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To Get More Speaking Gigs Do You Fix the Speech or Marketing?

speaking gigs

A week or so ago I asked this question on Facebook about getting new speaking gigs:

If you weren’t getting the bookings that you wanted, would you a) work on the speech or b) work on the marketing?

I was interested to see all of the different answers and here’s my answer.

It depends.

I’m sorry – I know you probably wanted a definitive answer, but there isn’t one. It depends on the scenario and a number of different factors, which we will explore below. However, first, I want to share with you two philosophies around a great speech:

Philosophy #1:  There is no better form of marketing than a great speech.

Philosophy #2:  Great marketing may get you Speech #1, but if the speech is not on point and stellar, the spinoff will not come, and you will be doing one-offs.

So let’s dive in a little deeper and explore a few different scenarios and see if any of them resonate with you.


If you have been out speaking on one topic area (perhaps more than one presentation with some similar elements), and you are not keeping your momentum going via spinoffs from those original engagements, there may very well be something you need to tweak (or overhaul) in your speech.

Glenna Salsbury once told a story at NSA about her “launch” speech where she booked a hotel room and put 250-300 local business people in the audience. Thirty years later, she could trace nearly every piece (a large percentage) of business she had done back to that one launch speech. Now that’s what I call spinoff!


If you speak on a whole series of topics, you are not becoming known for any one thing. If this is the case, you need to narrow your marketing (topic area) so that people will know you are the “go to” on that particular topic.  Take a look at which topics bring you the most rave reviews, and then look at a) what do you get paid well for and b) what are you most passionate about? The key to picking a lane is making your way to the intersection where passion and profits meet.

When you get focused on one area, it will allow you to build a presentation that will keep you getting asked back again and again.


You deliver an epic keynote that kills, and you are getting spinoff business, but not enough. It may just be that you are not casting your net wide enough and you need to expose you and your expertise to more markets.  This can be done by keeping your marketing engines pumping and putting out great content in various places. Doing this may be what is required to get you where you want to go.

So as you can see, it is not a simple answer, but the question is certainly one to think about.

Do any of these scenarios fit your situation or do are you experiencing something completely different. If so, please share in the comments below. Would love to hear your feedback.

See you soon Wealthy Speakers!

Jane Atkinson




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