Home » Speaking Opportunities Near Me: Guide to Speaking Gigs in the U.S.
May,2024

Speaking Opportunities Near Me: Guide to Speaking Gigs in the U.S.

You’re on the hunt for new speaking gigs, and you search for “speaking opportunities near me” and click go! 

But the results may not be exactly what you had in mind… Instead of getting clear, specific results tailored to your speaking niche and industry, you’ll get a mixed bag of results that may or not be relevant to your situation.

That’s because while searching for local businesses is pretty straightforward, searching for potential public speaking opportunities is a little bit more complex and often requires more in-depth research than a simple Google search. 

Luckily, this guide will help you navigate your search for finding speaking opportunities near you, while providing some helpful suggestions and ideas so you don’t waste hours going down the research rabbit hole.

Whether you’re just starting out or have been honing your public speaking skills for years, finding quality speaking opportunities in your area can be a great way to build your portfolio, network with other professionals, and take your speaking career to the next level.

Let’s explore how to find some of the top speaking engagements, events, and platforms that may be available right in your own backyard.

How to Find Public Speaking Opportunities in the U.S.

Searching for public speaking opportunities in the United States can be a lot easier to do with the help of the Internet, but it still requires a little research on your end. Speaking opportunities are often found through organic efforts, such as internal postings, networking groups, professional organizations, and more. 

Not all speaking opportunities are created equal, either. What may be a great speaking gig for one professional, may not fit the needs and criteria that you’re looking for. 

Which is why it’s crucial that you start by determining the ideal criteria for the stage. Think of your particular niche and/or industry, and consider the relevancy of speaking opportunities you want to find. For example, maybe you’re a motivational public speaker for recovering addicts. With this in mind, you wouldn’t want to pitch your speech to just any audience or platform. While there may be some people who find your speech relevant, others may not. You want to find relevant opportunities that align with your messaging and target audience, because that’s how you can leverage the most impact – by speaking to audiences that your message resonates with.

Once you have a clear idea of the type of speaking engagements you want to pursue based on your niche, you can start your search.

Ways to look for speaking opportunities near you

First, you can start by researching event listings on relevant websites and social media platforms within your niche and/or industry. Look for keywords like ‘speaking opportunities near [insert your zipcode or state]’ or ‘best speaking opportunities in the [your state or region]’ to narrow down your search. These platforms often feature a variety of events ranging from local meet-ups to national leadership conferences. Be sure to read more about the event or meet-up to determine whether the opportunity aligns with your messaging and target audience.

Another way to find speaking opportunities is by joining professional organizations related to your field. These groups often host events where members can showcase their expertise through speaking engagements. Networking within these organizations like Toastmasters can lead to valuable connections and potential speaking opportunities.

Additionally, reaching out to event organizers directly or submitting proposals to speak at conferences can also increase your chances of securing a speaking gig. 

List of resources to look for opportunities to speak in the U.S. 

  • Eventbrite: Eventbrite is a popular online platform for event discovery and management. Aspiring public speakers can use it to find speaking opportunities in several ways, including searching by topic or keyword, location, even types, and networking engagements.
  • Meetup: Meetup is focused on connecting people with shared interests through local group gatherings. Aspiring public speakers can leverage it for speaking gigs by finding relevant groups, attending local-meetups for networking opportunities, and finding speaking gigs based on certain topics. You can even find meet-ups specific for improving your public speaking skills!
  • SpeakerHub: SpeakerHub is a platform that connects public speakers, trainers, and moderators with event organizers. It’s a comprehensive platform with a wide range of speakers across various industries and topics. You can create a free profile, become visible to event organizers, and review event listings to find new opportunities.
  • GigSalad: GigSalad is an online platform that connects event organizers with entertainers, including speakers, for various events.
  • Targeted online search: Use specific keywords when using your preferred search platform. 
  • Connect with event organizers: Find event organizers in your area and/or industry using platforms like LinkedIn, and connect with them to introduce yourself. Then, tell them what type of speaking opportunities you’re interested in.
  • Social media hashtags: Explore keywords, topics, and/or hashtags on different social media platforms like Instagram or TikTok to find communities and events for potential speaking opportunities. While this strategy takes a bit more research and patience, it’s great for networking!
  • Facebook groups: Join Facebook groups that are targeted to your local area or industry. These communities are often updated with new events, networking opportunities, and resources.
  • Local speaking bureaus: Local speaking bureaus are companies that connect event organizers with speakers within a specific geographic area. While this isn’t always a free option, there are a number of benefits often included for speakers, such as speaker representation, negotiation and booking, marketing and promotion, and more.
  • Reach out to community venues: Connect with community venues in your local area and inquire about upcoming public events that the venue is hosting. You can introduce yourself, leave a business card, and let them know what type of events you’re interested in speaking at. At the least, they may be able to connect you with event hosts who are in search of speakers!
  • Podcasts: Search for podcasts related to your topic and/or target audience, and reach out the hosts for any guest opportunities.
  • Festivals: Many popular festivals and events have speaker stages or workshops where public speakers can have discussions on relevant topics. Look for festivals that align with your message or expertise. For instance, a food festival might welcome a speaker on sustainable food practices or global cuisine.
  • Industry Trade Shows: Trade shows are industry-specific events that showcase products, services, and trends. They often have speaking stages where industry experts can share insights and innovations. These can be particularly valuable if your niche aligns with a specific trade show’s theme.
  • Educational institutions and schools: Educational workshops and seminars at universities and colleges. These events are a great way to share your expertise with students and faculty. You can even speak at elementary and secondary school events or career days as a motivational speaker. 
  • Local business events: These events are a great way to connect with potential clients and partners. You could even do workshops or training sessions for businesses or organizations. These are a great way to help businesses and organizations improve their skills and knowledge.
  • Industry conferences: Depending on your industry, you can find specific conferences usually held in major cities like Boston, San Francisco, New York City, and Philadelphia. These conferences are a great way to reach a large audience of interested professionals.
  • Entrepreneurship organizations: Look for local incubators, accelerators, or entrepreneur centers that might welcome talks on business development, pitching ideas, or future industry trends if it’s relevant to your niche.
  • Coworking hubs: Many coworking hubs host community events and professional networking sessions. You can pitch your speaking ideas to the coworking hub organizer for any future opportunities.

Additional tips for finding public speaking opportunities:

  • Network with other public speakers: Public speakers can be a great source of information about speaking opportunities. Attend public speaking events and meet-ups in your area, and connect with other speakers on social media.
  • Search online directories: There are a number of online directories that list public speaking opportunities. These directories help you find speaking opportunities that are a good fit for your interests and expertise.
  • Contact event organizers directly: If you see an event that you’d like to speak at, contact the event organizer directly and inquire about speaking opportunities.

Best Public Speaking Gig Opportunities in the United States

When it comes to public speaking, the United States offers a vast landscape of opportunities because it’s pretty large and diverse. Different regions associate with different industries. 

Therefore, the best places to speak at in the United States depends on your niche and target audience as a public speaker.

However, here are some of the top destinations that frequently host public speaking events:

  • Major metropolitan cities: These cities are hubs for business, education, and culture, and they often host a wide variety of conferences, workshops, and other events that attract large audiences. Some of the most popular cities for public speaking events include New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Austin, Atlanta, Boston, Seattle, Miami, and Washington D.C.
  • Conference centers: Many conference centers across the country host public speaking events throughout the year. These events cover a wide range of topics and can be a great way to reach a large audience of interested professionals. Las Vegas, Orlando, Chicago, San Diego, and Washington D.C. usually host the most conferences.
  • Universities and colleges: Universities and colleges frequently host public lectures, workshops, and other events that feature public speakers. These events can be a great way to share your expertise with students and faculty. In the U.S., there are quite a few universities and colleges in the Northeast, such as New York, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut.
  • Tech hubs: Tech hubs like Silicon Valley and Austin are home to a large number of technology companies and startups. These companies frequently host conferences, workshops, and other events that feature public speakers.

Specific Speaking Gigs & Resources

If you’re looking for larger speaking gigs and resources to pitch your ideas to for a public speaking opportunity, get inspiration, or engage with communities on certain topics, check out these resources:

Conclusion

Now that you have the tools to find and secure public speaking opportunities, go out there and make the most of them!

Whether it’s at conferences, universities, or corporate events, there are plenty of opportunities across the United States for you to showcase your speaking skills.

Remember to prepare, practice, and deliver your message with confidence to make a lasting impact on your audience.

Good luck on your speaking gig journey!

Author

Angelica
Angelica is a multi-passionate creative who loves dabbling in a little bit of this and that. She's always chasing her curiosities, whether that means jetting off to explore somewhere new or diving into a new technology she's eager to learn.

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