6 Ways to Grow Your Public Speaking Business

Internationally renowned keynote speaker Adam Smiley Poswolsky shares his advice on growing a public speaking profile.

learn more about Jessica Abo

By Jessica Abo

As a keynote speaker, I spend a great deal of time talking with people about what it takes to run a speaking business. It's incredibly meaningful to connect with people at different companies, nonprofits and schools, but sustaining a speaking business requires a lot more time and energy than the 60 minutes I spend on a stage. Speaking, like any other profession requires a ton of work behind the scenes. I spend months working on my presentations, hours on calls with event organizers and new leads, and have done several hundred speeches over the past 20 years for free to pay my dues, fine tune my craft and give back to the community. Now that public speaking is my full-time job, I love brainstorming with other speakers, especially aspiring speakers, who have a story to tell and want to get out there and share it.

I asked my friend, Adam Smiley Poswolsky, to share his favorite pieces of advice to help you on your journey. Smiley is a millennial workplace expert, internationally renowned keynote speaker, and bestselling author of The Quarter-Life Breakthrough (Penguin Random House), and The Breakthrough Speaker. Side note: I read The Breakthrough Speaker in small increments of time because with a newborn, and launching a book of my own, I didn't have much free time. I suddenly loved pumping because that became my reading window. So whether you're a sleep-deprived parent, working several jobs or in a career funk, you don't have to overwhelmed by your idea to speak for a living. You can just take things one step at a time. While Smiley helps companies attract, retain, and empower millennial talent, he's inspired thousands of professionals to be more engaged at work, through speaking at companies like Unilever, IDEO and Salesforce. You'll see in the video, he's passionate about you getting out there, too. He even started the Women Speaker Initiative to help women and underrepresented speakers book more gigs and get paid as much as male speakers. I hope between his book, and this video, you feel empowered to make your speaking platform a reality this year or take your current keynote to the next level.

Jessica Abo

Entrepreneur Staff

Media Trainer, Keynote Speaker, and Author

JESSICA ABO is a media trainer, keynote speaker, and bestselling author who uses her 20+ years of TV news experience to help entrepreneurs, C-Suite executives, celebrities, and philanthropists share their stories with the world. An award-winning journalist, Jessica has presented all over the country including at TEDx, Facebook, Microsoft, Delta Airlines, WW, and the United Nations. She has appeared on The TODAY Show, ABC News, Access Hollywood, KTLA, CBS, and NY1 and in Forbes, Fast Company, and Women's Health.  Her debut book Unfiltered: How To Be As Happy As You Look On Social Media sold out on its first day and empowers readers with tools they can use to take back their happiness IRL (in real life).

Related Topics

More from Jessica Abo

How to Become a Category Leader

This Founder — Whose Company Was Acquired by The Makers of Facetune — Reveals The Tools Brands and Creators Need Right Now to Scale.

These 13 Founders Share Their Number 1 Piece of Advice to Help You Set and Achieve Your Business Goals

Why Founders Are Hiring These Two Coaches to Supercharge Their Business

Editor's Pick

Have More Responsibilities at Work, But No Pay Bump? Use This Script to Get the Raise You Deserve.
Black and Asian Founders Face Opposition at All Levels — Here's Why That Has to Change

The Greasy, Glamorous Rise of Mascara

You won't believe the grimy gunk people used to smear on their eyelashes -- and still do.


3 Expert-Backed Strategies for Blowing People Away With Your First Impression

Nothing is more important than a good first impression. The first five seconds are everything.

Business News

'Our Kids Aren't Even Safe To Order Food': Mother Outraged After DoorDash Employee Uses App to Flirt With Teen Daughter

One mom is going viral on TikTok after catching a DoorDash employee attempting to flirt with her 15-year-old daughter through the messaging service provided through the platform.

Business News

An NFL Rookie Scores a $514,000 Jackpot in Las Vegas

Los Angeles Rams running back Ronnie Rivers sat down to play 3-card poker and left a half million dollars richer.

Business Ideas

How to Make Thousands of Dollars on the Side As a Virtual Assistant

Apply your skills and experience to create a lucrative virtual assistant side hustle or full-time business.