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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Apr 30, 2019
We are back with another YouTube speech breakdown; this time we are giving you the ins and outs of what works and what doesn't from the venerable Mel Robbins.

On today's The Speaker Lab, we are breaking down Mel's very popular Ted Talk called How to Stop Screwing Yourself Over. Mel is a well-known keynote speaker and presenter so you will learn a lot from her speech.

Be sure to hear it all by tuning in to episode 235 of The Speaker Lab.




  • What pieces of your speech should be the most tightly scripted?
  • Is there a way to create humor without using words?
  • What types of callbacks should you use in your speech?
  • What lighting is best for you on stage?
  • What is one way to emphasize a powerful moment?
  • Why should you leave the stage and walk among the audience?
  • What works best for slides?
  • How to use call and response in your presentation.






Apr 23, 2019

Has a company ever asked to license your material? Whether or not you've ever been approached, it's important to understand the topic of intellectual property for speakers.

Here to tell us about IP for speakers is Pamela Slim. Pamela is a successful coach, author, speaker and all-around amazing woman.

On this episode of The Speaker Lab, Pam explains when and how to license your material, how to protect your IP (intellectual property), as well as how to market it, price it, and leverage it to your greatest advantage.


  • What qualifies as intellectual property?
  • How can licensing help you leverage your knowledge and tools to reach new markets?
  • When do you know licensing is your best option?
  • Do you need to be famous to license your material?
  • What is essential to intellectual property and brand recognition?
  • What are the best ways to market your licensed material and IP?
  • Why do you need to track how many people use your materials?
  • Why money shouldn't be your sole focus when licensing your IP.
  • And so much more!




Apr 16, 2019

We're doing something different this week on The Speaker Lab: coming straight from our YouTube channel is our play by play breakdown of speeches and popular Ted Talks. We'll talk about what works, what doesn't work and some ideas on areas to improve.

Today our speech breakdown is of 2018 Toastmasters Champion Ramona J. Smith.

Personally, I have mixed feelings about Toastmasters which I will share on today's episode. So tune in to hear my thoughts on Toastmasters and our speech breakdown of Toastmasters champion Ramona Smith on episode 233 of The Speaker Lab.


  • What is one of the ways you get better as a speaker?
  • How does Toastmasters help you improve?
  • Can you ever be too polished as a speaker?
  • What are the drawbacks to Toastmasters?
  • How to use cadence in your speeches for the greatest effect.
  • When does physicality work in your favor and when does it not?
  • How can you create visual representations on stage?
  • How to use strategic pauses to emphasize your points.
  • And so much more...




Apr 9, 2019

Are you overlooking some simple ways to book more gigs? You'll find out when you listen to today's show!

Kris Reece is a professional faith-based speaker who also coaches and writes books for women about reaching their fullest God-given potential.

On this episode we talk about some issues she is facing in her speaking business. Specifically, we help Kris find new gigs, leverage connections from previous gigs and evaluate whether it makes sense to pay to speak.

Join us to hear insights on those topics and more on the 232nd edition of The Speaker Lab!


  • What are the reasons you should consider speaking for free?
  • Why you send an invoice even if you speak for free.
  • The two things you can do during a speaking gig to generate future gigs.
  • What's the best way you can approach previous clients for referrals?
  • How do you evaluate whether you should buy a sponsorship and pay to speak?
  • What is one of the quickest ways to build a relationship?
  • How do you find the key person who books speakers at big events?
  • Why you should never stop marketing your speaking services.
  • And so much more!




Apr 2, 2019

Follow up is what separates part-time speakers from full-time professionals.

But how do you follow through on your follow up in the most effective way? That's what we are talking about today on The Speaker Lab with Jim Kukral.

Jim is an online marketer and serial entrepreneur who wants to grow the speaking aspect of his business. This episode is a one on one coaching call with Jim about what he's been doing for follow up and what he can start doing right now to improve that aspect of his business. You'll hear that topic and more on episode 231 of The Speaker Lab!


  • What does it mean to be "unskippable"?
  • How do you get better as a speaker?
  • Why speaking fees are more than just a check.
  • How often should you follow up?
  • When should you call people you've contacted about potential gigs?
  • How to ensure you have accountability.
  • What do you do when you have a hot lead?
  • Why you need to always be knocking on doors for leads.
  • And so much more!




Mar 26, 2019

Ever feel like your topic should be heard by everyone? If you said yes today's show is perfect for you. Our guest is facing the same dilemma many speakers have faced: how to narrow your speaking audience.

To address this common challenge on today's The Speaker we are joined by Rocco Cozza. Rocco is a successful businessman who wants to do more speaking and today we're going to help him accomplish that goal by narrowing his audience.

Join us to hear exactly how to do this and so much more on this edition of The Speaker Lab!


  • Why is kindness the most important thing in business?
  • Why a message for everyone is a message for no one.
  • When you pick a lane does that choice have to be permanent?
  • How to determine if there is a market for your topic.
  • How you can trojan horse your topic into existing speaking needs.
  • What should you do if you have doubts about your speaking fees?
  • How do you determine if a free speaking gig is valuable to you?
  • What is one of your best marketing tools?
  • And so much more!




Mar 19, 2019

Hugh is one of our rare 3-peat guests and he's back to tell us how to use blogging to book speaking gigs.

On today's edition of The Speaker Lab, Hugh specifically explains why you should blog to grow your speaking business including how often you should blog, what you should blog about, how long your blog posts should be, and where you should promote your blog.

In addition to being a keynote speaker and best-selling author, Hugh runs a business called BlogWorks. BlogWorks is a company devoted to helping speakers book more speaking gigs through the art of blogging.

Hugh shares his wealth of knowledge and more so join us to hear it all on episode 229 of The Speaker Lab!


  • How often should you post to ensure you're relevant?
  • Why more is not necessarily better.
  • The three steps to take after you write every blog post.
  • Should you write your blog for your audience or people who hire speakers?
  • What are the two ways to know if your blog post resonates with your audience?
  • What should you do if you have run out of topic ideas?
  • Is there a standard format you can use for your blog posts?
  • What four statistics should you focus on?
  • And so much more!




Mar 12, 2019

Do you know how to network and get more keynote speeches as a result? Our guest is here to find out, and you'll hear too when you listen to today's episode of The Speaker Lab.

Lea Pica is part of our elite coaching program and she is looking for ways to turn her existing speaking opportunities into additional paid keynote engagements. Lea is a data storytelling evangelist who teaches digital analysts and internet marketers how to look at the data from their programs, tie it to the success of their organizations or clients and then tell that story.

During episode 228, Lea tells us how speaking fits into her current business model, what she is doing right now to garner more gigs and what type of follow has worked and hasn't worked for her. We dive into all of that and more on this edition of The Speaker Lab.


  • What options is she considering to boost her keynote opportunities?
  • Do you have to be outgoing and extroverted to be a good networker?
  • Why direct conversations translate to the hottest leads.
  • What are the two ways to promote yourself while you're speaking?
  • Why do you want to be the one to follow up, not vice versa?
  • Why it's easier to get more gigs the more you speak.
  • Why should you do your keynote before your workshop when you're doing both at a conference?
  • How to use video to follow up with stagnant leads.
  • And so much more!




Mar 5, 2019

Is getting paid to speak on creativity really a viable option? Is that a topic to build your business around? Here to explore those questions is one of our Elite coaching students, Beth Inglish.

Beth is an artist who speaks to other artists and leaders in the community to help them rediscover their creativity. Of late, she's been speaking to leaders in corporate America about how to be more creative and how to lead with a creative mindset.

On today’s The Speaker Lab, we talk about what changed for Beth that made her want to pursue speaking as a business, how to go from doing free gigs to paid gigs and how to know if you can make a living speaking to a particular audience. Join us for those topics and more on today’s edition of The Speaker Lab.


  • What are questions to ask if you are struggling to find your target audience?
  • How do you know if your potential audience is viable?
  • Why you need to keep your big picture goals in mind.
  • Does everyone have creativity inside of them?
  • How can you narrow down who you speak to?
  • Why it's important to spread the word that you are a speaker.
  • How can you find subgroups and other events/opportunities within the same company?
  • Why having someone vouch for you can be a win-win for you and your client.
  • And so much more!




Feb 26, 2019

Everyone loves an underdog, right? If you're just starting out as a speaker you definitely fall in the underdog category. So why not take full advantage and create your own underdog Rocky story? Clint Pulver did and success has followed suit.

Today he's going to tell us how he tapped into the power of his own Rocky story to make powerful  relationships with speakers he admires and respects, and how he created his own board of directors as a result.

On this episode of The Speaker Lab, he'll also tell us how he incorporates professional drumming experience into his speaking gigs. Join us for the details on all of these topics with my friend and yours Clint Pulver.


  • How did he get his first speaking gig while still in high school?
  • When did he quit his full-time job in the medical field?
  • The 3 things that make up a dream job: what are they?
  • What one thing did he do that directly led to booking 7 gigs?
  • What questions did he ask of his prospective audience?
  • How much of a financial buffer did he have saved for himself?
  • What one piece of content generated 85% of his bookings in his first year?
  • What three business investments paid the biggest dividends?
  • And so much more!




Feb 19, 2019

Do you track any of your speaking metrics? Our guest today, Erick Rheam, says there are 5 key metrics to growing your speaking business.

Erick has been on the show before so you can revisit his story on episode 126 and episode 150. I brought him on to today's episode of The Speaker Lab to talk about the exponential growth he has had using certain key metrics. Specifically there are 5 key metrics he focuses on, and those metrics have taken his business from $15,000  to nearly $200k in under 4 years.

Even if you're already successful in your speaking career you'll learn plenty from hearing about Erick's metrics and how he uses them to gauge the health of his business. Tune in for those insights and more with Erick Rheam on episode 225 of The Speaker Lab!


  • What are lagging indicators versus leading indicators?
  • How has he determined his $5,000 speaking fee and when does he raise it?
  • What are the 5 steps in his prospective gig pipeline?
  • How soon should you contact a prospect who shows interest in hiring you?
  • When does he stop everything and focus on generating leads?
  • What does it mean to him if no one books him from an event where he's speaking?
  • How many gigs does he aim to book from each of his speaking events?
  • Why you've got to be serious about the numbers if you want to be serious about speaking
  • And so much more!




Feb 12, 2019

Todd Henry is a successful speaker, consultant and best-selling author who is here to give us speaking tips from the accidental creative point of view.

Todd has written four books, including The Accidental Creative, Die Empty, Louder than Words and his latest work called Herding Tigers. Herding Tigers is about how leaders can create environments in which creative teams can thrive.

On today's The Speaker Lab, we talk about his evolution, why you need to have a great speaker video and the importance of lovingly punching your audience in the gut! Hear what that means and more on episode 224 of The Speaker Lab with Todd Henry.


  • Is it always necessary to replace your full-time income before you leave to go out on your own?
  • Who are your stakeholders and why must you all be in alignment?
  • How many years did it take for him to make the leap to entrepreneurship?
  • What is the goal of taking risks?
  • How many times did he almost quit while he was building his business?
  • How does he cope with the struggles and the low moments he experiences today?
  • Why you shouldn't be afraid to stand up and have a point of view.
  • Why a good speaker "lovingly punches you in the gut".
  • And so much more!



Feb 5, 2019

Does the idea of cold calling strike fear into your heart? It won't after today's edition of The Speaker Lab!

Joe is an up and coming speaker who has quickly added a lot of gigs to his calendar by using the four rules of cold calling for speakers. On this episode, Joe tells us what those four rules are as well as how to remove the fear of cold calling and how to make it easy for your prospects to say yes to you.

This is another terrific guest you won't want to miss so be sure to join us on episode 223 of The Speaker Lab.


  • How did he first uncover the power of cold calling?
  • How can you get your foot in the door of an industry in which you are not known?
  • Do you have to go in hot to a cold call?
  • How do you know if you are a good fit for a potential opportunity?
  • Why uncommon commonalities are important in your cold calling process.
  • What's the best way to reach out: phone, email, or social media?
  • How expecting nothing and appreciating everything will explode your business.
  • The type of follow up you can do to show your gratitude for the people who help you.
  • And so much more!


Jan 29, 2019

Mike Kim is one very smart man who knows marketing and branding, and he is here to share his 7 step process for creating your speaking brand. This is the same process he has used with his clients, including well-known thought leaders like John Maxwell, Donald Miller and Suzanne Evans.

On this episode of The Speaker Lab, he walks us through those 7 steps and what they entail. We also talk about why positioning determines so much of everything else you do in your business, how to price yourself as a premium speaker while still being able to negotiate and take lower-priced gigs.

Whether you are new to speaking or are a long-time veteran, this is a great episode chockfull of helpful recommendations and frameworks to help you. Without further adieu take a listen to Mike Kim and I on today's The Speaker Lab.


  • What is the most unique selling proposition that any of us have?
  • Who should your marketing materials be speaking to?
  • Which platform is best for you?
  • Why you should position yourself towards the high end of the market.
  • How do you know what kind of product you are offering?
  • What is the best way to pitch and sell yourself?
  • What are the three sub-identities to every brand?
  • Can you sell lower-tiered products while being positioned as a high-end brand?
  • And so much more!



Jan 22, 2019

Some people do it all and our guest today is one of those people! Alli Worthington joins The Speaker Lab to tell us all how to write, speak and host conferences.

Alli is a speaker, author, business coach and conference host who fell into speaking the same time she hosted her first event, an interesting story she shares with us today.

We also talk about how having a book has impacted her speaking career, what you should do if you want to speak to female entrepreneurs, and how she chooses which speakers to hire when she is hosting her conference, Blissdom.

You'll hear all of those topics and more - there is a LOT to learn from Alli Worthington on this episode of The Speaker Lab!


  • Why she hosted her first event before she had ever been to a conference!
  • What did Scott Stratten say that shifted her mindset about being nervous?
  • Does she consider herself an author or speaker first?
  • When is it worth speaking for free?
  • What is the perceived value in having someone else handle your calendar?
  • Is there a connection between the quality of your writing and the quality of your speaking?
  • What advice does she have for women about fees?
  • When should you say no to an opportunity?
  • And so much more!



Jan 15, 2019

If you are just starting out your main concern might about how to get started as a speaker. Our guest on this episode of The Speaker Lab is here to tell us how he did it.

Today Jason Hewlett is a professional speaker and entertainer, but like many people he had no idea where to start. He had the dream and the desire, but he needed a plan.

On today's episode we talk about how he got a plan in place and took action. We also discuss how he went from performance-based speaking with impressions and impersonations to more serious keynote speeches. You'll hear his tips and ideas on those topics and more on this edition of The Speaker Lab.


  • Why does he prefer the keynote closing session?
  • How did following up after gigs help build his business from scratch?
  • Why event planners are in the risk-mitigation business, and how you can help.
  • How did he keep integrity with his fees?
  • What advice does he give to people moving from one niche to another?
  • Why speaking is a humbling business.
  • Why he always takes a selfie with a client, and what he does from there.
  • What's the value of having relationships with other speakers?
  • And so much more!



Jan 8, 2019

Justin is a unique guest who is unlike any other guest we've had before on this show: he's here to explain what magic can teach us about speaking.

As a magician, Justin is an amazing entertainer who speaks and performs from stage. On episode 219, Justin tell us when he knew he wanted to pursue a career in magic, how he strategized which markets to focus on and what his business look like today.

We dig into those topics and more so join us on today's edition of The Speaker Lab!


  • How to deal with a topic that needs to be explained to your potential clients.
  • How did he get on The Ellen DeGeneres Show?
  • What would he do if he were starting over today?
  • Why there is no silver bullet to content marketing.
  • How did doing one event for free lead to a book deal with Wal-Mart and an international ad campaign for Coca-Cola?
  • Does he customize his magic presentations for each client?
  • Where does he get his ideas for new material?
  • When does he know a bit is ready for stage and how does he test it?
  • And so much more!



Jan 1, 2019

As we kick off the new year resolutions are in the air! Is writing a book one of yours? If writing a book is your way of running down a dream then there's no one better to help you on your path than our guest today, Tiim Grahl.

Tim is a book marketing expert who has been in the industry for 10+ years. He has worked with everyone from Dan Pink to Barbara Corcoran of Shark Tank, and many other names you'd recognize.

Today on episode 218 of The Speaker Lab, he tells us what it takes to make a book successful. He also talks with us about his latest book, Running Down A Dream, how you can overcome doubts, fear and insecurities about running down your own dream and how to find time to build your speaking business no matter how busy you are.  


  • Why shouldn't you focus on social media?
  • Why just having a book out on the market can build your platform.
  • How many years should you continue to promote your book?
  • The one exercise to find the truth about how much time you actually have.
  • Where did the idea for Running Down A Dream come from?
  • Why don't most people run down their dreams?
  • How to know when to course correct your path.
  • What is the difference between coasting and settling?
  • And so much more!




Dec 25, 2018

Is there something unique about you, perhaps something you haven't fully shared with the world? Our guest joins us to share how being different is awesome and how what makes him different has opened doors in his speaking career.

Ryan Haack is a student in our Booked and Paid to Speak training program, and has had success speaking to elementary schools. Specifically, he talks to elementary school assemblies about a physical difference he has had since birth and why being different is positive.

Also on today's show we talk about the pros and cons of speaking to elementary schools, including fees and other logistics, plus how he juggles speaking with a full-time job. Join us for those topics and more on episode 217 of The Speaker Lab!  


  • What two questions to ask yourself to determine your audience.
  • How does he balance speaking to multiple audiences while not being too broad?
  • What came first: his book or speaking?
  • How do you know you're doing the right thing?
  • What model works best for speaking to elementary schools?
  • How does he adjust his speeches according to the age groups in his audience?
  • Who is typically the decision-maker he goes through?
  • What next steps does he recommend if you are getting started?
  • And so much more!




Dec 18, 2018

What is a speaker showcase and how do you master the art of showcasing to colleges? Justin Laipply will explain on this episode of The Speaker Lab.

Justin has been on the show before on episode 107. On that show, we dig into his background in the college/education space as well as his current market: the corporate world.

But today on The Speaker Lab, we talk about what showcases are exactly, who is in the audience and how to leverage these appearances into paying gigs and long-term relationships. Join us for all the details on episode 216 of The Speaker Lab.  


  • What is the #1 marketing tool of a speaker?
  • What's the difference between a showcase audience versus any other audience?
  • Who hosts showcases in the corporate space?
  • What is block booking and how does it work?
  • What speaking market has the singlest easiest barrier to entry?
  • How can you get your foot in the door at APCA or NACA?
  • What is a contract request?
  • Is it better to start at a regional or go straight to a national?
  • And so much more!




Dec 11, 2018

People who excel at speaking and any other profession have one thing in common: they invest in themselves. A great example of this is our guest for today's show, Kate Garnes. Kate is a member of our elite coaching program and her results reflect why investing in yourself matters so much.

On this episode, we will talk about the moment she knew she wanted to be a motivational speaker, why she signed up for the elite coaching program, and how she went from zero gigs a year ago to having 13 upcoming paid keynotes across the country! Join us to hear Kate and I dig into those topics and more on episode 215 of The Speaker Lab.


  • What was her first step after deciding to become a speaker?
  • How did she hone in on her niche of teen leadership?
  • Why your topic and your target market will always be changing.
  • How can you avoid rookie mistakes?
  • Why having a rock solid talk will book gigs.
  • How much did she invest in her speaking career?
  • What systems does she have and what is her process for following up?
  • Why it's okay to doubt yourself, and what to do in those moments.
  • And so much more!




Dec 4, 2018

Have you ever thought of YouTube as more than a place to host your videos? What if you could find out how to use YouTube to grow your speaking business? The man to tell us how is none other than my friend Thomas Frank. 

Thomas went through our Booked and Paid to Speak trainings a few years ago. I met him when he was in college; I spoke at his school. We stayed in touch and he's become extremely successful, especially with his YouTube channel. 

On today's show, we talk about his origins, how you can use YouTube to build your audience and find and book potential speaking gigs, and best practices for YouTube videos to generate more interest and views. Join us for Thomas' insights on those subjects and much more on this episode of The Speaker Lab.   


  • What is his strategy when he goes to a conference?
  • How does he use his platform to build relationships?
  • What other income streams has he built aside from speaking?
  • How Fizzle and Pat Flynn influenced his platforms and business growth.
  • What is the second biggest search engine after Google?
  • Is it best to position yourself as a topic expert or a speaker?
  • What are the 3 factors to succeeding on YouTube?
  • What can flags teach us about using YouTube effectively?
  • And so much more!



Nov 27, 2018

At a certain point, most of us think about how to ensure we are living a life of significance. One person who has definitely done this is our guest today, Pete Smith. Pete has devoted his career to this very topic and he's here to share with us how he's successfully done so as a keynote speaker.

Today he has between 40 and 50 engagements a year, most of which are opening or closing keynotes on the topic of bringing significance into our lives. But how he choose that topic and how he's grown his speaking career from free local association gigs to international keynotes is a fascinating story.

On this edition of the show, he'll tell us how he got his start, the funny story of what happened the first time he was asked what he charges to speak and how he picked his domain name since his name is so common. Tune in to hear that and more on episode 213 of The Speaker Lab.  


  • What are the 3 biggest takeaways he wants his attendees to get from his talks?
  • How did having a stroke impact his speaking career?
  • Why is he the poster child for how NOT to go out on your own?
  • How local associations helped him get his start.
  • How many free events vs paid events did he do in his first year?
  • What type of person is cut out for this business?
  • What is working for him right now to find and book gigs?
  • If you have a message to deliver what is the question to ask yourself?
  • And so much more!



Nov 20, 2018

One of the fundamental keys to succeeding as a speaker is providing an exceptional customer experience for your client. This includes all aspects of your client's event: before, during and even after.

A man who knows this truth like the back of his own hand is Joey Coleman. You may remember Joey from epsiode 197 of the show, and you may remember we finished that show with a tease to bring him back. Well he's back and in full force for part II!

Today Joey walks us through an 8 step process of what to do before, during and after an event to provide an exceptional customer experience. He also explains why this all matters so much and gives us his top pro tip on what to never, ever, ever do! Jump on in and join us for this in-depth look at providing an exceptional customer experience on episode 212 of The Speaker Lab.  


  • How can you keynote the same event year after year?
  • When do clients have buyer's remorse and what can you do about it?
  • Why you don't have to be an exceptional speaker to be successful.
  • Why does he send letters of agreement and not contracts?
  • What are questions he always asks during planning calls?
  • What is the biggest fear most event planners have?
  • You have a minimum of three audiences for all of your gigs: what are they?
  • How to get your client to become your biggest advocate.
  • And so much more!



Nov 13, 2018

Can you change your audience once you’ve started speaking? You can, and here to share how to pivot in your speaking career is Kendra Dahlstrom.

On today’s episode of The Speaker Lab, Kendra shares how and why she changed her speaking niche, how she gained traction early on in her speaking career, and what it was like to make the jump from alast full-time job to a full-time speaking career.

Join us for all of that and so much more on today's 211th edition of The Speaker Lab!  


  • When did she know she wanted to work full-time as a speaker?
  • Why did she resist nailing down her niche?
  • How did she stay positive through multiple transitions?
  • What did she do early on to get gigs?
  • How did she know how much to charge initially?
  • Why does creating time blocks help prioritize?
  • How did she decide when to add coaching, consulting and courses?
  • What advice does she have if you want to leave your full-time job?
  • And so much more!



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