Green Room


The Storyteller’s Journal

Where to Find Speaking Gigs and Opportunities

June 5, 2024

a man (mike ganino) is on stage speaking at an event

There is a “blackbox” of sorts when it comes to finding speaking gigs and opportunities.

When you ask “how do I get booked as a public speaker” — it seems that outside of “get a speaking bureau” or “use your network” — no one really talks about all the different ways you might go about finding places to speak.

When I first started as a public speaker way back in 2014 — this was the question I was always trying to get answers to (and mostly just got the same ones I shared above). Blame on my Virgo moon (love me a list) and my Taurus sun (I'm stubborn af when i want something) — but I finally made my speaking dreams come true — and wanted to share what I did that worked initially to find those first few gigs.

Caveat — you might end up finding a lot of unpaid speaking opportunities when filling out “call for speaker” type forms — I leveraged the photos, video, and audiences I met in those places to build a speaking business that has since then generated tons of revenue, clients, and opportunity.


  • Type in the name of a company and then type in a keyword like ‘conference’ (Hilton annual conference … John Deere award banquet … Coldwell Banker sales conference).
  • Review meeting planner magazines/websites (Bizbash, Meetingsnet, etc.)
  • Follow other speakers & entertainers to see what events they post about. 
  • Search them through speaker bureaus, then Google the speaker.
    • Twitter is your best bet at looking for past events and hashtags.
    • You can assign this to a Virtual Assistant to save time.
    • Store all of your findings in one place (like the spreadsheet we shared).
  • Hashtag social media search keywords like “sales conference,” “award banquet.” etc.
  • Google Search [“‘previous year” “conference/banquet/etc”] (e.g., 2017 annual conference).
  • Type in a company name followed by keywords like “award banquet,” “annual conference,” “annual meeting.”
  • Search “associations” using the “Useful Websites for Speaking Opportunities” list.
  • Get more specific.
    • Which organizations hire speakers?
    • Look up specific companies.
    • Use to find companies in specific areas.
  • Make it specific by looking for states and cities plus your keywords
    • Ex: “Alaska Sales Conference” “Denver Sales Conference”
    • Ex: “California HR Conference” “Nevada Sales Conference”
    • Keep changing the location (city, state, etc)
    • Combine this with an image search on Google
  • Connect with A/V (Audio/Visual) teams because they do the sound/lights for events. You can typically find testimonials, client lists, and events on their websites and social media.
  • Look at another speakers/entertainers testimonial page and write down the names of the companies/people that reviewed him. Then use this information to search for events with that company via Google.
  • Search (and other press release sites) for words like ‘conference’ ‘meeting’ etc because people send out Press Releases about their events
  • Search ‘convention calendar’ and include the state/city. Ex: Orlando Convention Calendar… Houston Convention Calendar. Use this information to search out those events.
  • Use LinkedIn the find meeting planners.
  • Contact colleges (talk to campus/student activities). This can be especially helpful in the beginning if you trade a speech for some video and testimonials.
  • Use Google Alerts
  •  Use keywords and have them sent to you (ex: “award banquet” etc).
  • Use speaker/entertainer directories.
  •  Look at the reviews of the speaker, then contact the company that reviewed them to see if they want another speaker for the upcoming event
  • Go to YouTube and type in “(the type of speaker you are) testimonials”
  •  Ex: Motivational speaker testimonials
  •  What companies have they been hired by? Contact those companies
  • Use the list below to get started.

Finding Conferences and Events To Speak At:

This is a list of websites for professional speakers to help you get booked. 

List of convention centers (you can use this to search #CITYconventioncenter on social media)

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Hey babes!

I'm Mike and I'm here to blow your mind. My work is all about transformative storytelling, embodied narratives, and soulful truth-telling — where magic and healing alchemize, turning stages into sanctuaries of transformation.

Start here:

What's A Keynote Director Anyway? Why Your Public Speaking Coach Really Isn't Helping You

The Anatomy of a Powerful Keynote: Nine Questions Your Keynote Must Answer for Transformation

Mike Ganino, keynote director



My approach is all about transforming your relationship with your voice, body, and story. It's one thing to write about it - it's another to take a breath and speak the words out loud.

Ready for your close-up?

You don’t need a speaking coach, a formula, or to follow someone else’s steps. You need feedback about how the audience experiences your ideas, your presence, your story, and your speech. 

That’s what a keynote director does.

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“He should have charged me 5x as much because the VALUE I received was so astounding!”

“Working with Mike made me more compelling, more motivational, more relatable, and more myself”


— Erin King, Bestselling Author & Top-Ranked Keynote Speaker

— Tiffany Lanier, Change and wellbeing keynote speaker

— Laura Gassner Otting, bestselling author and TEDx speaker


A speaking coach can help you get comfortable.

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Your big ideas deserve an EPIC performance. If you’re ready to take your story from alright to epic, let’s chat.