LinkedIn just doesn’t get enough love. As a social media tool, it’s so different from the web’s prom queens, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest, that people tend to ignore it.

But that’s a mistake. Google your own name and see what shows up. I predict that your LinkedIn profile is one of the top five (usually top three) items on the search results page.

So let’s put that high-priced real estate to work for you and get more speaking opportunities flowing your way!

Famous in your field: 5 ways to get speaking opportunities with LinkedIn

(By the way, much of this advice that I’m about to share works for other expertise areas other than speaking, too. If you’re a trainer. A consultant. Coach. CPA. Photographer.)

1. Make sure your LinkedIn headline and profile show that you’re a speaker.

In LinkedIn, you have 120 characters to wow people with what you do. It’s like a virtual name badge, that travels with you throughout LinkedIn (and it’s the “preview” that appears in the results listing when someone Googles your name.)

Don’t get clever here! This is not the time to tout yourself as the “High Empress who Unlocks Your Inner Essence.”

You want a headline that:

A. Contains words and phrases that people are actually typing into Google or LinkedIn to find people like you.

Because I’m talking about getting speaking engagements using LinkedIn, your headlines would include words or phrases like:

Keynote speaker
Dynamic speaker

B. Lets people know what the heck you do. (Thanks, but I’ll keep my Inner Essence under wraps for now!)

You might include your speaking specialty, like Derek Mehraban or Christopher S. Penn:

LinkedIn headline for Derek Mehraban


2. Use a great header image (ahem, maybe of you speaking at an event?)

LinkedIn has been furiously adding features to make the site more visual, including a header image for your profile page, a la Facebook and Twitter. Recommended image dimensions are 1400 x 425.

Why not add an image that grabs attention *and* reminds visitors that you’re a stone cold speaker?

Marketing expert Christopher Penn gives loads of presentations about data and analytics. His LinkedIn background image backs up his data chops.


(Careful here…this really is a “background photo.” Elements of your profile will overlap the image. Pro tip:  fade it or have it designed to line up with your headshot, so that it doesn’t clash too much with your profile content.)

Check out how LinkedIn expert and professional speaker, William Arruda, uses several photos of him speaking. Even though the pictures are partially covered by his profile, his friendly face is front and center.


3. Add speaking or presentations to your profile.

You can upload presentations, PDF files, and video to your profile. Use them to prove that you rock rooms on the reg!

Share video clips, photos and content from your speaking gigs. LinkedIn has a feature called Professional Portfolio – use it to include video, presentation slides, photos and PDFs. These will appear in your Experience section.

I’ve also seen two creative variations on this idea:

  • List your previous talks or presentations in a special Publications section, like Hope Wilson, CPSM does.
  • Or add them to your main Experience section, like Christopher Penn. His approach is particularly effective, because he’s keynoted at prestigious industry conferences.

4. Get killer testimonials from meeting planners, event organizers and audience members.

The best proof that you can own the room and deliver the goods doesn’t come from you, but from someone who’s hired you, hosted you or seen you speak.

Once you’ve performed brilliantly, ask the organizers and attendees to recommend you on LinkedIn. It’s social proof and we all love that.

5. Wow people with your knowledge in LinkedIn groups.

LinkedIn has groups for errrrything. And while some of them – sorry, LinkedIn – just plain suck, there are plenty that are gold mines. The rules for making friends and influencing people in LinkedIn groups are exactly the same as real life networking:

Be cool and Be helpful.

The most valuable groups don’t allow any self-promotions in the discussion threads.

Don’t just participate in groups for speakers, though. Find groups that your target audience belongs to.

And don’t forget geography-based groups! Whether you live in Ann Arbor or Austin, meeting people in your own backyard can help you get even more speaking opportunities.

Your Fame Boosting Assignment

This week, wander over to your LinkedIn profile and pick two of these tips to put into action. (Remember, you can promote your speaking or any other area of expertise.)

Then you’ll have it – a LinkedIn profile that commands the spotlight!

How to get started as a speaker


  1. Dan Janal on March 6, 2015 at 10:37 am

    I love these tips! I revised my profile immediately! I overlooked some things that were so obvious I didn’t see them! THANK YOU so much!

    • Lori on March 9, 2015 at 9:30 am

      Dan! I appreciate you taking the time to comment and more than that: to take action. I love that you just jumped in there and made changes immediately. Here’s to a flood of speaking opportunities coming your way!

  2. Jery Stumpf on March 7, 2015 at 1:37 pm

    Excellent ideas. Thank you for the suggestions.

    I had not thought of looking for people in my local area?

    I am developing a series of “seminars” to target married couples whowant to know to have better date night conversations and other deeper discussions with each other.

    I am looking for some JV partners who nedd a bit more marketing exposure in and around Blair county, PA.

    All the ideas I can get will be appreciated.


    • Lori on March 9, 2015 at 9:28 am

      Hi Jerry,

      Congrats on developing your seminars! Speaking locally would be a great way to get more people interested in your seminars. As far as JV partners, consider partnering with organizations to host and/or sponsor your seminars. Places like churches, community education groups, yoga studios, chiropractic clinics and others might be willing to host you and help promote your seminars to their audiences, because they offer value to their members/clients.

      Good luck, Jerry!

      • Jerry Stumpf on March 9, 2015 at 3:51 pm

        Great suggestions – Thanks!

        • Lori on April 2, 2015 at 7:25 pm

          Thank you, Jerry. I appreciate your comments.

  3. Kelly on March 9, 2015 at 10:42 am

    Two words for you girl “mind blown”!

    • Lori on April 2, 2015 at 7:24 pm

      Ha ha, I love a two word phrase, Kelly!

  4. Diane on March 9, 2015 at 2:57 pm

    This is so helpful Lori and I am going to immediately post some previous presentation links and get a recommendation related to a recent speaking gig! Thank you for unlocking my thinking here – loved it!

    • Lori on April 2, 2015 at 7:24 pm

      Awesome, Diane! Put some sequins on that Linkedin profile.

  5. Lori Manns on March 10, 2015 at 12:14 pm

    Hi Lori,
    I love your suggestions. I didn’t think of adding a photo of myself actually speaking in the header section of my LinkedIn profile. But I can personally attest that having great testimonials do the trick. I just got a speaking engagement because of one of the testimonials on my website. Thanks for sharing.
    Lori Manns

    • Lori on April 2, 2015 at 7:28 pm

      Oh, that’s so good to hear! Keep spreading your message, Lori.

  6. Bonnie Copeland on March 10, 2015 at 2:45 pm

    I love when tips are actually doable and brilliant! Heading over to linkedin now!

  7. Lilia Lee on March 11, 2015 at 1:02 pm

    Lori, another powerful, actionable article. I am one of those people that doesn’t pay enough attention to LinkedIn and love everything you have to say about using it. I’d seen the new image availability but hadn’t done anything about it. Now I will using your suggestions. Thanks as ever.

  8. Kathleen Watson on March 12, 2015 at 11:22 am

    Lori, you’ve once again earned Hero Of The Day status for these great tips. I’m in the process of getting a copy of the presentation I did at an international conference this past January – I’m going to LOVE add that to my LI profile!

  9. Kathleen Watson on March 12, 2015 at 11:23 am

    Forgot to add BIG kudos for including specific examples and screen shots. Very helpful for those of us who are highly visual!

  10. Louise Behiel on March 12, 2015 at 9:10 pm

    thanks for the tips. LinkedIn is the social site I don’t use well or enough.

  11. Cindy on March 14, 2015 at 8:40 pm

    Lori, great action steps for speakers and all. You outlined 5 steps any professional should take to be found and leverage LinkedIn. Here’s to to your unique greatness.

  12. Dorothy Pang, Fertility Coach & Acupuncturist on March 16, 2015 at 8:29 pm

    Thanks for de-mystifiying LinkedIn for me! Like you said, LinkedIn is a bit of a mystery to me, and it’s my least used social media platform. Guilty as charged.

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