How to Find Leads for Speaking Engagements

When it comes to building a speaking career, you might be surprised to learn that the majority of your time will be spent pitching rather than presenting. The key to landing speaking engagements isn’t just being a great speaker. In order to actually get booked consistently, make sure you (or your team) prioritize finding leads and pitching. Create an outreach strategy that fits your schedule and workload and stick to it! 

If you’re struggling with knowing where to find paid speaking gigs or events to pitch, this is the post for you. We’re going in-depth on how to find leads as a public speaker that will land you the gig of your dreams.

Identify Your Ideal Audience

First, in order to get booked for your dream speaking engagement, you need to find your dream events. In order to find your dream events, you need to identify your dream audience.  Before you start Googling, think strategically about your ideal audience. Do you want to speak to corporate professionals, executives, entrepreneurs, educators, or students? Identify keywords that might describe the type of events your ideal audience would attend. Use these keywords to create Google Alerts and search on LinkedIn and social media. Here are some event keyword examples:












Find the Event Planner

So you’ve found an event you want to speak at. Great! Before hitting submit on the open application, we encourage you to find an actual human to email and connect with. This person’s title can vary depending on the organization. Look for words like event organizer, learning & development coordinator, director of HR, or executive director. Browse the event page, about page, or contact us page to find the right person and email address to send your pitch to.


Did you know that LinkedIn is one of the best tools to find speaking engagements? Not only can you find conferences and events happening now or in the future, but you can also connect directly with the meeting planners and organizers behind the scenes. If you can’t find an email in our previous step, find the organizer on LinkedIn and send an invitation to connect. Keep your message short, sweet, and to the point. Ask for their email address, send your pitch, and secure the booking!

Subscribe to the Mic Drop Newsletter

Want speaking leads sent straight to your inbox? We’ve got you covered with our new biweekly industry events newsletter featuring current calls for speakers and open applications. In addition to open speaker calls and their direct contacts (email addresses included!), we send you events happening right now to pitch for next year. Subscribe to the newsletter here.

Phew! Feeling overwhelmed? The hunt for speaking engagements is neverending, but don’t let it deter you from pursuing a place on stages. Strategizing, searching, and pitching takes time, but it’s all worth it when you get that signed contract back for your dream gig. To make the hunt for leads easier on yourself, dedicate one or two days a week to search and pitch. Then, get back to refining your keynote and curating powerful stories for your next Mic Drop moment. 

For more speaking support and gig opportunities, join Mic Drop Workshop and get access to our private Facebook group of 1.5k+ students sharing referrals and wins every day!

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