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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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!


Feb 26, 2020

Ever wonder how successful speakers are managing the highs and lows of speaking? Mitch Joel can tell us and he's here to do just that for today's The Speaker Lab.

Mitch is a returning guest (previously on episode 144) who came back to cover everything from the value of building relationships with other speakers to managing the highs and lows of this career path to the importance of making friends with other speakers.

You're going to learn all of that and more when you join us for episode 278 of The Speaker Lab!


  • How do you stay ahead of your competitors?
  • Why saying yes is key to being a great speaker.
  • Why what you do this year does not provide any guarantees next year.
  • When being good enough is okay.
  • How are speakers like coffee?
  • What is one question he asks himself with every speaking engagement?
  • Why the audience's show and the speaker's show are two different experiences.
  • And so much more! 


Feb 18, 2020

To commemorate the official launch of my book, The Successful Speaker, my friend and co-author of the book, Jeff Goins, is here!

On this edition of The Speaker Lab, Jeff and I talk about the book writing process for The Successful Speaker: Five Steps For Booking Gigs, Getting Paid, and Building Your Platform. We also give you a behind the scenes look at the making of this book, how this journey began with a joke (!) and how working on this book actually helped Jeff's speaking career.

Join us and you'll find out all of that and so much more on episode 277 of The Speaker Lab with Jeff Goins.


  • Why did we decide to co-brand The Successful Speaker?
  • How do you find the right voice for your book?
  • Why writing like you speak is terrible advice.
  • What types of collaborations are there between writers and authors?
  • Why did Jeff want to try ghostwriting after writing 5 of his own very successful books?
  • What is the one word that will tell you a book is most likely written by a ghostwriter?
  • Would Jeff change anything about the book?
  • Who was our secret hero of writing this book?
  • And so much more!


Feb 13, 2020

Welcome back to The Speaker Lab for a special bonus episode!

The Successful Speaker is a book I am releasing soon and as part of the launch, you're going to hear the first few chapters on today's show.

Directly from the actual audiobook, you'll hear what's in this book, who I am and my story on becoming a speaker. You'll also get an overview of the successful speaker roadmap and then chapter one about choosing your audience.

Join us to hear these topics and then be sure to get your own copy of The Successful Speaker!  


  • What is the foundation of your speaking career?
  • What will all audiences be wondering no matter who is speaking to them?
  • What is the topic trifecta and how do you apply it to your business?
  • Which 7 major industries have the highest demand for speakers?
  • If industry comes first, what follows?
  • Can you change industries later in your career?
  • Knowing what to speak about begins with what?
  • Why you should choose two industries, and how to move forward after you do.
  • And so much more!

Tweetable: "Your job is to solve a problem, not deliver a speech.."


Feb 11, 2020

Virtual reality is becoming part of our lives, even part of our speaking careers.

Terry Brock is our guest for today's show and he's to dig deeper into something we touched on during his first visit:  how to become a virtual speaker.

On this episode of The Speaker Lab, we get into the finer details on virtual speaking and things like the technology you need, how to price yourself, the clients who hire virtual speakers, and how you can actually earn more as a virtual speaker than speaking in-person.

Terry tells us those things and much more so please be sure to join us for episode 276 of The Speaker Lab!  


  • Is Zoom a necessary part of a virtual speaking set up?
  • How can an index card help you create a connection virtually?
  • What is key to ensuring a win for both your client and for you?
  • Are there industries or clients that are more receptive to virtual speaking?
  • Why would people initially be reluctant to use video?
  • When and why you should offer a bonus session for your clients.
  • How do you set up pricing and fees for virtual speaking?
  • What is the most important piece of your online set up?
  • And so much more!



Feb 4, 2020

Erick Rheam is our co-host and we are talking about the 5 step goal setting process you can use to create and achieve your goals in 2020 and beyond.

On today's episode of The Speaker Lab, Erick and I walk you through each of the five steps and we also talk about how we use these personally in our speaking careers and also here within The Speaker Lab itself.

Whether you're listening at the start of the year or any other time you're going to get useful and practical advice, including specific examples you can follow immediately. Join us for that and more on episode 275 of The Speaker Lab.    


  • Why are mini-retreats so important to the goal setting process?
  • How to plan out where you and your business are headed.
  • Do you have to wait until January 1st to set goals?
  • What are habit goals and achievement goals, and how many of each do you need?
  • How many primary goals should you set for your business each year?
  • What is a component most people miss in their goal setting?
  • How often should you read your goals and refresh them?
  • Why clarification is a critical step in the 5 step goal setting process.
  • And so much more!


Jan 28, 2020

Whether you're a speaker or a writer or both, you should be asking how to find your voice.

The woman with the answer is Allison Fallon and she joins us on episode 274 of The Speaker Lab. On this edition of the show, Allison and I talk about how to deal with nerves before you speak, the value of writing as a speaker and why you should create a writing habit.

Be sure to check out those topics and more in this conversation with Allison Fallon on episode 274 of The Speaker Lab.


  • Why you should you write even if you don't think you're a writer.
  • How much time should you spend writing every day in order to reap the benefits?
  • What are some ways to combat nerves while you're speaking?
  • What does it mean to look for the common thread?
  • Should you write about an in-demand topic or something you're passionate about?
  • Can you write a book that is both content-driven and story-driven?
  • Does being in the right place at the right time play a role in the success of a book?
  • Is it an option to not be a writer in our world today?
  • And so much more!



Jan 21, 2020

A man who is an expert at selling yourself as a speaker is here for episode 273 of The Speaker Lab!

Mr. Matthew Kimberley is a sales wizard and he gives us great strategies on what it takes to truly sell yourself in the speaking world. On today's show, we also talk about when and why he speaks for free and the math behind that choice.

You can hear that and much more when you tune in to this edition of The Speaker Lab.


  • What is the best way to build trust, credibility and stature?
  • Where does he live and how does that impact his business?
  • Is anyone a natural born sales person?
  • Why asking when you need something is too late and what to do instead.
  • What are the benefits of calling someone versus emailing them?
  • Should you speak on your own stage?
  • What kind of response rate should you expect initially?
  • Why you need to be explicit when collecting testimonials and referrals.
  • And so much more! 


Jan 14, 2020

Ever consider how to turn your clients into fans - even raving fans? Our guest today, David Meerman Scott, has literally written the book on doing so and he's here to share his insights.

Today on the Speaker Lab, we talk about how to turn your clients into raving fans, and how he can talk about a general topic that applies to many audiences while still standing out in the marketplace. We also discuss how he landed speaking gigs on Tony Robbins' stages, something he does frequently.

Plus you'll want to stay tuned til the end when he tells one of the BEST stories! It's a nightmare for any speaker, but it's hilarious so join us to hear it on episode 272 of The Speaker Lab.


  • How did he book a gig on Antarctica?
  • Why do Tony Robbins' speakers give away everything during their talks?
  • What is news jacking and why is it so beneficial for speakers?
  • Why he doesn't he read or listen to other content in the marketing niche.
  • What is the first step in how to turn your clients into fans?
  • Are there scientific reasons for hanging around after you give your talk?
  • How can hash tags help you connect with people after a speech?
  • Why does he do yoga before he speaks?
  • And so much more!


Jan 7, 2020

How to communicate in an online world is very different from in-person communication, and today's guest is an expert at both!

Dr. Nick Morgan is returning to The Speaker Lab to talk about his latest book, Can You Hear Me?. The book is about how to connect with people in a virtual world including how to ensure you are getting the correct message across to your clients. We also talk about the power of emojis!

This is a wide-ranging conversation I think you will really enjoy so join us for episode 271 of The Speaker Lab with Nick Morgan.


  • What can you do offstage to ensure more referrals?
  • How does negativity bias impact our virtual communication?
  • Does using emojis give you a greater chance at having a successful email exchange?
  • How should you use emojis?
  • What is the hierarchy of communication in the online world?
  • What are things to keep in mind when talking on the phone?
  • How many years does it take to learn to have a normal conversation?
  • What does consistency tell others about our trustworthiness?
  • And so much more!


Dec 31, 2019

What's one thing you can do to ensure success? It's delivering results as a speaker. Mark Bowden is a phenomenal speaker who has built a thriving business doing just that in a niche market.

Today on The Speaker Lab, he explains the 3 things that have moved the needle most for him, the difference between picking a topic you're interested in versus a result you can deliver and the messages you may be sending with your body language on stage.

Hear his wisdom and insights on those concepts and more on episode 270 of The Speaker Lab.


  • When do opportunities come your way?
  • How do you know if your passion is something you can be hired to speak on?
  • What results can tell you about a niche in the marketplace.
  • What's the fastest way to earn trust and credibility?
  • Why is it important to connect with other speakers in your niche?
  • What's the #1 thing speakers don't do that is hurting them?
  • What is the audience's job?
  • What are the optics of the stage and why do they matter?
  • And so much more!



Dec 24, 2019

For some speakers, presenting in front of an audience is only the beginning of their impact, but knowing exactly how to expand beyond the stage can be intimidating. On today's episode of The Speaker Lab, Joe Sanok is sharing some best practices for building out your audience.

Joe Sanok is a keynote and TEDx speaker, business consultant, and podcaster. Joe has the #1 podcast for counselors, The Practice of the Practice Podcast.

In episode 269, Joe walks us through the finer details of creating additional products your audience needs, from courses to live events.  Joe walks us through how to determine if your product is needed and how much your audience is willing to pay for it. Stay tuned for that and much more on today’s edition of The Speaker Lab!  


  • How does niching down help you charge more?
  • When does it work to microniche down and when does it not?
  • What can you do to help your audience level up?
  • When is it beneficial to be "the first" to speak on a topic?
  • Can you niche down too much?
  • How do you evolve your business to better serve your audience?
  • What kind of strategy is needed for monetizing a smaller niche market?
  • How does understanding your end-goal help you set your strategy?
  • What is the best way to expand your reach?
  • And so much more!


Dec 17, 2019

How writing and speaking go together may seem obvious, but there are important distinctions and here to explain what they are is Ryan Holiday.

Ryan is a best-selling author of several books as well as an in-demand international speaker.

On episode 268, he tells us more about how writing and speaking go together in his business, as well as his process for writing and developing a talk and how he gets into the zone before speaking to big audiences. You can hear us dig into those topics and more on this episode of The Speaker Lab.  


  • How does he test new material?
  • What similarities does he find among his diverse audiences?
  • What does he try to do with each of his books?
  • Does he set specific speaking intentions when he writes his books?
  • When can it be difficult to get reps as a speaker?
  • Can geography impact your speaking opportunities?
  • How does he define stillness?
  • Why is it better to speak earlier in the conference series?
  • And so much more!


Dec 10, 2019

Jesse Cole has a unique story that highlights how to use creativity to stand out, and you are going to hear it on this edition of The Speaker Lab!

I won't give away too many details because I don't want to spoil it for you, but we will be hearing his modern-day Field of Dreams story as well as how his entrepreneurial journey ties into his speaking business.

We also talk about how to zig when the world is zagging, why he wears a custom yellow tuxedo and much more on episode 267 of The Speaker Lab!  


  • What does PFT stand for and how does it apply to being a speaker?
  • Why does he write a thank you letter every single day?
  • Has he always had the same marketing approach with his baseball team?
  • Can you develop a stronger level of creativity in your life?
  • How to use your audience's friction points in a positive way.
  • What is the alter ego effect and how does it apply to speaking?
  • How can you use what is normal to actually be different?
  • When you give fun and have fun, then what happens?
  • And so much more!


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 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!




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