to have in their speaking video right now?
  • Brandon's rule of thumb for how much should you spend on your video.
  • How important is SEO for speakers today?
  • Where are their primary lead sources coming from?
  • Why being local is a value add for event planners and booking agents.
  • How far out are most events booking right now?
  • What's the financial outlook for the speaking industry?
  • How to manage the mental game of the speaking cycle.
  • And so much more!




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