Sound Bites

Learn public speaking tips and how to be a better presenter to maximize your public speaking experience. Sound Bites is written by staff, experts in public speaking, professional speakers, and speakers.

  • How to Turn Speaking Opportunities into Massive Amounts of New Business

    May 23, 2017

    Tom KellyI’ve been offering my talents as a pro bono speaker for groups in the Chicago area that are looking for a great speaker, but may not have the financial resources to pay my regular speaking fee.

    I often get asked the obvious question, “Why would you want to speak for free?” I think it’s a great question, especially because, as a business coach, I always teach my clients never to undervalue their talents and services that they provide to their clients. My answer to that question may surprise you, as even though I’m not getting paid directly by the groups to whom I speak, I get paid in many other ways that far exceed my normal speaking fees.

    Here are just a couple of reasons that you should really consider waiving your normal speaking fee and becoming a “free speaker”:


  • Free to Fee: How launched my professional speaking career

    March 1, 2017

    Doug DvorakI knew I wanted to quit my day job eventually and become a paid speaker, but I didn’t know where to start. I joined the local Toastmasters Club to help me develop and polish my speaking skills, but I wanted to speak to other groups and organizations around the Chicagoland area. I Googled “Free Speakers” and was directed to Andy Richardson at (The bureau was called Free Speech at the time.)

    I decided to call Andy, and that call changed my life and launched my professional speaking career. I have never looked back.

    Andy explained what is. Essentially, it is a pro bono speaker’s bureau for the Greater Chicago Metropolitan Area. It has sister bureaus in Milwaukee and Indianapolis. All three bureaus connect entertaining, competent, topical speakers with local organizations, associations and corporations that are in need of a speaker but have limited or no budgets. (more…)

  • Speak More and Sell More with Confidence

    November 14, 2016

    Nadine HauptAfter more than twenty years in Corporate America, I decided to strike out on my own and launch my business coaching and consulting business in 2014.  Throughout my career, speaking has always played an important role in my success.

    As the first female trackside engineer in IndyCar racing, there were plenty of opportunities to speak both on and off camera.  My ability to explain complex technical issues in a way fans could understand thrilled the media – so much that I was regularly interviewed on ESPN, local news stations, and other media outlets.

    After racing, I became an expert on alternative fuels in the commercial trucking industry.  I was consistently invited to speak at international conferences, trade associations, and Wall Street analyst meetings.  It was my talent to speak with the right strategy, presentation structure, and delivery method to deliver high value and get real results that opened up so many opportunities. (more…)

  • No-Fee Public Speaking Yields Wonderful Advantages

    June 5, 2015

    Ginny Richardson

    Public speaking. One end of the spectrum is you’d rather be tortured for eternity. The other end is having a professional speaker’s bureau represent you charging thousands of dollars per speech. There is life in the middle, however, and that’s the subject of this column.

    Many people find that no-fee public speaking yields wonderful advantages both personally and professionally. First of all, it’s terrific public relations. Second, it’s networking at its finest, and third, it’s goodwill and community service.

    If you have tinkered with the idea, consider researching a topic, outlining, rehearsing and giving it a whirl!

    Let me relate a story. For almost seven years, I’ve been presenting my crash course in how to get free publicity from newspapers, radio and television. Each time I agree to speak, I drive off to the engagement mumbling and grumbling. After all, I’ve had to a.) get up at an ungodly hour of the morning, or b.) leave my office and the many projects on the desk, and c.) take time to brush up and rehearse. (more…)