How To Get Speaking Engagements When Just Starting Out

by Reid on November 7, 2015

Businessmen and professional workers group. Team Working.Just getting starting out and want to get gigs? What do you do?

With Reid Mihalko from and Cathy Vartuli from

Cathy: How do you get speaking engagements when you’re just starting out as a sex educator?

Reid: You’re asking me?

Cathy: This is Reid Mihalko from

Reid: This is Cathy Vartuli from The easiest way to do it is create your own event and speak at that. It’s a lot of work. I don’t recommend it because you still have to put butts in the seats but that’s the easiest way. Or just step outside into a busy street corner and just start shouting.

Cathy: Just start talking.

Reid: Yeah, but that’s probably not technically a speaking engagement.

Cathy: Well, it can also be useful to build relationships and let people know what you talk about so meeting an abstrator for Woodhall or catalyst or things like that whereas other sex educators —

Reid: Conferences.

Cathy: Yeah, where they’ll see you talking and get to know your expertise. It’s very, it’s useful too because if you’re doing a panel you can reach out to some other sex educators, build relationships with them and they might reciprocate or you can just let them know, “Hey, I want to do more speaking.” Approach people that are doing events and ask them if you can speak.

Reid: The other thing that you can do is you can create a beta test talk and invite your friends and community to say, “Hey, I need practice doing my talk. I have a new talk, I want to beta test it. Will you guys support me and let me give this talk to you all?” As a means of practicing and if your information’s really good and you’re helping people solve problems and challenges that they have, if you really rock their world then you can ask them, “Hey, do you know other places I could go? Now that you have an experience of what I do, can you help me book other gigs?”

Some of you are going to need to do gigs for free to build up a reputation and a resume. Some of you might be able to begin charging. It’s a little bit tricky based on if you’re a “nobody” who has no following, doesn’t even have a website, and hasn’t built your reputation. If those things are interesting to you that’s one of the things that Sex Geek Summer Camp talks about is the business behind the business and ultimately, if you’re just up there flapping your own gums for your own self-fladulation, you might be able to get a couple people to hire you but you will quickly develop the reputation that you’re not worth hiring. In the speaking world, word travels fast and you want to always be reinforcing and building a really honest and integrous reputation for delivering amazing content, be easy to work with hopefully, or at least professional, and so that your reputation and your content is what eventually gets you the speaking gigs.

You want people talking about you so positively and so inspired by your work that while you can promote speaking gigs, you have people coming to you asking you if you will speak. Then you can work out how you want to deal with pricing and charging and things like that or hire mentors or come to camp and learn that stuff too.

Cathy: Yeah and it can be really useful to have what we call a back end. A lot of people that teach and speak they don’t have any products to sell online passive items, things that people can say, “Wow, that was a great hour talk. How can I go deeper?” Having those things builds a lot of credibility and let’s you help people in a way that you may only have an hour or maybe it’s not the venue for you to go into the particulars of the sexual activity but if you have an online program you can point them too or even some YouTube videos like that we have here, where people can go and get to know you better and build a deeper relationship and then you can let them know if you do coaching or have products within the YouTube videos. That helps you leverage the teaching and speaking that you are doing in a different way.

Reid: For instance, meta about this situation, we’re building a reputation with you by hopefully giving you useful advice and then I’m inviting you to come to camp if you want to learn more about the business behind the business of sex education.

Cathy: And have a blast.

Reid: Have a blast. Thank you. This is the actual example of a back end in motion. A lot of educators, and certainly myself when I was first teaching at workshops and stuff like that, all I had was the workshop and maybe a business card or a sticker to give people at the end. I didn’t actually have something I could invite them to purchase after they left the class, or something they could sign up for after they watched the video.

If you’re interested in some more business geekery around sex education go to and sign up for the free videos and then you’ll also get an invite to come to camp.

Cathy: Yeah.

Reid: Then you’ll learn more about camp that’s all. This becomes something of a version of just how I can extend invitations and then the curious people do it and then maybe you come to camp, maybe you don’t but I’m hopefully just like we’re doing, always giving people value and a positive experience. Then some people will sign up, some people won’t, but you’re always leaving people better than you found them.

Cathy: Yep. Check it out. Check out, see how Reid’s done it. Maybe we’ll see you there, but just start letting people know that you want to speak and get a talk together. Give it to your friends, give parts of it on YouTube. The more you practice it, the more articulate you get at it, the more impact you’ll have and that’s important.

Reid: Yep and the last thing, it doesn’t just have to be a lecture or a video. You can film or give live discussion panels. You can do Google hangouts. There’s all kinds of things where you’re speaking, teaching through words. Think outside the box to speaking engagements because those examples can help you build up to getting the college lecture or doing something at a conference or something like that.

All right. Comments below.

Cathy: Good luck.

Reid: Bye.

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