What's Happening In The Speaking Industry Amid COVID-19 Uncertainties?

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Mar 16, 2020
Bryan Caplovitz agent wrote

What's Happening In The Speaking Industry Amid COVID-19 Uncertainties?

Like you probably are right now, I'm practicing social distancing and hunkering down as the planet fends itself off from the Covid-19 pandemic. My oldest son is on the way home from college for the rest of the school year. My middle son and daughter are home from school and I'm expecting them to be going stir crazy soon. As a small business owner like many of you, I understand how this time can be especially stressful. I'm trying to do what I can to feel like I'm doing something productive.

By the way, having an online business and coming from the speaking world, I really don't like the term social distancing. I think the world — more than ever right now — needs social connections. We want, and need, to be connected. Perhaps the term physical distancing would be more appropriate.



Over the past week as I've watched the situation unfold, I realize that the world needs some leadership now more than ever. People need some guidance and hope. Inspiration. Motivation. Advice. More than ever, the world needs what speakers have to offer.

So what happens next?

The speaker networks and communities I'm plugged into are all reporting significant event cancellations. Speakers are sharing news of cancelled engagements in large scale. Soon, everyone is going to want to know how to cope with what's next. In the immediate future, organizations will have questions about issues like how to deal with logistics of a remote workforce. How do you keep employees focused and on task? How do you deal with workers at home without a designated workspace? What tools do you use?

The speaking industry may look a little different for a while. Meetings may be will be online. I'm putting together some tools and resources for both speakers and meeting organizers to learn to work with each other during this trying time. I can use any help you can provide.

Join the Conversation

I've put up this forum for speakers and meeting planners to connect. Please join the discussion so we can help each other figure out how we're going to work best together. Ask questions, give advice, and share ideas.

I understand these times can be challenging, and I am here to help — whether it's providing advice, helping to plan, or just as someone to connect with. If you have been negatively impacted by illness due to coronavirus, and need additional assistance related to your account, please reach out to me via this Support Center.

What matters most to me is making sure I’m here for my family, friends, neighbors, and of course, the speaker community. I believe we all have to work together in every way possible; now more than ever, to make this world a better place. We'll get through this together.


Bryan Caplovitz



Edited by Support on Mar 16, 2020, 06:39 PM
3 Answers
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Mar 19, 2020
Leisa Reid wrote
Hi Bryan,

I agree that it is a time for innovation and collaboration. Thank you for creating this forum for your community. I appreciate you! Here are some of my main value adds for this conversation:

1) In terms of how I'm currently adjusting - I'm pivoting my talk to make it "Zoom" friendly. The talk I give fairly regularly requires audience engagement, so I was scratching my head as to how that would translate to a virtual model. One conversation with a fellow colleague solved that challenge! Now I am ready to rock! I have a way of doing it that still will bring engagement AND works with the virtual model. And I'm LOVING my green screen virtual backgrounds on zoom - super fun!

2) Now more than ever it's a time to get yourself set up to provide your services in a virtual / digital way. Get the high quality web cam, tripod, lighting, mic (if needed - my headset works better than my expensive mic), green screen and you're good to go!

3) GOLD MINE opportunity for keynote speakers .... If you are only making $ from keynote (speaker fees), NOW is the time to diversify your speaking income! Time to create some services (virtual workshop, consulting, coaching, digital product, etc.) to offer your community. And use the time that you would have been traveling right now to get it done. It's AMAZING what can be created when you have focused time.

I'd love to hear from others out there - I know this is a big "who moved my cheese" moment for all of us, but I truly think we create amazing things with support and collaboration.

Leisa Reid
You are welcome to reach me at www.GetSpeakingGigsNow.com

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Mar 19, 2020
Linda Patten wrote
I agree with both of you. This is a time for innovation and creativity. It is a time to look at how we do our presentations, workshops, and breakouts. How can we make them more digital friendly. Personally, I have been on more Zoom calls and trainings in the last week than probably in the last year. Even Toastmasters is doing their International Speech Contests that are scheduled in March and April via Zoom. Trying to show eye contact, gestures, and use of the stage with body language caused me to have to rethink my speech. In some ways it means having a smaller stage upon which to work -- and it can be done. I am also working with a team to create a virtual Speechcraft and learning all about Zoom breakout rooms which are very helpful if you have the audience working in groups. it is a challenge for the new speakers and what a great time to have a mentor who can help you through this stage.

Like you Leisa, I am seeing a plethora of virtual workshops. It appears some of us are dusting off offerings we may not have been using in a while. A great time to update your material perhaps from the book you just published, and present it to new audiences. I know my digital mentoring work has increased by 200%.

Linda Patten
Please connect with me at www.dare2leadwithlinda.com
Jul 05, 2020
Karriem Kanston wrote
Yes, looking at online delivery is the wave of the future.

All of my training and coaching is online with different platforms.

The things that we don't know is how are organizations going to develop remote opportunities for speakers in the future.

Karriem Kanston
The Encourager