How to Get More Speaking, Workshop and Art Show Gigs

Lately I’ve been getting a lot of questions from many of you about how to get more workshop, seminar, one-man art show, or any other guest speaker related gigs.

Speaking engagements are a great way to raise awareness about you as an artist, writer, speaker or just an expert in your field. Whether you are the guest speaker or the host, a speaking event can be fun while also serving as a revenue resource.


There are many colleges, churches, businesses or other organizations that are used to bringing in guest speakers and paying them a speaker’s fee or honorarium. In today’s economy, those same organizations have severely limited budgets and most can not pay for you to come speak, teach, paint, etc. They would love to have you, but it’s just not in the budget.


Joint Ventures: Position yourself as a source of revenue rather than a revenue expense.

Instead of asking a host organization to pay a speaking fee or honorarium, why not be willing to do a “revenue share” instead?

This is where instead of charging the host organization a fee, you and the host agree that you get paid from sharing part of the money that the event brings in; giving them an opportunity to provide make money rather than pay money only…the cool thing is that you get paid as well.

You can both share revenue from some or even all of these resources per event:

  • Participant admissions (if they charge).
  • Event sponsorships (especially if they don’t charge participant admission)
  • Vendor participation (especially if they don’t charge participant admission)
  • …even Merchandising.

This allows many organizations that never would have been able to even consider inviting you to speak (due to budget cuts).

This also drives the organization to promote the event; which typically can gain more response for your event rather than what you could have ever done alone.

I will be conducting a workshop later this fall for an Arts organization in North Carolina. The organization is doing a HUGE promotional push to gain registrants. The organization gets a dollar amount for each person that attends. I get a share of that amount also for each person that attends.

It’s a true “WIN-WIN”!

This eliminates the upfront cost to the host, making them more able to book you in the first place. And with more bookings comes more opportunities to get…even MORE bookings!



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