How to get bookings via Speakerbook!

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How do you increase your chances of being booked via Speakerbook?

Firstly, if you are currently signed up with Speakerbook, congrats! That is Awesome! If you aren’t and you’d like to be, then this short blog will help you understand how we work.

Speakerbook is an online speakers bureau and quite different to the traditional speaking bureau business model. Speakerbook is the ONLY speaking bureau website where Speakers have FULL control of how their unique profile page looks, and are able to edit their details at ANY time. So that means, Speakers can upload testimonials, change photos, add video, edit their key achievements as many times as they like, whenever they like. It’s a FREE marketing platform, we do not charge speakers to be on our website. How great is that?

So with that in mind, think of your Speakerbook profile page as a MARKETING tool, you are effectively marketing yourself to Event Planners and to anyone who is looking to book speakers for an event. Help us to “sell” you by making your profile page shine and stand out and don’t waste another minute having an uninspiring or incomplete profile page.

Here are some Speaker profile Do’s and Don’ts:

  1. Do write a short Bio to feature with your profile photo so Event Planners can quickly see what you speak about. (Sell yourself!) Make sure it fits within the available space.
  2. Do use a clear professional headshot. First impressions count.
  3. Do state your title or specialty. For example, “Leadership and Human Performance Expert”.
  4. Use Talkscore! Get a bright orange star rating for your profile page and stand out!

If you have these few things in place then you have just made it easier for someone to FIND you on Speakerbook, this is the first step! Now for your profile page.

  1. Do upload a clear, eye catching banner photo. This is another opportunity to impress and show yourself in action as a Speaker.
  2. Do include client testimonials and state the business or group you spoke for.
  3. Do make sure your video actually plays! It MUST be uploaded via YouTube or Vimeo, always check!
  4. Do give some detail about your keynote content. What is it about? What should the audience expect to get out of it? Has it got a great title? Make sure there is at least a full paragraph of information otherwise how can you expect someone to BUY what you are selling?

If you already have a profile page on Speakerbook and haven’t had any interest from Event Planners, please log in and see if you can make some simple changes.  Contact us for advice, we really are friendly!

And the Do not’s:

  1. Don’t set your profile page and then completely forget about it. Some Speakers joined us a year ago or more and have never visited their page OR have left it unfinished. In fact some even forgot they were with us!  Yes, seriously, it has happened.
  2. Don’t forget to update your profile page with any amazing achievements, awards, nominations, or mention any books you have written. Yes you are fabulous and interesting so make sure you tell us!
  3. Do not make it impossible to get in touch with you. Even if you are super busy please reply to any event brief emails within the specific time frame mentioned and remember it is polite to reply and decline the invite if you are not interested rather then just ignore.
  4. Don’t forget to tell everyone that you are NOW available to book through Speakerbook. Share the link for your amazing profile page with your networks and via social media.

Some other ways to increase your opportunities are:

  1. Stay in touch with us! Please call or email us for a chat any time and tell us about the exciting things you have been doing or what you are working on. Often it can be a case of “right place, right time”.
  2. Read our quarterly newsletter and be up to date with any changes to our Speakerbook website.
  3. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Linkedin. We often post about urgent speaking opportunities that suddenly come up, events in the pipeline where speakers can join us and networking opportunities. Don’t be a stranger and don’t miss out!
  4. Remember that good things take time to grow. Speakerbook is still relatively new in the industry and many people still haven’t heard of us so please jump on social media and spread the word! Help us to help you.:)

Let’s celebrate! Join us at our Speaker Showcase.


Next month is our birthday! Yay! And we couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate.  The team at Speakerbook is thrilled to announce that our first ever Speaker showcase event is to be held at the stunning Crown Towers in Melbourne on August the 27th. This entertaining breakfast event will be an opportunity to thank our Event Planner friends and clients and introduce 5 of our top Melbourne Speakers.

We absolutely love Melbourne for it’s diversity, creativity, innovation and for the vast amount of talented individuals who make up this city. So, without further ado, here is the Speaker line up for our showcase.

Our fabulous event MC will be Candy Hertz.  Candy is a TV and radio presenter, MC, producer, writer and marketer. Phew! She is a very busy and dedicated lady. Her MC work sees her presenting at diverse events such as Wedding Expo’s,  The Amazing Race, Melbourne Spring Fashion week, The Aria’s red carpet and on Cricket Australia video’s. Candy is currently the on-ground game day MC for the Essendon Football Club. And, if that isn’t enough, Candy also founded “On the list Melbourne,” a website featuring all the best events and activity happening in Melbourne each weekend.  Candy brings her infectious energy to every event, you are going to love her!

Richard Bowles is a sustained commitment expert, he knows that determination and dedication towards objectives are vital to reach long term milestones. He is referred to by the media as being a combination of Forrest Gump and Bear Gyrlls, for his ability to persevere and tackle any extreme situation. Richard’s claim to fame is running 13,000 kms across the world’s longest mountain trails, crossing raging rivers infested with crocodiles, through avalanche and war zones and running up to 95km a day! He has been a high performer in both corporate and retail sales and is known for his energetic, entertaining, but practical style. Prepare to be inspired and motivated!

Paul Higgins is a Futurist and Strategy Advisor with over 10 years experience as a keynote speaker. He holds a first class Honours degree in veterinary science, a Bachelor of animal science and a Masters degree in strategic foresight. Yep, he is smart! Paul has been involved in agri-polictics and politics, he was President of Country Labour in Victoria for 5 years and has recently retired from the board of Auspork after 16 years. Paul is now a partner at Social Ventures Partners International and a guest lecturer at Victoria University on the disruptive effects of web technologies. Over 250,000 people follow him on social media as he shares insights on future disruptions to business models.

Troy and Zara Swindells-Grose are a husband and wife dynamic duo! They are two of the most  experienced MC’s and gala awards hosts in the country and let me tell you, they are funny!!!! This husband and wife team have interviewed thousands of amazing people, including super celebs like Sir Richard Branson, Heath Ledger and Destiny’s Child. They are also members of the International Positive Psychology Association and have created a children’s animation series that was shown in 90 countries and in 16 languages! WOW!  They believe good humour is good business and their unique approach guarantees to engage, educate and uplift every audience, every time!

We hope you will leave this event feeling inspired and ready to tackle your day with a spring in your step! If you haven’t received your invite yet, please email

We look forward to meeting you! Ant and Merryn Williams, Co Founders of Speakerbook

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So, you want to be a keynote speaker. What now?


It seems becoming a keynote speaker is the career du jour right now. We are seeing more and more website menu bars adding speaking in to the list of services on offer. We are also receiving weekly emails from aspiring speakers of all ages and all walks of life, wondering how they too, can break in to the speaking industry. It certainly is a very  competitive industry, with literally thousands of speakers across Australia looking for work. And who can blame them, it’s a fantastic career if you are good at it, with the average keynote fee around $4,000 and travel to luxury destinations a common occurrence. It does sound appealing.

So, what is it that makes a keynote memorable and likely to mean you will get booked as a Speaker? We decided to ask Jon Yeo, Speaker trainer and the curator of TEDx Melbourne. Jon says it is important to keep the right balance of relevance and engagement. It’s not all about you and your expertise, it’s about how the audience relates to you and whether they form a personal connection with your message. Jon Yeo works closely with all his speakers to create an outstanding experience for the TEDx Melbourne audience and says a potential TEDx speaker needs to be coachable, work hard, and really understand the event. One of his favourite TED talks ever is by Simon Sinek: Start with Why. Jon explains that his talk is simple, engaging, and powerfully gets the message across without overstating the content.

Jon’s advice for emerging speakers is to make sure you learn from the best (speakers). Study them like a scientist and be methodical with your development, preparation and delivery. Since launching Speakerbook we have met many talented speakers with memorable keynotes, these speakers get repeat bookings from happy clients. The reason they get repeat bookings is because their keynotes contain these important elements:

  1. A strong story
  2. The delivery is entertaining and engaging
  3. A key theme with relatable take away messages
  4. They are unique or introduce us to a new way of thinking

Many Speakers use a repetitive phrase throughout their keynote to leave a lasting impression that stays with the audience long after they leave the room. An example of this technique being used is from Speaker Cam Calkoen with his catch phrase “Gooder than good, greater than great” and Ant Williams with his phrase ‘Bravery begins with belief’. You are almost guaranteed to see that catch phrase pop up on twitter with a hash tag in front of it.

So, for emerging speakers just dipping their toes in the industry, once you have perfected your 45min keynote, get out there and present to whoever will listen. Contact local high schools, Universities, Gyms, and small not for profit groups. Speak for FREE and ask for audience feedback, collect client testimonials and invest in a good quality video of yourself presenting. Once you have all your ‘ducks in a row’ that’s the time to take the next step and think about contacting a Speakers Bureau to market you. Good Luck!

Written by Merryn Williams, Co Founder of Speakerbook.
*Cam Calkoen TEDx Queenstown 2015
*Ant Williams TEDx Melbourne 2014

*Photo courtesy of Jon Yeo, TEDxMelbourne.

Is that your headshot? Seriously?

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To succeed in the highly competitive speaking industry you not only need a great story and excellent presentation skills, you really need to look the part too.

Whether you like the term or not you are actually a “product,” a product that needs to stand out and shine above other similar “products.” When scrolling through the many speakers’ headshots and bio’s on Speakerbook, or any other speakers bureau, which ones stand out? Which ones do you pass over?

Speakers with top notch, professional looking photos really do demand attention and a client is more likely to view their bio. The opposite type of headshot will have the opposite desired result. Your best mate snapped a photo of you in the lounge…..pass. The photo is dark and grainy….pass. There is another random person in the photo with you…..pass. You look like you haven’t slept in a week….pass.

Do yourself a huge favour and invest in professional studio headshots by a reputable photographer with a long list of happy clients. After the shoot make sure you select enough photos to cover, not only your Speaker profile photo and your one sheet, but also ANY time your face is shown in digital media: Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Update your headshots every year or two as very dated photos are not a true reflection of the “current” you.

So, you’ve made the decision to invest in professional headshots. Now the tricky bit is deciding what to wear. How do you style yourself? What colour outfit should you choose? Hair up or down? Suit and tie? Or not.

Actually how you are styled is pretty important for Women and Men! Your style needs to reflect your “brand,” your personality and your “story.” This is all well and good but you can make some exceptions. For example, just because you are a business or finance speaker it doesn’t mean you need to go for the grey suit, white shirt, grey tie scenario. Add some colour, add a smile, no need to be so serious. Your future potential clients want to see that you also have a bit of personality to compliment your successful business acumen.

What if you are an athlete? An Olympic sports star? Or an ex-AFL football player? Unless you are sponsored by a big name sports clothing company and your wardrobe is full of quality sporty fashion please don’t rock up to a photo shoot in a t- shirt, shorts and trainers. “Sporty” speakers, you need to look well presented and professional. Especially if you aim to present at top tier business conferences to a room full of senior managers and CEO’s.

Other headshot no no’s that we have encountered in the past year include, Speakers eating food, tiara’s on heads, the Speaker’s significant other also featured in the photo! Unless you are a double act, don’t do it!

Don’t worry though, help is out there. We would recommend a consultation with a personal branding expert, someone with a proven track record who can help you to create your very best personal and professional image. Don’t allow bad headshots to make potential clients pass you by. Invest in your personal brand now!

Lee Bird photography. Melbourne.

Zahrina photography and personal branding. Melbourne and Sydney.

Sue Curry. Professional image and personal branding. Queensland.

Written by Merryn Williams the co-founder of Speakerbook. 

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Social media savvy for Speakers

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If you’re a speaker who only dabbles with social media, then you’re probably missing out on valuable work. Social media is one of the most powerful ways to create a lasting connection with each audience you meet. We recently asked the Head of Innovation for a large Telco how keynote speakers could boost their sales. He shared several ideas that can drive audience engagement for repeat speaking business:

#1 Begin building connections before the event
Start talking about the upcoming event on social media the day before. Use the event #hashtag and start connecting with audience members who are talking about the event. You might even receive some great questions that you can answer or incorporate in to your talk. Some apps, such as, will allow you to share your slides over social media.

#2 Use social media onstage
When you open, share the event #hashtag and encourage people to tweet their questions during your talk. People who use social media love immediacy. They want their friends to know they are right in the middle of a cool experience – so give them the opportunity! Make it easy for them by including your Twitter handle on every slide. Later in your talk, bring up a Twitter-wall to see what questions are trending in the audience. It will give you a new level of connection with the audience, for any size room.

#3 Continue the conversation 
Your keynote presentation might be awesome, but it should be just one of several connection points you establish with your audience. When you WOW a crowd, that audience wants to connect with you beyond the brief moment they see you on stage. During the break, get some photos taken with audience members that you can share in “thank-you” tweets or Instagram posts after the event. Invite your audience to continue the conversation afterwards by posting their questions, photos and comments to the event #hashtag. By reading through their comments you can discover what they enjoyed the most about your presentation, reply to them, and use their feedback to perfect your message for future talks.

Want to drive more bookings?
Then share your Talkscore link on each slide and invite your audience to leave you some feedback after the event. Each STAR score you generate, and every testimonial you receive on Talkscore, will make your profile on Speakerbook stand out from the rest. And when you post about an event, add @Speakerbook to your posts. This way followers know how to book you for your next engagement.


My job advice to my nephews and nieces for 2025

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Paul Higgins is a highly sought after futurist speaker with over 250,000 followers on social media. Paul has been speaking professionally for over 10 years and is a guest lecturer at Victoria University on the disruptive effects of web technologies. We are thrilled that Paul has now joined us at Speakerbook as a leading futurist speaker. To view Paul’s profile and book him for your next event visit


I spent a few days over the Christmas break down at my parents house near the beach on the Mornington Peninsula and hung out with my brothers, sisters in law, and my nephews and nieces.

During one of our later night discussions which are always willing but friendly one of my sisters in law posed the question of what my view was on what they should be advising their children on their future work prospects and directions. We had a bit of a discussion on that but then I sat down and collated a few thoughts for them and some things I think they should read. This is the gist of that advice:

Bottom line is that I believe that we are at the edge of a technological revolution in robotics and artificial intelligence.

Advances in robotics that include cheaper and better sensors and intelligence capacity will move them beyond…

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Tell your story, save a life


Last year we attended TEDx Melbourne and Sandy Mc Donald was in the line up of inspirational speakers. We had never heard of Sandy and didn’t know what to expect from her TEDx talk, boy were we in for a treat.

Sandy’s talk told the story about her journey to purposeful blogging and how she created her charity ‘Kas Care” to comfort orphaned children in Southern Africa. It all started with a heart warming idea, she called for anyone who could knit to create a single square of coloured wool,  to send them to her aunt Ronda Lowrie in South Africa. These squares would then be sewn together to make much needed cosy blankets, bringing a little love and hope to the children of Southern Africa.

As word spread, this seemingly small and sweet idea touched the hearts of thousands of people world wide. Sandy’s aunt’s home was soon inundated with boxes and boxes of lovingly handmade wool squares arriving every week. The wool squares were pieced together by many helping hands and then delivered into tiny day care centres.  On a visit, Sandy said it was deeply touching to witness the blankets being wrapped around the children and see the delight on their faces.

This is a story about the power of community and the spirit of humanity. And let me tell you, the tears were flowing at TEDx Melbourne. To watch Sandy’s full 12 min TEDx talk click here: 


Last week I caught up with Sandy for a coffee and a chat about how this inspirational story came about.

After spending 22 years running your marketing company what inspired you to suddenly start blogging?

Looking back I realise I’d been drawn to blogging from very early on. The notion of spreading good ideas and thoughts, valuable information and helpful tips was greatly appealing, even though at the time my ideas were a little random.

Then a series of events and childhood memories collided and an idea was born to go online to help the orphaned children of southern Africa by providing them hand made blankets. Once I had a clear intention it fanned a passion for writing stories that would win over the good people who found the blogs to helping the children.

Later on, I came to understand that blogging was a powerful business tool to deliver a message coherently and that by succeeding in that, it would build profile and influence. I started my blog, Why You Must Blog to disseminate my ideas on the power of blogging and to persuade people of its efficacy. I also came to understand that blogging to tell stories could help people, change behaviours, even save lives.

Why the children of Africa? Why were you drawn to them?

I was born in Zimbabwe and have childhood memories of the small children of Africa. When my South African aunt visited and told us something of the issue of orphaned children I started to do some research.

The number of children orphaned, abandoned and abused is simply staggering. It is such an unheralded human tragedy that I felt compelled to act on their behalf.

Why should business owners blog?

Business owners are a repository of extraordinary knowledge, value and expertise. They are also often creative and full of ideas and possibilities. I call this Multiple Possibility Disorder. When they take this online, the result is frequently a jumble of ideas, offers, benefits and features. Blogging resolves this, because to blog well, you have to be super clear about your intention for being online. Having this clarity identifies the key messages that inform the intention. So if your website is set up correctly to support these key messages, then the knowledge and expertise that sits behind them can be coherently communicated block by block.

This simple process does a number of things beyond communicating to the people who most want and need to hear the message. It builds trust, because it speaks of competency, inclusivity and authenticity. It keeps business owners on track so they maintain clarity of intention and that builds brand awareness and personal profile. It also creates meaningful connections which handled correctly can create community. Beyond being loyal advocates, it is with community that businesses can leave the world a better place.

You talk about the digital revolution, What are the main changes you are seeing in how we do business today?

Our customers are our marketers today. The Internet means that the speed with which your stories spread, and their stories about your business reach others, has changed how we must market our business. If your business solution scores well on a matrix of promise versus expectation, then you may have a return customer. If it scores highly and you go beyond the call of duty to enrich, even change their lives, you may have a customer who refers. If you make a difference in the world and that aligns to their beliefs, then you will have a loyal advocate.