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Public Speaking Engagements

To influence and engage your organization’s most critical audiences, you must get in front of them. Our PR agency offers a speakers' bureau to find the perfect speaking engagements, appearances, and messages to maximize your organization's public exposure.


Public speaking engagements are excellent opportunities for your organization to share its unique message and gain industry credibility.


Speaking engagements provide a chance to interact with prospective clients and reconnect with existing ones. They also give your organization an opportunity to market its ideas and increase awareness. Speaking at an engagement can help you increase visibility within your market while sharing knowledge and enhancing your organization’s reputation. However, identifying and securing public speaking opportunities can be difficult:


1. You want to be a known, proven, and trusted entity to the event planners and organizers or be referred by someone they like, know, and trust.

2. Most conferences or events only have room for up to three, six, and maybe nine main-stage speakers (also known as anchor or keynote speakers).

3. Most credible event organizers book their in-person keynote speakers about 6-9 months before the event. Some are even booking 9-12 months in advance. For virtual events, it might be three months in advance.


As a speaker's bureau for a company's leaders and experts, we help get their experts placed for public speaking engagements in the right places to reach their critical audiences.


Three types of speaking opportunities

There are typically three types of speaking engagements that may occur at an industry or company conference or inside an organization:


1. Paid 
Paid speaking gigs are typically reserved for established, well-known professional speakers. These are often for main-stage speakers.


These are professional public speakers. Professional speakers:


• Who have the consumer or industry celebrity fame and social media following to attract more paying event attendees

• With a choreographed performance that's been carefully crafted, planned, plotted, rehearsed, and delivered hundreds, even thousands, of times

• Who offer a transformational experience for the audience made up of dozens of micro-moments and signature bits

• Who might deliver some actionable takeaways to the audience that they can implement right away

• Have a speaker's resume with glowing references
• Have a powerful highlight reel demonstrating their signature bits and stage presence


These speakers may receive 4-7 figures for a one-hour keynote. 

Learn more about our speaking services

In addition, organizations may pay these speakers to speak privately to their employees or customers.


2. Earned 
An expert speaker may earn a speaking opportunity and not look to receive payment. Some experts speak exclusively for visibility. Sometimes, expert speakers receive a modest honorarium or travel stipend, depending on the speaker's fame, expertise, and the event's budget. These opportunities might not take place on the main stage. They might be in smaller ballrooms or auditoriums. These could be breakout sessions, often considered a better platform for workshopping or providing actionable takeaways.

3. Sponsored 
These are speaking opportunities where speakers pay to have the platform. We don't prefer these "pay for play" speaking opportunities where the speaking opportunity is associated with a paid event sponsorship. However, these arrangements have become more accessible and common since the Great Recession. These opportunities might not take the main stage. Some of our clients want every available opportunity to get in front of the right audience and are willing to pay a sponsorship fee to receive these opportunities. Meanwhile, others clients prefer to avoid sponsorship-based speaking opportunities altogether.


We manage all three types for our clients.

Our typical client is mostly interested in earning (unpaid) speaking engagements and is open to hearing more about sponsorship opportunities. Most clients aren't looking for paid speaking engagements. To be a paid speaker, you should be a professional public speaker. A professional speaker has a strong transformative speaking performance, resume, reel, testimonials, references, and social media following.


We will get the job done for you.

Our trained team of professionals recognizes the importance of boosting an organization's visibility through public speaking. Whether you're looking for large, national audiences or small, local ones, our KeyNote program can identify these special speaking opportunities. We'll pitch and secure your engagement, and then upon request, we can promote your appearance.


Axia's three-step documented proven process

Using our unique, documented, proven processes, training, and certifications, Axia will help your organization earn business, industry, trade media, and community speaking engagements.


Graphic showing Axia's process for getting someone a speaking engagement.

Step I: Research & Recommend
You'll complete our short speaker and organization questionnaires. We'll complete our unique Strategic Insights process, which includes researching your brand, competition, and target buyer. 


As part of our unique process, we'll prepare a custom:

• Professional speaker/media kit

• Executive feature magazine-style bio written by a People magazine writer

• Professional speaker/media kit with an organization overview and/or fact sheet

• Speaking agreement (which you should review with your preferred legal adviser)


For certain client packages, as a unique feature of our PR agency, we might also:

• Refer you to our recommended public speaking training organization for a free two-day session

• Submit your expert to various professional public speaking directories

• Submit your expert to Associated Press AP Planner, AP Newsroom, and AP Resource Desk, which reaches 15,000 AP and other newsrooms (WSJ, NYT, NPR, etc.) directories worldwide. Conference and meeting organizers, attorneys seeking expert witnesses, and journalists and academics seeking industry experts use this tool.


We'll quote those services individually and as needed.

Meanwhile, we'll research one year's worth of corporate, industry association, conference, corporate, and/or community speaking opportunities. We then recommend and rank those speaking opportunities in three tiers (good, better, best fit) based on the platform and audience prominence, which opportunities reach your organization's critical audience, and which ones your speaker(s) has the best opportunity to compete in for placement.

Step II: Submit & Apply
After Step I, we'll collaborate on your desired speaking opportunities. Here, we'll focus on pitching speaking engagements where you are selected for conferences and events through a request for speaker form. In addition, based on your unique needs and direction, we can also seek sponsored speaking engagements where you might pay a sponsorship fee to get stage time, also known as "pay for play." And in cases where you have a speaking resume, reel, and reputation, we can seek speaking opportunities in which the organization pays you to speak. Typically, paid engagements are reserved for the main stage, visionary keynote speakers, or speakers hired to speak privately to an organization's employees or customers. We manage all these opportunities, with most speakers focused on earned speaking engagements (where you do not pay to speak, and they do not pay you to speak). You want to speak for the visibility and perhaps "stage-side leads."


Many industry conference speaking opportunities require a competitive "call for submissions" form and a unique application process. The pitch and submission process includes coordinating, researching, writing, revising, editing, submitting, and following up. Some speaking opportunities require a comprehensive submission with significant background information, while others need less detailed submissions.


To that end, we'll either individually quote project rates for submitting for each speaking opportunity or an annual program to manage submissions for the selected speaking opportunities. Most clients prefer we quote an ongoing annual program to manage their desired speaking opportunities and for budgeting purposes.


Step III: Share & Promote (optional)

Once we secure interest (a "lead"), we will immediately make an introduction to the conference organizer or meeting organizer with your speaker and/or their designated contact to coordinate times, technology, travel, etc. Hence, the opportunity is quickly and easily booked.


Because earning speaking engagements increases your organization's visibility and lends credibility to the organization and your target audience (from clients and customers to employees, investors, and suppliers), Axia recommends developing news, social media, and web content to promote you and each opportunity to expand your reach and platform with social media, blogging, website design, and development, search engine optimization, podcasting, videos, speaker video highlight reel, and more. That scope of work is also available from us for an additional price.


Can you help me get booked for speaking engagements?
Yes! Unless you are a professional public speaker, we typically focus on speaking engagements in which you aren't charged nor paid to speak. However, some organizations and associations charge a fee for stage time, while others pay you to speak or cover your travel expenses. It depends on your reputation, experience, and your desired association's budget for speakers.


I'm only interested in paid speaking engagements. Can you help me with that?
Sure! If your priority is getting paid to speak, that raises expectations for everyone. If you're an expert or a visionary, we can develop unique initial opportunities to get you paid or get you started and launched by some initial unpaid speaking engagements. One of those techniques might be to get you booked in front of corporate groups or presenting to a company's (department of) employees.


• Typically, paid speakers are professional public speakers.

• Professional public speakers have a proven track record of successful speaking engagements. They are visionary speakers who delight and entertain audiences. They have a strong performance and stage presence, a speaker's resume, glowing references, and a powerful highlight reel demonstrating their signature bits and stage presence. Send us your speaker reel and speaking resume so we might see what you've done so far!

• You should also be able to demonstrate a loyal and engaged social media following that might increase paying event attendees.

• If you don't have these yet, we can help you get them.

• If you haven't already done so, you'll likely need to complete a series of unpaid speaking engagements to build your brand, platform, visibility, clout, experience, confidence, messaging, performance, stage presence, and reputation.

• You may even need some public speaking coaching. We can help you here, and we can refer you to others. 

Are my travel expenses covered when I speak?
Yes, reasonable travel expenses are negotiable when the organization has a budget for travel reimbursement. What's more typical is a small honorarium. You should always ask yourself, "Am I willing to speak to this group without payment and cover my travel expenses to be there?"


I need help preparing my presentation and coaching my onstage performance. Do you help with that?

Yes, we can help you with the basics. If you need more intense training – which most nonprofessional speakers do – or if you're serious about becoming a professional speaker, we know where you can go for that unique coaching and training. Ask us!

How long does it take to get booked for speaking engagements?

Most credible event organizers book their in-person keynote speakers about 6-9 months before the event. Some even book a year in advance. Virtual events might be as little as three months in advance. Remember that event planners and conference organizers only look for up to 3-9 keynote main-stage speakers per event. That means competition is stiff. You can do it, but it's going to take time – and a big idea, visionary, transformational message, and performance that serves the audience.