Ep 138 -- Build a Speaking Business with Grant Baldwin

2-Minute Tip: Tell Stories


Stories are how humans connect. They form the basis of our social relationships. They’re how we share history.


As a speaker, one of the best ways to make sure you connect with your audience is to tell stories — and not just one. Illustrate your talk with as many stories as possible. Generic ones are okay, but authentic, personal stories will bring you the most success.


Post Tip Discussion


Grant Baldwin has built a business speaking to speakers about the business of speaking. He hosts the Speaker Lab podcast, which is in my weekly must listen to list. His Speaker Lab company runs the popular Booked and Paid to Speak program. And now he has a new book coming out next week on February 18, 2020 called The Successful Speaker: Five Steps for Booking Gigs, Getting Paid, and Building Your Platform.


As a long-time fan, I was thrilled to talk with Grant for this episode. I think I’ve listened to every episode of his podcast. Now I just need to put it all into action.


If you’ve ever wondered how keynote and other professional speaker make their living and how you can too, Grant is the guy to listen to.




Grant Baldwin is against a slate background, looking straight at the camera.

Grant Baldwin is the founder of The Speaker Lab, a training company that helps public speakers learn how to find and book speaking gigs. Through his popular podcast The Speaker Lab and flagship coaching program Booked and Paid to Speak he has coached and worked with thousands of speakers. As a keynote speaker, Grant has delivered nearly one thousand presentations to over 500,000 people in 47 states and has keynoted events for audiences as large as 13,000. Grant has also been featured in national media including Forbes, Inc., Entrepreneur, and Huffington Post.


He now lives near Nashville, Tennessee, with his wife, Sheila, and their three daughters.


5 Basic things Effective Speakers Do


Grant shared this list of characteristics of effective speakers. The key thing here is that all the required skills are ones that anyone can develop.


  1. They are comfortable with their content.
  2. They are familiar with their content.
  3. They understand pacing and pausing.
  4. They tell a good story
  5. They keep an audience engaged


5 Steps to a Successful Speaking Career


S – Select a problem to solve.

P – Prepare and deliver your talk.

E – Establish your expertise.

A – Acquire paid speaking gigs.

K – Know when to scale


This is the framework Grant covers in The Successful Speaker: Five Steps for Booking Gigs, Getting Paid, and Building Your Platform.




The Speaker Lab


The Speaker Lab Podcast


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The Successful Speaker: Five Steps for Booking Gigs, Getting Paid, and Building Your Platform


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Ep 097 -- A Stroke in her 20s became a stroke of luck for Maddi Niebanck

I love the stroke survivor community on Instagram. So many survivors share their victories, their struggles, and their lives there, it really shows we are not alone.

It’s also where I met Maddi Niebanck (@MaddiStrokeOfLuck). She regularly does live broadcasts there and includes guests from time-to-time. After one of those broadcasts, I knew I wanted to talk with her on the show.

Maddi had her stroke a few days before I had mine. We were both going through rehab thousands of miles away from each other at the same time.

And now she has a new book coming out. We talk about that and more in this episode.


Madeline Niebanck stands by a window in a high-rise wearing a black jacket and big scarf

Madeline Niebanck graduated from Georgetown University in Washington, DC, in May of 2017. A few days later she went to the hospital for a planned surgery to treat an Arteriovenous Malformation (AVM). An untreated AVM can result in a serious stroke. During a pre-surgery procedure, though, that AVM gave way and Maddi suffered a stroke.

While going through recovery, Maddi wrote her first book, Fashion Fwd: How Today’s Culture Shapes Tomorrow’s Fashion. Readers loved the book, but especially connected with Maddi’s story of stroke recovery.

That response inspired her to write her second book, Fast Fwd: The Fully Recovered Mindset. It will be available in April, 2020.

Trailer for Fast Fwd

Hack of the Week

Try an ice bath to deal with tone and spasticity. Plunging your and or arm into a pitcher of ice water may relax the tone or spasticity you are experiencing and allow you to get more out of the exercises you do to recover function.

Of course, it’s always a good idea to check with your therapist or doctor before trying something like this, but it may be just the thing to open that hand.


Where do we go from here?

Strokecast is the stroke podcast where a Gen X stroke survivor explores rehab, recovery, the frontiers of neuroscience and one-handed banana peeling by helping stroke survivors, caregivers, medical providers and stroke industry affiliates connect and share their stories.

Here is the latest episode of The Strokecast