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!
RSS Feed
The Speaker Lab







All Episodes
Now displaying: March, 2020
Mar 31, 2020

Staying positive on your speaking journey will help you succeed, and our guest today is the perfect example of this.

Jon Gordon is the author of Stay Positive, The Energy Bus and many other best-sellers. He's also an equally prolific and successful speaker.

On episode 282 of The Speaker Lab, he tells us how he got started speaking, the pros and cons of speaking for free, and how he thinks about his business beyond the stage. Join us for this intriguing and illuminating conversation with Jon Gordon on this edition of The Speaker Lab.


  • How does he take the challenges of flying and transform them into opportunities?
  • Why did he give 80 free talks?
  • Why you shouldn't expect to be good when you start.
  • From where did he get the idea for his first book?
  • What a telescope and a microscope have to do with achieving your goals.
  • How can you take a big topic and carve your own niche within it?
  • What does research show about positivity?
  • What is the power of being introverted?
  • And so much more!


Mar 30, 2020

Grant Baldwin and Josh McGhee hosted a Facebook Live to talk about how event planners are responding to the coronavirus and its impact on the speaking industry.

During the live stream, Grant and Josh discuss:

  • How many events an event planner will typically manage in the course of a year
  • An insider view of how events approach the decision to cancel or postpone
  • The likelihood of rescheduling and postponing events that are further out than 1-2 months
  • Adapting to fast-changing circumstances in the midst of unprecedented times
  • Placing a high value on safety
  • Adjusting accordingly to accommodate travel bands
  • Determining which events are able to be converted to virtual experiences
  • Just because your physical gathering is canceled or postponed doesn’t mean you can’t deliver value in the digital space
  • Organizations being pushed to create a more interactive experience whether it’s in-person or virtual
  • How do conference owners/organizers continue education between annual events and leverage technology to stay engaged with their audience?
  • Staying connected throughout the year by using virtual learning options
  • Finding opportunity amidst the storm
  • Speakers who serve in times of crisis will stand out when normalcy returns
  • Exploring alternative options to speaking on stage when events get canceled or moved
  • Focus on creating value here in the now and pausing on selling future bookings
  • Prioritizing relationships is the most strategic things speakers can do
  • Partner with event planners now to help them amidst the chaos
  • How current social distancing will swing back and create a visceral need for in-person events
  • The aftermath of the current crisis will lead to new virtual opportunities that expand speaker revenue streams
  • And more


Mar 28, 2020

Grant Baldwin and Terry Brock hosted a Facebook Live to talk about you can create virtual speaking opportunities.

During the live stream, Grant and Terry discuss:

  • Making room for natural reactions to stressful times
  • Intentionally focusing on positive attitude
  • Leveraging technology to reach our audiences and deliver value
  • Why now is the time to hustle
  • Market trends when it comes to events canceling vs postponing
  • Speakers are communicators who solve problems
  • How to suggest virtual options to existing clients
  • Pull in experts in your network to deliver additional value
  • The problem you were hired to solve still exists
  • Exploring new ways to solve the same problem
  • Speakers don’t have to speak on stage to deliver value
  • Simple tips to improve the quality of your virtual presence
  • Scalable tools for video streaming and conferencing
  • Don’t get distracted by shiny, new tools. Pick one that works for you and move forward.
  • The importance of backup technology
  • Social distancing doesn’t cancel our need for social connection
  • Rolling up our sleeves to work harder and smarter
  • And more


Mar 27, 2020

Grant Baldwin and Shawn Hanks hosted a Facebook Live to talk about how speaking bureaus are responding and adjusting to the coronavirus.

During the live stream, Grant and Shawn discuss:

  • How appropriate the term “unprecedented” is in these unique times
  • Finding comfort in shared experiences
  • Adapting in the midst of unforeseen circumstances
  • Navigating the process of postponing/rescheduling 400+ events
  • The challenge of responding with grace versus reacting in fear
  • Operating from a place of fear in the short-term creates long-term losses
  • Focusing on relationships and maintaining bridges
  • Adjusting presentation to fit virtual delivery
  • Following wise financial practices to prepare for times of crisis
  • Diversify your business with other offers besides speaking on stage
  • Be cautious before you pivot your entire platform
  • Reaching out to clients to see where their pain points are and how you can serve their audience with content in the interim
  • And more


Mar 26, 2020

Grant Baldwin and Kyle Scheele hosted a Facebook Live to talk about how the youth speaking industry is responding and adjusting to the coronavirus.

During the live stream, Grant and Kyle discuss:

  • Navigating the crazy ups and downs
  • Adjusting to unexpected free time
  • Plenty of events that are rescheduling and postponing instead of canceling
  • How long will it take to get back to normal
  • Looking back to history for a sense of hope
  • Taking steps to prepare your finances for difficult times
  • Making a list of what you can control
  • Not wasting your time worrying about whatever is outside your control
  • Taking advantage of the downtime to catch up on projects you avoided
  • Spending time with loved ones and using technology to stay connected
  • How to ethically market your speaking business in times of crisis
  • The hidden benefits of working with a speaking agency
  • How will you tweak and adapt your content after this crisis?
  • How can you change to better serve people?
  • We have been through hard things as humans and we will continue to go through hard things
  • And more


Mar 25, 2020

Grant Baldwin and Neen James hosted a Facebook Live to talk about how to diversify your speaking income right now.

During the live stream, Grant and Neen discuss:

  • Comparing the impact of COVID-19 to the 2008 recession
  • Relocating to the United States and starting speaking business over from scratch
  • How uncertainty creates a unique challenge
  • Keeping your head in the right space
  • A service vs a sales mindset
  • Defaulting to positivity and generosity
  • The difference between making money during a crisis and making money from a crisis (shout out to Sean McCabe)
  • Unique challenges faced by different industries
  • Managing a long lead time before your next live speaking gig
  • The domino effect of events getting postponed
  • Financial practices that speakers should emulate
  • The reality of what events are actually getting canceled vs rescheduled
  • How speakers can look at their available speaking dates as inventory
  • “Be kind or be quiet."
  • Avoided short-sighted decisions
  • Don’t sell something you’re not qualified to teach
  • Playing the long-game with intentional attention
  • The invaluable gift of asking “how can I help?"
  • "You can’t organize history. You can’t live in regret of what you should’ve done."
  • And more


Mar 24, 2020

Narrowing down and focusing on your speaking topic is can be one of the harder aspects of speaking.

Here to help ease that process is David Newman. David is a professional speaker who also coaches other speakers, and all-around great guy!

Today on The Speaker Lab, we talk about everything from speaking fees, the NSA and demo videos. He even walks us through a specific exercise to find the right topic that has speaking opportunities within it. Be sure to join us and hear it all on episode 281 of The Speaker Lab.


  • Do we often teach what we ourselves need to learn?
  • How did he narrow his topic down from 30 potential options?
  • What it means if nobody else is talking about your subject matter.
  • Why actively choosing our own niche is a powerful privilege.
  • How do you know if there is a market for your topic?
  • Why it's necessary to pivot throughout your career.
  • Can you have both depth and variety in your speaking offerings?
  • Why speaking is the new marketing.
  • And so much more!


Mar 23, 2020

Grant Baldwin and Vinh Giang hosted a Facebook Live to talk about how speakers and magicians can adapt to delivering virtual experiences in unprecedented times.

During the live stream, in addition to a live magic trick, Grant and Vinh discuss:

  • How a state-mandated shutdown impacts live performers
  • Identifying audience categories and how to serve them
  • Assuming a position of generosity as a strategic investment
  • Putting relationships first
  • Accepting the new normal of virtual events
  • The opportunity to redefine webinar experiences and improve the quality
  • How do you have conversations with event planners to explore virtual options
  • Your audience still has the same needs now that they had before a crisis
  • How to help clients deliver value to their audiences through virtual
  • Role-playing a client call with someone interested in learning about virtual event options
  • Production value is under-estimated for virtual presenters
  • The indispensable value of being so good they can’t ignore you
  • How to stand out from the crowd
  • Hidden innovations to uncover in the midst of trials
  • Fostering audience engagement through interactive technology
  • The only 2 things you can control
  • And more


Mar 20, 2020

Grant Baldwin and Brian Fanzo (from hosted a Facebook Live to talk about how speakers can best use technology in this current climate.

During the live stream, Grant and Brian discuss:

  • Leveraging technology and social media to grow your speaking business
  • Starting a podcast to supplement your speaking and increase your audience
  • How to use virtual options to replace in-person meetings
  • Reinventing digital meeting experience with the distracted attendee in mind
  • The challenge event planners face in moving or redesigning large-scale events
  • Take a beat and remember the groundwork you’ve put in that will last beyond a crisis
  • Don’t sacrifice long-term wins for short-term gains
  • Getting creative in responding to canceled or postponed events
  • The importance of being transparent (and why it’s different from over-sharing)
  • Alternative options besides being on stage that speakers can do well
  • How do you think about pricing for virtual speaking gigs?


Mar 19, 2020

Grant Baldwin and Jane Atkinson (from Speaker Launcher) host a Facebook Live to talk about how speakers can deal with the current changes in the industry.

During the live stream, Grant and Jane discuss:

  • Being aware your mindset
  • Intentionally limiting your intake of the news and social media
  • Balancing negative and positive influences
  • Taking the opportunity to learn something new
  • Importance of diversifying your booking strategies
  • Asking bureaus to pay your compensation in advance
  • High demand for meeting space and venues shifting to Fall 2020
  • New opportunities in the marketplace
  • Focusing on what you can control vs what you can't
  • Avoiding a scarcity mindset and look for opportunities
  • The difference between speakers who weather the storm vs those who bail out
  • What it means to be a #FocusedHustler
  • Proactively check on your clients and ask how you can serve
  • Use extra time to build on the basics of your speaking business (that you might be avoiding otherwise)
  • Explore remote/virtual event options


Mar 18, 2020
Grant Baldwin and Erick Rheam hosted a Facebook Live to talk about how coronavirus has impacted the speaking industry and how you can thrive in the midst of crisis.
During the live stream, Grant and Erick discuss:
  • How to process times of crisis
  • The importance of managing cashflow
  • Be flexible and proactive with event planners
  • Challenges of rescheduling and postponing events
  • Creating value and security with event planners through patience
  • How airlines are setting an example for customer service
  • Remember that speaking is a relationship business
  • Experiment with alternate presenting options to save gigs
  • How the size and frequency of event types will change
  • What’s a good way to suggest virtual speaking engagements?


Mar 17, 2020

Speakers are feeling fearful right now, and to help ease that we're talking about how to thrive in a crisis.

Joining us to talk about this unique time is Erick Rheam, our Director of Student Success at The Speaker Lab and also a well-respected speaker in his own right.

On this episode of The Speaker Lab, we're going to help you deal with the COVID-19 crisis and future challenges you may face in the speaking industry. Erick lays out four points to mitigating the impact of any crisis as he learned during his time in the armed forces.

1. Secure the perimeter

  • Ensure you and your family are safe.
  • Engage in medical professionals and local authorities' recommended guidelines.
  • Ensure you are following proper protocol for safe social distancing.
  • Take stock of your finances.
  • Finalize potential gigs.
  • Continue reaching out for future gigs.

2. Evaluate your business. Now is the time to evaluate, learn, think and pause. Ask yourself questions like:

  • How do I make money speaking?
  • How will that change as a result of this crisis (and does it need to change)?
  • What online courses can I promote?
  • Can I work on that book I’ve wanted to write?
  • What virtual training gigs can I secure?

3. Gain Perspective.

  • Keep the big picture in mind.
  • Try to limit your information and be careful of your sources.
  • Practice gratitude.
  • Opportunities will present themselves, look for them.
  • Be flexible and be open to change.

4. Enjoy these moments.

  • We are creating unprecedented memories now.
  • Slow down, look around and take in the good.
  • Be a good human: be patient and be kind.
  • Journal your thoughts.
  • Serve others.


Mar 10, 2020

Our guest today, Srini Rao, runs the site and podcast called The Unmistakable Creative. He's also a prolific best-selling author and sought-after international keynote speaker.

Today, he joins The Speaker Lab to talk about his speaking journey, how he pitches a broad topic like creativity to companies and how he balances the business side of being an artist.

This is a far-reaching conversation, be sure to join us on episode 280 of The Speaker Lab to hear it all!


  • Has his podcast helped him garner speaking gigs?
  • When do bureaus approach you about working with them?
  • Why does he have two emails?
  • What is essential to every brand and business online?
  • Where should conferences be held?
  • What is one of the things he asks every potential client?
  • Why he always get referrals, and you should too.
  • What is an OKR and why is it one of the most effective filters he has used?
  • And so much more!


Mar 4, 2020

Here to tell us how passion can fuel your speaking success, and why you don't need to climb Mount Everest or win a gold medal first, is Kindra Hall.

Kindra is a successful keynote speaker who has exploded on the speaking circuit in the last few years. On today's The Speaker Lab, you'll hear how passionate Kindra is about speaking, and how you can be a great speaker even if you don't have any special skills or experiences.

We cover those areas, plus a lot more on this show. So get ready to take some notes and join us for The Speaker Lab with Kindra Hall!


  • What three things do you need in place to embark on your speaking career?
  • Where do you start if you have no experience?
  • How do you find people who want to hear your message?
  • Why speaking for free was important to her early success.
  • How do you know if you are meant to do this?
  • What to do once you start building momentum and how to keep it going.
  • Do bureaus create demand or manage it?
  • What are the pros and cons of being a female speaker?
  • And so much more!