Here I am speaking in front of a classroom just trying to get the word out about my business!

My first “gig” at Marshall University!

Now I’m the founder of Mic Drop Workshop, podcast host of Amplify, and Forbes Top Rated Speaker 🎤

Let’s change the Public Speaking Industry…

Hi, I’m Jess Ekstrom!

I started my speaking career by begging my college professors to let me speak for 5 minutes in front of the class.

I was trying to spread the word about my new business, Headbands of Hope, and I had $0 in my marketing budget (in fact, I was -$10k in the hole, long story that you can read about in Chasing the Bright Side). I realized that talking about my new business in front of a room full of students was not only a great way to get the word out, but it was free marketing!

Then I got an email one Wednesday that totally changed my life.

The email was from Marshall University and they asked me to come speak to their students (I later realized that a teacher of mine knew a teacher over there and referred me) but they ended the email with a question that stopped me in my tracks…

“What is your speaking fee?”

“Speaking FEE? You mean people would pay me to do this?” I was dumbfounded after reading that email.

After that, speaking became a huge part of my life. It wasn’t success from the beginning (you can hear the full story in my free training), but eventually the rubber met the road (literally) and I was on the road speaking 50x a year all over the world.

I noticed I was the only woman speaker at a lot of the events I spoke. Sometimes when I would ask events why they booked me to speak, they would respond with: we needed a woman! Or: we’ve never had a woman speaker before!

Did I just teleport back to the 1950’s?

The straw that broke the camel’s back (and why we’re here today) was an event in 2018 at a banking conference.

Two weeks after I spoke at the conference, the event planner called me. She told me that they did feedback forms from the audience and my keynote ranked highest amongst all of the keynote speakers that whole weekend.

“That’s great!” I said, but I sensed some hesitation in her voice. “So what’s the problem?”

“Well,” she began. “We paid you $8,500 to come speak and we paid our morning male keynote $50,000 to come speak.”

My jaw dropped.

“You need to start charging what you’re worth,” she said as she ended the call.

Not only did I start charging more, I wanted to help women land those coveted paid keynote speaker spots.

In 2018, Mic Drop Workshop®️ was born with one mission and one mission only: to help women tell and sell their stories as public speakers and published authors.

Now we’ve helped thousands of women all over the globe make an impact and an income through their story, just as they are.

And don’t just take my word for it, check out our testimonial library. I’ve also been hired by LinkedIn Learning and TED Education to teach how to deliver a talk that changes lives. Forbes also named me one of their “Top Motivational Speakers” and Women’s Health Magazine named me their Ultimate Game Changer of the Year.

Now we’re the #1 public speaking training company built just for women…and we hope you’ll join our movement!

The world needs to hear your story- and it’s about time that women start getting paid to tell it.


You’ll hear me say a lot, “we shouldn’t do this alone.” And I certainly have not built this alone- so allow me to introduce to you the rest of the Mic Drop Workshop team! 


meet the mic drop academy team


Hi, I’m Kristine! I’m Jess Ekstrom’s CMO. As a woman speaker, your story matters now more than ever! You started your public speaking career because you want to help others and now, you would like the tools to tell & sell your story. You don’t have to do this alone. I’m here to help. I came from a successful corporate marketing career where I’ve helped fuel the growth of household brands across the globe. Now, I’m here to help you grow your speaking business with great marketing and craft your personal brand as a paid public speaker. Your story matters and I’m here to help you tell it.


Hi, I’m Michelle! I’m Jess Ekstrom’s booking manager. I’ve been a booking manager & speaking consultant for over 20 years. I’ve helped public speakers build their business and bring their message to hundreds of stages. I pride myself on being able to open doors for female public speakers to new industries/events as well as building & managing pipelines.My favorite part of being a booking manager is building long lasting relationships not only with my speakers, but with clients, so they can maximize their goals & impact as many people as possible through their mission and message.

Jess Ekstrom is leaving her mark on this world and it’s amazing to watch her do it.

CHIP GAINES / Co-Founder of Magnolia Network

Mic Drop Workshop® helps women tell and sell their story as paid public speakers

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