How to Request Speaking Engagements

Updated July 12, 2018

Listening to a good speaker can make, or break, an event. That can be stressful if you're the person assigned with obtaining a speaker. Luckily, you have many options to choose from when looking for a speaker. Follow these steps to request speaking engagements.

Understand what your group needs from a speaker. Knowing whether you need an expert from a specific field versus someone to fill 15 minutes requires different things.

Determine specifics that your group can provide to a speaker, including fees. If you request a non-local speaker, be prepared to offer lodging and transportation.

Look at speaking organizations, from the National Speakers Association to Toastmasters. Both of these not-for-profit groups promote public speaking. The National Speakers Association provides a director of speakers at its website at It is searchable by name or geographical area.

Contact a company's public relations department to request a specific corporate speaker. Some heads of corporations that speak at events include Peter Coors of Coors Brewing Company and Debbi Fields of Mrs. Field's Cookies.

Check if a professional speaker is suitable by interviewing them about their experience and speaking style. While you want a qualified speaker, you must make certain the speaker is a good fit for your organization or event. Request references.

Look locally at civic leaders and politicians. Often these people give speeches as good public relations for themselves.

Schedule a speaker with as much notice as you can, but don't forget to confirm closer to the time of your event.

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