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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Now displaying: 2020
Jul 14, 2020

We talk about relationships but what about building relationships through giving gifts? What are the dos and don'ts of successful gift-giving? Here to tell us is gifting expert, best-selling author and keynote speaker John Ruhlin.

On today's episode of The Speaker Lab, John tells us who to give gifts to, when to give gifts, and how to reframe gift-giving as an investment versus just another line item expense.

You'll hear those topics plus a few great gifting stories on this edition of The Speaker Lab.


  • How to show appreciation even during a pandemic.
  • Why gifting is the purple cow of business.
  • Why doesn't he allow his clients to send gifts at Christmas?
  • What makes gifting one of the most effective ways to stand out in a crowd?
  • Why you should stop putting logos on your gifts.
  • What are the four buckets of the Inner circle and how do you invest in those buckets with gifting?
  • Why you should never send a gift after receiving a referral.
  • What should you do if you cannot afford to give gifts?
  • And so much more!
Jul 7, 2020

How to speak to the medical field is a question I get asked a lot, and today our guest is answering it. Nisha Mehta is a practicing physician, specifically a radiologist. She also speaks around the country to medical professionals on the topic of burnout.

Today we talk about how she got started speaking, the different speaking opportunities in the medical industry, whether or not you need a background in medicine to speak to doctors and how to use media to position yourself as an expert.

You'll hear those insights and much more on episode 297 of The Speaker Lab.



  • What is the typical speaking season for the medical industry?
  • Do you always have to choose between a job you love and speaking?
  • Can you get hired to speak on a topic that's important, but no one else is talking about?
  • What are some topics speakers are hired for in the medical industry?
  • How important are credentials in being hired to speak?
  • What specific speaking opportunities are available within the medical community?
  • What area is harder to get into within healthcare?
  • What niches have bigger budgets?
  • And so much more!
Jun 30, 2020

Today's conversation is a discussion on race and the speaking industry with my friend Nicole Walters. Nicole is an incredible speaker, amazing entrepreneur and phenomenal human being.

On this episode of The Speaker Lab, we talk about the heavy but important topic of racism in the speaking world. We talk about what exists in the marketplace for her as a Black woman, how she sees things that I don't as a white male. She also gives advice for minority speakers and shares what the speaking community at large can do to better support diversity in the industry.

These are serious topics but Nicole brings her humor, lightheartedness and personal wisdom. Join us for this much-needed talk on episode 296 of The Speaker Lab with Nicole Walters.



  • Why it's important for activism to be on-going and not just a trend.
  • How racism impacts her everyday life: a snapshot.
  • What are new factors she considers now when booking gigs?
  • Do you know what performative activism is and why you should avoid it?
  • What group of people are becoming entrepreneurs at a rate of 9x the average American?
  • When you should add 10% to your asking fee.
  • What are some ways white people can be an allies for speakers of color?
  • How to encourage diversity at your speaking gigs.
  • And so much more!


Jun 23, 2020

How to embrace your fears is the subject that helped our guest today jumpstart a whole new career as an international speaker and author.

Michelle Poler is here on The Speaker Lab to talk about how she embraced her fears through 100 fears in 100 days challenge, how that challenge culminated in a TEDx talk and how some of those fears even became things she now loves to do.

We explore those topics plus specific steps she took along the way and how you can do the same. Join us to hear the scoop on episode 295 of The Speaker Lab.


  • Which speaker was instrumental in both of our speaking careers?
  • What should you do if your fears are holding you back?
  • Why you don't need to believe all the speaking advice out there.
  • What is more important than the number of views of your video?
  • How she utilized her network to get the ball rolling on speaking gigs.
  • Why having your spouse on board is incredibly helpful to grow your business.
  • What actions did she take that led to referrals from Brene Brown?
  • What can you do to set yourself for success when approaching speaking bureaus?
  • And so much more!


Jun 16, 2020

How to pivot to speaking virtually may not have been something you thought of before the pandemic, but our guest today explains why he and a lot of other speakers are embracing it now.

Jon Acuff is an entrepreneur and author. He is also one of the best speakers I've seen live: he takes this craft seriously and it shows. In our conversation on The Speaker Lab today, Jon explains the pivots he's made during the COVID-19 pandemic, including virtual speaking and utilizing YouTube to grow his client base. We also explore the long-term implications of virtual speaking going forward.

This is a fun, informative, and engaging talk with Jon Acuff so join us on episode 294 of The Speaker Lab.



  • What can be done virtually that can't be done from the stage?
  • How do you adjust your pricing for virtual speaking gigs?
  • What are value adds to consider in your virtual offerings?
  • How can YouTube contribute to growing your client base?
  • Has he tweaked his content to reflect current events?
  • If you use humor when speaking live can you continue doing so virtually?
  • Should you read comments while you're speaking virtually?
  • Why it's okay to be an amateur when starting out as a virtual speaker.
  • And so much more!


Jun 9, 2020

Knowing what meeting planners want from a speaker can be the difference between booking some gigs and being a full-time speaker. Our guest today has the inside scoop on this very topic and he's telling us the answers on episode 293 of The Speaker Lab!

Jay Baer is an exceptionally successful speaker who has been in the industry for a long time and has accrued a wealth of knowledge along the way. Today on The Speaker Lab, we talk about Jay's recent research study that surveyed 150 event planners. We dig into what topics planners are looking for, what they want and hows event planners find speakers.

Join us to hear the details on all of those topics and more episode 293 of The Speaker Lab with Jay Baer.


  • Why micro-categories may be your ticket to success.
  • Who speaks on more topics: mediocre speakers or great speakers?
  • How much customization should you do for your speaking gigs?
  • Substance versus showmanship: what balance do you need to strike?
  • How can you build momentum when you are just starting out?
  • Why bringing something unique to the stage gives you an innate advantage.
  • What are the ways to test your material?
  • How does Jay think the coronavirus will affect speaking topics going forward?
  • And so much more!


Jun 8, 2020

Grant Baldwin and Erick Rheam hosted a Facebook Live to talk about one of the biggest challenges professional speakers face: getting consistent speaking gig leads and what to do with them.

During the live stream, Grant and Erick discuss:

  • Where many speakers get stuck
  • Why you can’t afford to sit back and wait for the phone to ring
  • How Erick falls back on principles he learned in the military
  • What speakers can do to prepare for times of crisis
  • How to handle stressful times without getting stressed out
  • The value of creating a system to help you take the next right step
  • Identifying the secret sauce behind a sustainable speaking business
  • The 5 stages of your speaking gig pipeline
  • Where to never discuss your pricing
  • Setting up event planners for success and recruiting them to your team
  • How to replicate the success of professional speakers
  • And more


Jun 2, 2020

How public relations helps speakers may not be something you've considered before, but after today's episode you will know how PR can make a difference in your speaking career.

Chris Winfield joins us to talk about this topic. He teaches PR (public relations) and the art of relationships and connections. We dig into those three areas right out of the gate, and also talk about my skepticism of the value of public relations!

We answer questions like how important is it to build long-term relationships?  What are the challenges and potential obstacles if you are an introvert versus an extrovert? Chris also tells us about PR firms, why most are horrible, and a simple exercise you can do right now to move the needle.

This is a fun and informative show so join us for episode 292 of The Speaker Lab with Chris Winfield.


  • Does everyone have Impostor Syndrome?
  • What is the law of reciprocity and how does it work?
  • Ten minutes in person can replace how much time online?
  • Who are the people who make the greatest connections?
  • Do you have something to bring to the table, even if you are starting out?
  • Are certain forms of media more impactful than others?
  • What does it mean to "borrow credibility"?
  • How do you know which platforms are ideal for you?
  • And so much more!


May 26, 2020

You may see the value of writing, but do you know why writing matters for speakers?

Our guest does and he's here to tell us on the 291st edition of The Speaker Lab! Hugh Culver is a repeat guest who is a successful speaker in his own right, and also works with other speakers and thought leaders on content, blogging, and writing.

Today we'll talk about the process of writing for speakers, how it can actually help you become a better speaker, and a simple framework to help you approach writing new content. We'll even give you insights on how we produce this podcast!

There's a lot to get to so join us and listen in to this episode of The Speaker Lab.


  • What happens when you hit on a topic that resonates with your ideal market?
  • How can Google analytics help you narrow down your topics?
  • What are the five components of your template for writing content?
  • How do you follow a framework without boring your audience?
  • What's the downside of not using a template or a framework?
  • When and when not to edit your content during the writing process.
  • What is a common trait among the highest paid speakers?
  • How do you know what to outsource and what to do yourself?
  • And so much more!



Are you interested in booking virtual speaking gigs?

Check out our new program, Virtual Speaking Pro, to learn how to diversify your speaking business without leaving your house.

May 19, 2020

Today's edition of The Speaker Lab is the final segment of our eight-part series on how to find your first paid speaking gig with Bryan Allain!

If you missed the first seven episodes check them out here: part one, part two here, part three here, part four here, part five here, part six and part seven.

A lot has happened in Bryan's life since our first show and we talk about it today, including some very vulnerable and personal sharing from Bryan himself.

This is a compelling episode you won't want to miss so, please join us for the conclusion of how to find your first paid speaking gig on episode 290 of The Speaker Lab.


  • What has helped Bryan process a personal tragedy?
  • How you can offer help to someone who is going through a crisis.
  • Who do people like working with as a general rule?
  • How do you know if you are doing work to get results?
  • Why you need to be aware of onstage hours vs offstage hours.
  • Is pivoting always a hard thing to do?
  • What is Bryan's advice for speakers who are where he was initially?
  • Why coaching matters in any profession.
  • And much more!


May 12, 2020

Welcome to part seven of how to find your first paid speaking gig with Bryan Allain.

Missed the first six episodes? You can listen here to part one, part two here, part three here, part four here, part five here and part six.

Today, you'll hear a two-part conversation: in the first part, we talk right before Bryan talks to a potential client he got a positive response from and in the second part, we recorded an update on how the call went and what his next steps are from there. Whether you're a novice or a seasoned pro we've got insights and lessons you can learn in this series.

Join us on episode 289 of The Speaker Lab to hear it part seven of how to find your first paid speaking gig with Bryan Allain.


  • Why is the goal to get someone on the phone?
  • What questions do you ask when you're talking to a warm lead?
  • How do you approach gigs with no pay?
  • Should you build travel into the fees you quote?
  • How to ensure you are exchanging value for value.
  • What should you say if you reach someone's voicemail?
  • What are potential wins you can look for in a reduced-fee speaking gig?
  • How to ask for referrals from new clients.
  • And so much more!


May 5, 2020

Welcome to part six of how to find your first paid speaking gig with Bryan Allain!

If you missed the first five episodes with Bryan you can listen to here to part one, part two here, part three here, part four here, and part five here.

On these in-depth talks, we are diving into what it takes to become a speaker: step by step what he needs to do, what he needs to think through on his journey to becoming a speaker. You'll also hear some real-life examples of his inquiries and how he should phrase his follow-ups.

This is a journey we all can learn from so join us to hear every step on episode 288 of The Speaker Lab.


  • Can you create a demo reel without a lot of bells and whistles?
  • What is a "noble obstacle"?
  • Why you don't always have to hit a "home run".
  • How do you keep your name top of mind with potential clients?
  • What should you say if someone isn't looking for a speaker right now?
  • When do you stop following up?
  • What is Loom and how do you use it in emails to potential clients?
  • When should you not ask for an introduction?
  • And so much more!


Apr 28, 2020

Welcome to part five of how to find your first paid speaking gig with Bryan Allain!

If you missed the first three episodes with Bryan you can listen to here to part one, part two here, part three here and part four here.

On this fifth episode, you'll hear about Bryan's progress as well as the work he still has to do. You'll also hear about a slight delay he had and what that sidetrack was all about and how he can get back on track.

Get ready to listen in to all of those experiences and more with Bryan Allain on this episode of The Speaker Lab.


  • How do you approach events that are coming up in the next 3-6 weeks?
  • When is it too early to get on an event planner's radar?
  • How to evaluate whether or not to speak for free.
  • What's the best system to implement your follow-ups?
  • Why even making "wrong" decisions is ultimately helpful on your journey.
  • Do you need a business card?
  • What movie trailers can teach us about demo videos
  • What three things matter most when someone is considering hiring you?
  • And so much more!


Apr 27, 2020

Grant Baldwin and Erick Rheam hosted a Facebook Live to talk about how speakers are still getting booked and paid to speak even in the midst of the pandemic.

During the live stream, Grant and Erick discuss:

  • The state of the speaking industry
  • Dealing with ambiguity and anxiety
  • Long-term ramifications of social distancing
  • How some speakers are still getting booked and paid to speak
  • Reaching the point of turning down new opportunities
  • When to say no if a gig is outside your brand/industry
  • Thinking about the balance between virtual and live events in the future
  • How do you stay positive and keep moving forward?
  • Why proven systems don’t break even if the variables change
  • What speakers can do to work with live events to postpone without losing income
  • The value of relationships and why you can’t ignore them
  • Now is the time coaching really matters
  • Are speakers still booking events that are happening in the future? (Spoiler Alert: YES!)
  • Pros and cons of virtual events and how to book them
  • Why speakers are in the problem-solving business
  • How to adapt live event keynote to virtual offers that are still on message
  • Being prepared to pivot a lot
  • Starting somewhere and being willing to try new things
  • The dangers of a scarcity mindset
  • Never knowing who’s in the audience
  • How many “sleeps” are you gone for live events vs virtual gigs?
  • Going from 40 potential gigs in his pipeline to 81 during the pandemic
  • Industry insights direct from event planners
  • Using this time to position yourself for when the wave of live events comes back
  • And more


Apr 24, 2020

Grant Baldwin and Michael Port hosted a Facebook Live to talk about what speakers can do to take advantage of the extra time during quarantine to improve their value as a performer.

During the live stream, Grant and Mike discuss:

  • This is the time to be working on your talk
  • “Either it will pass or I will pass."
  • Best practices for wearing glasses on camera
  • Surviving as a speaker in the midst of a crisis
  • Why speakers can’t afford to be average
  • Everything you do as a performer must be transformational
  • How the expected quality for speakers will increase
  • What speakers should be working on right now
  • How speakers can maximize the gift of time during quarantine
  • Why using live events as rehearsals is a mistake
  • What deep work looks like for speakers
  • Mapping out an effective rehearsal process
  • Reinventing your speech in ways you never imagined
  • Asking specific questions when it comes to feedback
  • How to scale your choices from good to great
  • Using a mystery box visual to raise the stakes for your audience
  • The risk of failing to deliver on the promise your performance makes
  • Why Michael retired from keynoting
  • How to wisely leverage the trust you earn from an audience to enrich their experience
  • What Pixar considers a “perfect” film
  • Crafting a transformational experience for your audience
  • Are virtual events merely a temporary fix or a lasting trend?
  • The challenges events face in replicating the impact of in-person trade shows online
  • Advice for speakers to keep their head in the right space
  • Making sure you continue to support your network of colleagues and clients
  • The #1 most important factor in booking more paid speaking gigs
  • Creating a productive work environment
  • Incrementally improving your speech 5 minutes at a time
  • And more


Apr 22, 2020

Grant Baldwin and Clint Pulver hosted a live stream to talk about how speakers can change and adapt to a new “normal”.

During the interview, Grant and Clint discuss:

  • Developing a virtual demo video
  • Taking one day at a time on the rollercoaster
  • Live events that convert to digital and ask for virtual keynotes
  • Binge-watching the Imagineers documentary on Disney+
  • Creating a virtual studio at home
  • 5 things that clients are asking virtual speakers for
  • Using a moderator to enhance the virtual experience for the client and their audience
  • Create a virtual landing page on your website that showcases the value you deliver to the market
  • How clients and audiences have reacted to live virtual events
  • Providing best practices to the client ahead of time to ensure the best possible experience
  • What to do when someone brings their phone into the bathroom during your live stream
  • Conducting a separate soundcheck or run-through before a virtual event to test tech
  • Obtaining testimonials from your virtual clients
  • The difference between offering value and selfish promotion
  • How to approach pricing for virtual events
  • Diversifying what you offer to meet the unique needs of different clients
  • Will virtual offers continue being available after quarantine is lifted?
  • And more


Apr 21, 2020

Welcome to how to find your first paid speaking gig with Bryan Allain - part four.

If you missed the first three episodes with Bryan you can listen to here to part one, part two here and part three here.

In this show, Bryan is establishing himself as the expert through his web site and his demo video. You'll also hear how to deal with the impostor syndrome, something he talks about today. We even discuss whether or not he should quit!

To hear all of this as it unfolds join us for episode 286 with Bryan Allain.


  • What determines how quickly you will see results?
  • As a speaker, is there value in becoming a connector and curator?
  • What should you do if you don't have any video clips for a demo video?
  • How to stop the comparison game.
  • Does Impostor Syndrome ever go away?
  • What are specific questions to ask to find potential leads?
  • Why you should attend some events even if you aren't speaking.
  • This one simple trick can help you find even more potential gigs.
  • And so much more!


Apr 17, 2020

Grant Baldwin and Nisha Mehta hosted a Facebook Live to talk about a physician's perspective on the speaking industry during turbulent times.

During the live stream, Grant and Nisha discuss:

  • Balancing a professional career as a radiologist while speaking internationally
  • Building large online communities among certified physicians
  • Maintaining social distancing to flatten the curve
  • Insights on the pandemic from behind the scenes
  • Making tough choices to opt-out of live events before “shelter-in-place” began
  • Partnering with events to make virtual options work and still deliver value
  • The responsibility of speakers to prioritize the safety of others
  • When can we expect live events to happen again?
  • How big will live events be allowed to be?
  • Preparing for a secondary surge after social distancing restrictions are lifted
  • Hoping to start seeing things reopen in the coming weeks
  • The liability of hosting live events post-pandemic
  • Searching for a sense of normalcy
  • The key difference between SARS and COVID-19
  • Uncertainty about the unknown when it comes to new diseases
  • Realistic timeline for a vaccine or treatment
  • And more


Apr 15, 2020

Grant Baldwin and Scott Stratten hosted a Facebook Live to talk about the future of the speaking industry after a pandemic.

During the live stream, Grant and Scott discuss:

  • The long-term impacts the coronavirus will have on the speaking industry
  • Experimenting with style and facial hair while social distancing
  • Why “speaking” isn’t really your true profession
  • Understanding the gig is the payoff for building your platform and being an expert
  • Dealing with feeling like you’ve lost part of your identity
  • Grieving the loss of things that used to annoy you (like the too early soundcheck)
  • Predicting the recovery timeline for massive events and the impact on keynotes
  • Distributing a sub-standard virtual product will hurt your live speaking down the road by degrading your value
  • Accepting that the “new normal” is largely unknown
  • The pending lawsuits as a result of the virus spreading at large events
  • Treating the speaking gig as one component of your business and how you deliver value
  • Do what it takes to help you feel productive
  • Being okay with where you are at in responding to these unprecedented times
  • "Whatever your normal is right now, that’s fine."
  • Determining the right timing for when to pivot to virtual options for your audience
  • Avoiding guilt for not doing some things
  • A virtual answer isn’t the same as an in-person answer
  • Why you can’t shift the same equity you have on stage to a virtual gig at first
  • How webinars are a transfer of skills and what makes them different than a keynote
  • The drastic difference between our current circumstances and any emergency we’ve experienced in the past
  • Is everyone going to work from home in the future?
  • There will be a “new normal”, but it won’t be completely different from everything we know
  • How to avoid long-term risk by making short-term budget decisions that you sustain
  • Learning business lessons now that will carry you through the crisis and beyond
  • Ignoring hindsight regret
  • Getting creative with discovering new revenue sources and sponsored opportunities
  • How to approach outreach without appearing tone-deaf
  • Making sure you check on your contacts, colleagues, and clients to see how they’re doing
  • Reaching out to recent clients to offer a “thank you” video to their team
  • Losing your pride
  • Treat your email list as your most important asset and continue to build it beyond this crisis
  • Don’t feed the noise
  • Controlling who you follow
  • Healthy outlets for coping with stress and staying connected
  • Using the mute button on social media to create boundaries
  • Tips on growing a man bun
  • And more


Apr 14, 2020

Welcome! This is part three of our how to find your first paid speaking gig series with Bryan Allain.

If you missed part one and part two you can listen to here to part one and part two here. In those episodes you heard Bryan's background: he has done some speaking but is struggling with where to start.

This week on The Speaker Lab, you'll find out who Bryan has chosen to speak to, what problem he's going to solve for them and the pros and cons to his decision. We will wrap up with a chat about what to do next and how to move forward.

This series has been fun, insightful and intense. Join us to hear part three on this episode of The Speaker Lab!


  • How can you deal with the negative voices in your head?
  • Will you ever feel completely confident in your choice?
  • How do you know if you have enough credibility to speak on a topic?
  • Why your choices don't have to be permanent.
  • Is there a perfect time to get started or to make a change?
  • Should you use visuals to differentiate yourself in your market?
  • How to use the SPEAK method to determine your audience.
  • What is the goal of your web site and what should be on it?
  • And so much more!


Apr 13, 2020

Grant Baldwin and Mike Pacchione hosted a Facebook Live to talk about how to work on your speech and hone your craft during the quarantine.

During the live stream, Grant and Mike discuss:

  • Tips and tricks for virtual speaking
  • Enjoying becoming a first-time dad
  • Helping speakers deliver the best talk of their lives
  • How to prepare for your next live gig while social distancing
  • Getting feedback on your talk using a recording
  • A simple survey to send to friends and colleagues to obtain actionable feedback
  • The power of asking strategic questions that actually help you build a better talk
  • Why most TED talks don’t even make the website
  • How speakers can set themselves apart from the crowd
  • The unanticipated break from speaking gives you the chance to be objective in assessing your talk
  • Sitting down to create a list of what you think makes a great talk and applying that criteria to your craft
  • Asking yourself a tough question: does this talk seem to go on for too long?
  • What characteristics can make or break a speaker’s presentation
  • Why watching yourself with the audio off or listening to yourself without the video can reveal unknown weaknesses
  • The underestimated value of self-awareness
  • Is a speech ever really finished?
  • The dangers of defaulting to quarantine or crisis-oriented content in your talk
  • Avoid making coronavirus jokes because everyone else will be doing it
  • Why virtual keynotes and digital presentation must have a higher quality than live talks
  • Pacing tips for virtual events
  • Erring on the side of more slides
  • Making your virtual keynote interactive
  • Just because there are more virtual events doesn’t mean there will be less live events
  • And more


Apr 10, 2020

Grant Baldwin and Josh Bauerle hosted a Q&A on Facebook Live to talk about how speakers can benefit from the stimulus and address your questions about the stimulus check, unemployment, EIDL, and PPP.

DISCLAIMER: We are not finance or tax experts. Please contact your financial planner or local financial institution for professional advice.

EIDL - Economic Injury Disaster Loan
PPP - Payroll Protection Program During the live stream, Grant and Josh discuss:

  • Unemployment being extended to business owners and freelancers
  • Two loan/grant programs for small businesses to take advantage of
  • Which program is best for speakers to pay attention to?
  • Are earning thresholds for the stimulus based on Billings or on adjusted gross income?
  • How much unemployment can you claim?
  • What is the timeline for unemployment payouts?
  • How to apply for the EIDL
  • Would speakers apply for unemployment? Or the grant? Or both?
  • Can you apply for EIDL if you have a W-2 in addition to speaking gigs?
  • What happens if you get denied?
  • Being patient and persistent
  • Do unemployment and IDL go off of W2 and/or K-1?
  • Does past credit history (specifically bankruptcy) factor into EIDL acceptance?
  • Do you need an LLC to apply for EIDL or can you apply as an individual citizen?
  • Two placed to get financial help
  • What is the PPP? Who is eligible?
  • Discretionary power of banks in deciding who gets access to PPP
  • How the PPP math breaks down on calculating what you’re eligible for
  • Tips on selecting a financial institution to apply through
  • What happens if the loan isn’t forgiven?
  • Is the PPP looking at average gross or net profits?
  • How to calculate payroll for a speaking business formed after the 2/15/19 date
  • What to do if you started your speaking business on Jan 1, 2020
  • Will interest accrues on the unforgiven portion of the loan?
  • What happens if you posted a loss because it was a new business?
  • Can you apply for more than one of these programs? Or do you have to pick one route to go?
  • Talk to your financial institution sooner vs later to figure out what you qualify for and how to get it
  • For the EIDL, do you need an EIN? or can you use a DBA?
  • What’s a "qualifying expense" to have the PPP converted from loan to forgiven?
  • Do “contractors” = “employees”?
  • If you file as an S-Corp, but are the only owner/employee, are you still eligible for the PP/EIDL benefits of a Sole Proprietor?
  • If approved for EIDL loan, can you take the advance and not take the loan portion?
  • If you’re a sole proprietor with little overhead, is it better to apply for EIDL or PPP?
  • Making it easy for the financial institution to process your application
  • Do you have to payback the stimulus?
  • Will the bank look at your credit score?
  • Are you taxed on unemployment?
  • Taking a tip from Frozen II
  • And more


Apr 9, 2020

Grant Baldwin and Phil Jones hosted a Facebook Live to talk about the true confessions of a professional speaker dealing with the impact of COVID-19.

During the live stream, Grant and Phil discuss:

  • Rescheduling or canceling 27 events
  • Where do new event scheduling start coming from
  • How does the market react and build on the other side of this crisis
  • Using new technology and trying new things
  • Taking advantage of the opportunity to serve past clients
  • Finding joy in the gift of time to refocus priorities and spend time with family
  • Leaning into new revenue streams and discovering new ways to distribute value
  • Navigating schedule conflicts for Fall events with postponed Spring events
  • Creating custom programming for events now instead of rescheduling
  • Helping clients address the needs and fears of their customers
  • Showing up in the moment and modeling generosity
  • Maintaining the integrity of your speaking business long-term
  • What speakers have in common with 5-star Michelin chefs
  • Building a speaking business so that you’re not living month-to-month
  • How speakers are actually running two different businesses simultaneously
  • Discovering gifts and opportunity amidst the crisis
  • What you have permission to do now that you didn’t before
  • Inventing a new business model the creates recurring income
  • The Cupcake analogy
  • Redefining what success looks like now and thinking about your business in a different way
  • Why you need “resume points” on the other side of this crisis
  • And more


Apr 7, 2020

Welcome! This is part two of our how to find your first paid speaking gig.

If you missed part one you can listen to it here. Then come back and join us for the second half of our talk with Bryan Allain.

Bryan has done a bit of speaking but is struggling with where to start. On this raw, authentic coaching call with him, we explore that topic.

Join us to hear how we walk Bryan through getting his first paid speaking gig and how you can do the same on this episode of The Speaker Lab.  


  • What speakers should you find and follow?
  • What does it mean if you can't find speakers in your chosen market?
  • How to separate the signal from the noise.
  • What five audiences could you speak to?
  • How do you narrow down among those five audiences?
  • Why you don't have to be the world's greatest expert to speak to an audience.
  • What are the pros and cons of being an emcee?
  • How much of a factor is passion when choosing a topic or an audience?
  • And so much more!


Apr 7, 2020

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!



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