HMBT #283: All The Things

In this episode, I am joined by Jennifer Best, Vice President of Marketing at AAE Speakers Bureau. Under her leadership in 2022, AAE launched the inaugural Speaking Industry Benchmark Report, bringing transparency to the speaker booking process between both the meeting organizers who book them and the speakers who delight audiences.

Top Takeaways:

  1. Public Speaking Benefits:
    • Public speaking is a valuable skill for personal and professional development.
    • It provides a platform to share expertise, educate, and inspire audiences.
  2. Starting Small:
    • Begin with local opportunities like community events, schools, or Chamber of Commerce gatherings.
    • Practice and build confidence gradually before aiming for larger conferences.
  3. Removing Filler Words, Use Pauses and Gestures:
    • Focus on eliminating filler words like “um” and “so” to enhance the professionalism of your speech.
    • Consider attending workshops or hiring a coach to refine your speaking skills.
    • Integrate pauses strategically, allowing the audience to absorb information and enhancing overall communication.
    • Think of pauses as logical breaks, creating a rhythm in your speech.
    • Utilize gestures authentically to enhance your message.
    • Pay attention to audience cues; adjust your approach based on their reactions.
  4. Finding Speaking Opportunities:
    • Explore opportunities with local organizations, non-profits, or industry associations.
    • Utilize a CRM to track and submit proposals for speaking engagements.
  5. Niche Topics and Speaker Coaches:
    • Identify a niche topic to stand out in the speaking industry.
    • Consider working with speaker coaches or organizations like the National Speakers Association (NSA).
  6. Working with a Speakers Bureau:
    • Understand the role of a Speakers Bureau, which connects speakers with event organizers.
    • Different Bureaus have varying business models, including exclusive representation.

Remember, public speaking is a continuous learning journey, and each opportunity contributes to your growth. Whether you’re just starting or aiming for larger stages, the key is to be authentic, practice consistently, and embrace the journey of becoming a confident and impactful speaker.

Download the latest Speaking Industry Benchmark Report and to be notified in January when the next survey launches, vist

To learn more about AAE Speakers, visit

To submit a speaking profile for consideration on AAE’s website, go to


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  • Hank Hoffmeier

    Hank is an author, speaker, podcast host and Sr. Manager of Marketing Operations at Kickbox, a Ziff Davis company. With a passion for all things digital and social, combined with more than 25 years of experience in sales and marketing, he has been dubbed the Digital Marketing Infotainer because he makes marketing fun and successful. Hoffmeier Hank