Best way to start speaking about a new idea
January 14, 2015 11:40 AM   Subscribe

What is the best way to start lecturing on a new self-help / philosophy type concept? Is it better to organize your own lectures first, or to join various existing conferences? If the former, does anyone have any tips or pointers to books on how best to organize and effectively publicize these lectures, and stories about how others have done it? If the latter, does anyone have any tips on how to successfully apply for a speaking slot at a conference? No blog-related tips, please.
posted by shivohum to Religion & Philosophy (2 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Asked my husband, who has done some public speaking and acquainted with the business (he worked for Tony Robbins way back when he was first starting out).

He said you need to:

1. Have a product, which it looks like you do;
2. Establish yourself as an expert (writing a book helps);
3. Be willing to speak for free the first several times;
4. Constantly market yourself, network and knock on doors;
5. THEN, when you can say you have done all that, you can

a) apply to a speaking agency, who will book you for speaking engagements, or
b) apply to conferences by networking and contacting the conference organizers.

You might be interested in this 2011 interview with Michael Hutchinson, who also used to work for Tony Robbins, and wrote a book called Speaking Mastery. He gives similar advice in the interview, you can scroll down the transcript to find it, but here is a quote:

Michael: Well, so again, we were just knocking on doors and in the early days we would go to anybody that had an audience, just to hone our skills. We would go and knock on civic organizations, Kiwanis International, rotary clubs, network marketing meetings, tip meetings. Anybody that had more than two people, we would volunteer to come out and give a presentation. And at that point it was quantity over quality. Because our belief system was that with quantity, quality was going to take place.

That is basically what my husband was doing. He worked with Hutchinson, and says he was a nice guy, but has no contact with any of them now, as my hubs disliked the constant on-the-road lifestyle and settled in one place and did business consulting, etc.

I would start with the Rotary Club, they are always looking for speakers (and new members). Best of luck to you!
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 12:32 PM on January 14, 2015 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Start small and personal and build outwards. That's how every new-age and self-help guru has ever done it. Even better if your personal network includes a lot of wealthy or influential people. If it doesn't, then you're going to have to explain why you aren't already rich/famous/etc.
posted by empath at 1:09 PM on January 14, 2015 [1 favorite]

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