FYB 113 | Keynote Speaking Opportunities


If you want to have keynote speaking opportunities from your business podcast, you must know what effective strategies you need to execute to spark the interest of your audience. The first thing you have to consider is how you speak. How can we be amazing communicators? In this episode, Tom Hazzard and Tracy Hazzard discuss how to use your podcast to get speaking engagements. Tracy emphasizes that it shouldn’t be hard if you’re doing your podcast the right way. The more people you drive to your talk, the more likely you’ll get your next speaking engagement. It’s time to learn and enrich your knowledge with incredible ideas to grow your podcasts successfully.

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How to Earn More Keynote Speaking Opportunities From Your Podcast

We’re going to talk about one of your favorite subjects or something certainly you’re very good at. That’s how to use your podcast to get speaking engagements.

How to earn more keynote speaking opportunities from your podcast? This is the thing. It shouldn’t be hard if you’re doing your podcast in the right way. From day one, when we started our very first podcast, one of the first things that happened was we were offered a speaking opportunity and podcasting wasn’t even that popular back then. I was offered a speaking opportunity at an event. In that event, someone saw me at that speaking opportunity, saw the subject matter of what I spoke about, and invited me to write my Inc. column, which I wrote for four years.

It had a cascading effect of huge authority boosts over time. That column also got me speaking engagements, just as much as our podcasts did. The two things went hand in hand. If you’re doing things right and you’re doing what we call authority-building podcasting, you should have no problem earning more keynote speaking opportunities from your podcast. It shouldn’t be a problem at all. That should be pretty simple.

You said it should be pretty simple. I agree a podcast host does elevate your status and make you more desirable to event planners, but what are the actual things that you think people should be doing to make sure they’re not being overlooked as a podcast host for some of these keynote speaking opportunities?

First things first, your show shouldn’t be too generic. If your show is too generic, it’s not going to help you. Our show was in 3D printing. It was specific and we were specifically talking about the design side of 3D printing, so one aspect of it. When you’ve got a narrow-type focus that there are events around and things that are working for you, dive deep into that niche and area. That can work well for you. When I say that, there are a lot of generic interview-style podcast shows out there. I understand you want to make it broad. You can talk about anything, but at the end of the day, sometimes too broad keeps event planners from picking you because they’re looking for something specific, an edge, or a new take on something.

FYB 113 | Keynote Speaking Opportunities

Keynote Speaking Opportunities: Be specific and dive deep into a specific niche. Focus on what you’re bringing to the world.


One of the biggest keynote speaking opportunities I ever got was I spoke in Las Vegas. That’s something called the Prosper Show. There were 2,000 Amazon eCommerce sellers and the audience was a specific audience. At that time, we had not only our 3D print podcast, but we had Product Launch Hazzards which was focused on eCommerce sellers. We had a specific podcast focused on helping them. I didn’t even know about the show. They reached out to me and found me and the reason they invited me on to be a keynote speaker. Michael Gerber was the other keynote speaker. That was a pretty big deal. Being on a marquee with him as well was powerful for my speaking opportunities in the future as well.

Those were big things, but it happened because we had an edge to what we talked about. We talked about eCommerce selling, not from hacks and tactics on how you do and make more money off of Amazon. We talked about it from a perspective of the product itself and the design and development of great products that tap into a market niche and how to make sure that you have the best product opportunity out there by doing what we call market product proof. That was exactly what they wanted me to come to talk about. No one had ever talked about that before. It was our particular take and angle. It was what our whole show, Product Launch Hazzards was about, in addition to helping you make sure that you don’t step in all the landmines, the hazards.

You were talking about having a specific niche that was in alignment with the event. The podcast made you a more attractive person to feature because you are going to attract people to come to the event or go to that particular talk, right?

Right because it was new. I had a different angle and edge to it. That’s important. Trying to be too generic on your show at all times can hurt you. The shows that do the best have the perspective that they are bringing to the world and they dive deep into that. It doesn’t mean I can’t interview tons of different people. We talked about all kinds of different products and aspects of 3D printing on our shows over the years, but we were able to always approach it from this designer’s view and perspective, which is truly us at the end of the day, which is why people wanted us to speak.

If your podcast show is too generic, it's not going to help you. Share on X

Do you think that the title you choose for your episode is very important? Do you think that they should be written in a way that event planners would look at titles of episodes and say, “That might make a good talk at my event?”

I’m glad you mentioned that because the way I write my titles is exactly the way I write my keynote speech titles. They’re slightly shorter because we want to use up as much characters as we can when we’re writing episode titles, blog titles, or article titles. It always shocked me how long an article title that they wanted at Inc. Magazine when I was writing for them. I was like, “Really? Do you want one that’s that long?” They did. They liked it when it scrolled down to a second line and have a certain number of characters to that. If you’re going to give a keynote, you want it shorter.

What I tend to do is I always have two words at the front and a colon and then the rest of it. It’s almost like a title and subtitle blended together into one. That’s how I typically do it. Usually, when somebody comes, reaches out to me and says, “I would love for you to talk on this topic,” I almost immediately give them a whole bunch of actual topic titles to choose from. That’s how I hook them pretty much every time into choosing me because then I do a little research, find out exactly what their event is about, and find out what their audience is going to respond the best. It’s probably a talk I’ve already given before or a variation on a talk but I never give the same talk twice.

Shockingly, you don’t because you could get away with the same talk at different events because not everybody attends these different events.

I get bored, so I don’t. We do that. I immediately send them out these custom and usually send 3 to 5. Usually, three is pretty typical, if I’m very sure. If I’m not sure what focus they want, I might give them five options as well. I always tell them they’re brand new. They’ve never been seen before and I give them those as it is, but I craft those titles exactly like I do my episode titles. I’m thinking about, “What is going to draw someone in to click it to listen to it when I’m utilizing a title for my episodes, but I’m also thinking about what’s going to get them to look at that program and then choose to come to my talk?”

FYB 113 | Keynote Speaking Opportunities

Keynote Speaking Opportunities: If you’re going to give a keynote, you want it shorter.


The more people I drive to my talk, the more likely I am to get my next speaking engagement because I frequently book a speaking engagement not just for the same event but my next one for another event altogether. Some other event planners in that audience typically happen from one of my current speeches. It always usually cascades and one after another. We want to do something like that and lure them in with great titles. That’s a great suggestion.

The main thing that I want to stress is that the reason it should be easy for you as a podcaster is because you do know how to command an audience week-after-week. It’s not like they can see your audience numbers. They don’t know, “Are you commanding an audience of 100,000, 5,000, or 100?” They don’t know that, but if you’re getting a podcast that you’re producing week-after-week, the assumption on the event planner side of interim, the person who might book you for a keynote is that, “Why would you keep doing it if it wasn’t working? Why would you keep speaking week-after-week on a podcast if it wasn’t working?” Their assumption is you have an audience that you’re commanding from week-after-week.

To all new podcasters out there, pay attention because just because you’re a new podcaster or maybe you’re not that new. Maybe you’re 3 or 6 months old and you don’t have a huge audience yet. As long as you’re producing, publishing episodes every week, and being current about it, that lends credibility to you. You’re going to get a certain amount of credibility and credit for showing up for your audience, recording, publishing every week, and providing that kind of value. It’s going to help you, even if you haven’t built that reputation yet as being a keynote speaker or a speaker at events. Podcasting is going to help you accelerate that process.

Keep in mind that most events run in an event model that relies on the speakers to share out their event so that you get butts on seats. That’s the goal. They’re going to invite you to speak if you have a decent MLS or an audience of some kind. By saying, “I have a podcast with an audience that I produced 25 or 100 episodes,” they’re thinking, “You got a listener base. That’s going to help get visibility for my event.” That’s another reason why it’s more likely that they will book you or be interested in booking you because that makes sense. Especially if your audience is a match, your show is in direct alignment with the audience that they want to attract to their events. Audience alignment matters.

Always approach your show from a designer’s perspective. Share on X

You need to be good about sharing with your audience because if they’re going to go check out your show and they don’t hear you making announcements about like, “I’m speaking at an upcoming event,” or you’re not making those kinds of announcements out to your audience, then they’re going to wonder whether or not you’re going to do that for them. If that’s not truly apparent on your show because maybe you only do a couple of speaking engagements a year. It’s not a continual thing for you, then make sure to mention that in your follow-up emails with the event planners, letting them know that you will be happy to share that with your audience. You do it in a spot ad, especially if you’re using the Podetize system as we have here.

You can drop in an ad for an event. When the event is over, you can remove the ad. It’s not stuck in your show when you don’t want it to be. It’s not irrelevant. That’s one good way. Sharing with your audience and being willing to share with your audience is of utmost importance to most event planners and organizers. The other thing is community. If you have an engagement in a community somewhere, not just in podcasting, but you’re taking them off of it. You’re bringing them to your website, Instagram, Facebook groups, or whatever it is that you’re doing that if you’re creating that engagement somewhere else, then you’re going to create a more visible way for event organizers to see that your audience is there.

That’s very important. Every event wants to grow. They want to be a bigger event. That’s pretty much all they want, “More people to attend now and more people to attend next time.” If there’s anything you can do to help raise awareness for their event, they’re going to be happy with you and want you to be a vocal advocate. How can they motivate you to do that? They ask you to speak.

Here’s the thing. There’s no question in my mind that keynotes are harder to get. Anyone can get speaking engagements from their podcasts, but they may not be the positioning you want. It may be a breakout room or a smaller event. It may be those things, but paying your dues, doing those, and doing an incredibly good job there has paid dividends for me. It has gotten me the bigger events. Someone heard me there. Not only that, sometimes they hire me straight out like, “I want to write a check. I want to hire you to do whatever it is that you do here,” or they will go and say, “I have an event you need to be speaking at. They need to hear you.”

That’s the greatest kind of referral that can happen and it elevates you. Before you know it, that’s when you end up with the keynote positioning if that’s what you’re looking for, but to say, “I’ll just start a podcast and it’s going to immediately get me that keynote,” those are harder to come by. You have to do a bit more work. I wanted to outline before we finish up some of that extra work you can do that could get you those keynotes faster.

FYB 113 | Keynote Speaking Opportunities

Keynote Speaking Opportunities: Create networking opportunities within the group to serve and bring value to your audience.


What do you get?

The number one thing is you need to do more networking. You have to find the events you want to go to yourself. Start following them, giving them shout-outs, and interacting with the community there that’s a part of the event. Do that sooner. I don’t always like to agree to speak at an event until I’ve seen it. Sometimes if I can’t experience it, maybe I can order a virtual ticket to it, check it out and pass, see what it was like, and say, “Is this a good fit for me?” If that’s the case, then immediately I start following the organizers and the event group as well and I start sharing into them. I start talking, engaging, asking questions, doing things like that, and not pushing myself. I never push, but I’m creating networking through that community and group.

This is the thing. Event organizers in between their events are so desperate for engagement to occur within their groups. They will notice you. That’s the trick there. They need you to create that engagement for them. It’s a lot easier when the event is going on for people to be engaging in the group and talking back and forth. It’s a whole lot harder for it after the event is over. If you can help spur engagement with the group there, that’s going to go a long way to them paying attention to you. That’s the first thing that I like to do is to create that networking opportunity within the group, already be serving and bringing the value, and I haven’t even been announced as a speaker yet. I like to do that when I do a speaking event. I show up, listen to the whole event, serve, and meet the audience before I speak.

There’s always a good buzz at an event before you speak that people who have met you are like, “I want to go hear what Tracy has to say.” You’re building anticipation.

Audience alignment matters. Share on X

That’s the same thing I’m doing in these Facebook groups, LinkedIn groups, or in these models of Instagram, whatever it might be. I’m creating that kind of, “This is a person I want to meet.” When they see me on the agenda, they will show up at that event and at my speech. That’s also important to me too. The second part of that is, to support the event itself, they need exposure. Remember, you have an audience. What can you do from a publicity standpoint to help them and way in advance?

You don’t want to wait until they’ve announced that they’re accepting speaker submissions. You want to do this way before that. You want to interview the event organizer and establish a rapport with them already about you supporting their event because there’s alignment in your audience. When you’re creating that understanding of alignment in the audience, you’re a more logical choice to do that. I like to interview the organizers as a part of my event plan for who I’m going to target for next year. I do it way in advance.

The second part of that is, in establishing those relationships, you say to them, “Who are your biggest and most important sponsors, either the ones that you have that you want to make sure you keep or the ones that you’re hoping to get for next year, next quarter, or whatever the next event is?” Agree to interview and say, “Could you introduce me to whoever your contact is over there? I would love to interview the sponsor as well.” You’re offering them something where they’re serving that sponsor and bringing them publicity value. You’ve created a buzz. The member that the sponsors are spending money on the event, if they’ve already had a good opportunity with you and then they see that you are being asked to speak at that event, everybody is in support of you.

That’s Ego Bait™ on another level. You’re going to stroke the ego of the sponsors to make them feel like they’re getting a lot of value and you’re letting them know while you’re getting it because of that event.

A lot of times, in the chat after with the sponsors, I have to say, “I haven’t been to the event. I was hoping I would be asked to speak this time, but I haven’t heard from them yet. Tell me a little bit about the event and why you have chosen to sponsor it.” Usually, that gets right back to the event organizer and an invitation is immediate.

FYB 113 | Keynote Speaking Opportunities

Keynote Speaking Opportunities: As long as you’re producing and publishing episodes every week, that lends credibility to you.


You created a self-fulfilling prophecy at that point, saying, “I wanted to speak at that event. I was expecting they ask me to speak. It doesn’t happen yet.” That is a huge hint. It’s like, “I’m hinting an organizer.” You’re going to feel like, “I’m bad for him. I should have thought of that.”

If this sponsor which you’ve already asked the event organizer to give you the most important sponsors to them, if the sponsor is important and they plunk down a bit of cash, you can bet they want their cash to go to a good speaker. They would be happy to hear that’s what happened with it. That’s another thing I do. The whole process is to make sure that I’m good at sharing the episodes and making sure that the audience in those groups that I’ve been networking in now see the publicity that I’ve given those sponsors. I’m making sure that the sponsors are getting visibility within that networking I’ve created in their group already.

Don’t rely on the event organizer or the sponsor to share into those groups. Do it yourself and it has this whole third-party endorsement model. It doesn’t look salesy and pushy from the event organizer or sponsors of the events themselves. If you do that and say, “Just thought you guys know, this is a sponsor of this event that’s upcoming and they’re amazing. I spoke to them on my show and here are some of the tidbits of it. Put a little quote in, especially a video clip and share that.” You might want to give the event organizer a heads-up because sometimes, sharing video memes and other things like that in group posts don’t get posted immediately. You want to let them know you’re going to do it so that they allow that post through. That whole thing creates this buzz and excitement about you in a group that you want to speak to.

Everybody reading this needs to understand you’re a podcaster or an aspiring podcaster. There is a certain amount of credibility and success you’re going to have toward this goal of speaking by having a podcast and putting yourself out there but if you take some of Tracy’s suggestions and do some of these things, you’re going to increase your chances significantly or get those more sought-after and exclusive speaking opportunities.

This is a way to give before you get. It’s showing care for an audience. We find that when we are demonstrating great care for the audience that is coming to this event and show great care for that model of it just like we want to show great care for our listenership, when we combine those things, it makes for not only a successful opportunity offered to you but a successful outcome from the speaking opportunity as well. If, at the end of the day, no one shows up in your room because they didn’t know who you were or what you were about, that’s not serving you well either. We want to make sure all of those things happen. This is a good way to network, make it happen, and make it occur.

Being willing to share with the audience is of utmost importance to most event planners and organizers. Share on X

A lot of times, I do get last-minute invites. I’ve filled in multiple times for keynotes that dropped out. That has happened frequently and that is a reward essentially. If someone comes to you and says, “Our keynote dropped out. I need someone who I know I can trust and rely on. Can you do this in a week?” They know I’m going to pull out a great speech for them. That’s a huge compliment and that gets around to other event organizers.

That’s a huge compliment, especially when they’re not asking you, “What could you speak on? I want to make sure that would be a fit.” They’re like, “No, I don’t care. Will you speak? I want you to speak on whatever you want.” That has happened to you.

That has happened to me multiple times. I find it fun because I don’t have to put all the work into it because they’ve already put all the work into everything. I don’t have to work on that promotion side of things. I just show up and give a great speech. Usually, it leads to something else great and a lot of graciousness, thankfulness, and gratefulness from the person who I substituted for and for the person who needed me to substitute. It has worked out well for me. I love that I’m that go-to person. That spun for me because I could speak anywhere.

I hope that you all get great speaking opportunities and that is an outcome of your podcast. This is what I want you to know. It should not be hard for you to get speaking engagements from your podcast. You might need to work a little harder to earn keynote speaking opportunities, but it’s worth it at the end of the day. It will have an accelerating factor on your business, personal growth, and authority if you’re trying to build up your personal brand.

FYB 113 | Keynote Speaking Opportunities

Keynote Speaking Opportunities: If you haven’t really built that reputation yet as being a keynote speaker, podcasting is going to help you sort of accelerate that process.


That’s a wrap for this episode. Thanks so much for reading. We’re going to be back with another great episode next week. Don’t forget you can find us anywhere at Podetize.com. You can find the podcast there and search for past episodes. What’s the social handle we’re promoting?

We’re @Podetize anywhere.

We have so many for different purposes. Sometimes I don’t remember.

You can find us on Clubhouse, @TracyHazz and @TomHazz.

Thanks so much, everybody. We’ll talk to you next time.

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