#207: Grant Baldwin on How to Use Public Speaking to Generate High-Quality Client Leads and Create a Lucrative Income Stream

I’ve developed a number of key skills over the years that took a lot of time and effort to hone.

And at the top of the list is public speaking.

I’m not the best public speaker. But I’m competent enough to use it as a tool to grow my business and income … and boost my self-confidence.

Today, you’ll hear from my friend and colleague Grant Baldwin. Grant is the author of the brand-new book The Successful Speaker: Five Steps for Booking Gigs, Getting Paid, and Building Your Platform. He’s also the founder of The Speaker Lab, a company that helps public speakers find and book speaking gigs.

Grant knows his stuff. As a keynote speaker, he’s delivered nearly one thousand presentations to over 500,000 people in 47 states, some with audiences as large as 13,000!

In this interview, you’ll learn why speaking is such a valuable skill to have and why you do NOT need to be extroverted to do this well.

You’ll also learn how you can use speaking as a tool to generate high-quality client leads — and even turn speaking into a separate income stream.

The notes that follow are a very basic, unedited summary of the show. There’s a lot more detail in the audio version. You can listen to the show using the audio player below. Or you can subscribe in iTunes to get this show delivered straight to the Podcasts app on your smart phone, tablet or iPod.

NOTE: The podcast audio and show notes for this episode (and all episodes) are provided for general information purposes only. They do NOT constitute legal or financial advice, and we make no warranties about the completeness, reliability or accuracy of this information. 

Consult with an accountant or other financial professional before making any financial decisions or taking any actions regarding your taxes or personal/business finances. 

Tell us about your business today—what you do and whom you serve

Grant was a full-time speaker for several years. He loved it, and it paid well, but it also involved a lot of travel. So Grant started to do some teaching and coaching — and that part of his business took off.

Today, he’s the founder of The Speaker Lab, a company that helps public speakers learn how to find and book speaking gigs.

Why is public speaking such a valuable business skill?

We often think of public speaking as someone being on stage, talking to an audience. But public speaking is much broader than that. It can include speaking on podcasts, webinars, Facebook Live and YouTube videos.

Public speaking is useful when pitching prospective clients. When you present well, it gives you authority. And the confidence it gives you can permeate all aspects of your business.

When you speak in front of an audience, you get immediate feedback. It helps you make your content and delivery better.

How can public speaking help you generate business when you’re a creative professional, such as a writer or copywriter?

People want to do business with people they know, like and trust. You can build this rapport much quicker in person. When people see you speak, ask questions or hang out with you, they’re much more likely to do business with you because they’ve interacted with you.

Say your target market is marketing directors in a certain industry. Where do those directors gather? What events and trade shows do they attend? What associations do they belong to?

If you were to speak at one of those events, you’d be perceived as an authority.

That’s why a lot of people use public speaking to build their business. Speaking is a lead generating tool.

Where you do you find organizations or conferences that are looking for speakers? And what’s the best way to pitch them?

Ask your clients what conferences they attend and what associations they belong to.

If they don’t have a contact name, do some research.  Look for a “call for speakers” where you can apply with a customized pitch.

Think about the topics you could speak on and then look for related events. When you pitch yourself as a speaker, you’re providing event planners with a solution to a need they already have.

What’s a good way to learn public speaking skills?

Start by taking the pressure off yourself. It’s not fair to compare yourself to professional speakers.

The only way to become a better public speaker is to practice.

You can practice through digital forms (webinars, Facebook Live etc.) or locally,

through a Toastmasters club.

You could speak for your company by giving an informal presentation or leading a meeting.

Being extroverted has nothing to do with being a good speaker.

We assume we have to be a Tony Robbins type (i.e. larger than life and with a big personality) to be a good speaker. But we don’t.

Brené Brown, for example, is quiet and soft-spoken and she’s a very powerful speaker.

You don’t have to be larger than life and have a big personality to be a great public speaker.

What’s the opportunity for public speaking as an income stream?

Grant has a free calculator tool to help you figure out how much you can charge: https://myspeakerfee.com

Some ballpark numbers:

  • Most new speakers: $1,000-$5,000.
  • Up and coming speakers: $5,000-$10,000.
  • Speakers with some notoriety: $10,000-$25,000.
  • B-list celebrities and best-selling authors: $25,000-$100,000.

If you’re using speaking for lead generation, then you might speak for free.

But if you’re going to speak for free, know why you’re doing it. Have a good business reason, such as landing clients or getting more practice.

If you’re going to speak to a group for free, know why you’re doing it.

As a speaker, you want to be the steakhouse, not the buffet. You want to do one thing and do it really, really well.

Get clear on whom you speak to and the problems you help solve for that audience.

Ideally, you should speak on the topics you write about and deliver services for. This helps you build momentum and synergy.

You have a new book I’m really excited about. Tell us about it

Grant’s book: The Successful Speaker: Five Steps for Booking Gigs, Getting Paid, and Building Your Platform.

It contains everything Grant knows about finding and booking gigs, whether you’re speaking for lead generation or revenue. It also has content on how to create and deliver a great talk.

Where can listeners learn more about you and the book?

Grant’s websites:



Grant’s book:


You can also find the book on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and everywhere books are sold.

Social media:

Facebook: /grantbaldwinfans/

Twitter: @grantbaldwin

Instagram: @gbaldwin


Plus … whenever you’re ready, here are 4 ways I can help you grow your freelance business:

1.  Grab a free copy of my book for ESTABLISHED writers/copywriters.

You’ll discover how to quickly and predictably reawaken dead leads, generate new client opportunities and convert not-yet-ready prospects into freelance writing clients. — Click Here

2.  Download a free copy of my new book for writers who are NEW to freelancing.

I’ll show you the 3 things you need to do to get your business off the ground safely and land your first paying client faster.  — Click Here

3.  Join my implementation program and be a case study.

I’m putting together a new implementation group this month. If you’d like to work with me to grow your income quickly with better clients (and become one of my new success stories). Just email me at [email protected] and put “Case Study” in the subject line.

4.  Work with me privately.

If you’re a 6-figure writer who’s trying to earn more in less time, with less stress, I might be able to help you get there faster than you think. Email me at [email protected] … put “Breakthrough” in the subject line and I’ll get back to you with more details.