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How to Secure a Speaking Engagement: The all Important "One Sheet"

When you know your stuff- speak about it in public

If you are great at what you do and knowledgeable about your craft, chances are you may have been invited to speak about your insights and successes. If that sounds familiar, chances are you may not be prepared with anything other than a Power Point presentation and even a short speech written on a specific topic.

Do you have a keynote sheet or at least a “one sheet” ready to send to the event organizer or main contact person? Organizations that are looking for speakers and rely on topics that will connect with their audience. If you wish to be considered as a speaker, there are a few tools you need to have at your ready and available to send immediately to the organizer.

Developing Your Keynote Topics

In the speaking industry, the term “Keynote” is summarized as the main idea or underlying theme to the event. Typically, the main speaker is called the “keynote speaker” and the main draw for the event. But let’s complicate this a little further. Why not? The term “keynote one sheet” is another term that an event coordinator may ask a potential speaker for. A one sheet is a great marketing tool for the novice speaker or a professional speaker and a prerequisite in most cases to be considered as a speaker. Just having a power point presentation ready to go, may not cut the mustard. If it is your intention to secure speaking gigs, I recommend the following steps to increase your chances of getting booked:


1.      Make a list of all the topics you know so well, that you would teach the topic.

2.      From that list, whittle it down to the top 3 topics. This will be known as your 3 keynote topics

Now, take those 3 key topics and develop a short description for each of the topics. The description should incorporate pain points you know the audience can relate to and are of interest to them.

After the description, you want to define 3 key “learnings” that you will be sharing. These are small nuggets of wisdom or insights. Don’t get too detailed as your role when you show up is to further explain the points you stated on your keynote topic.

"People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care."

In addition to the 3 keynote topics, be sure to have your contact information on the collateral piece as well as a testimonial if you have one, and a professional picture of yourself. Here’s a basic layout you can use to create your own keynote one sheet:

One Topic Speeches

If you have the opportunity to speak at a local event, the theme may have already been set and they could be looking for a speaker that can bring a little added value to the venue. Are you ready to deliver a custom crafted speech? Do you have a speech that runs between 20-30 minutes in length? I always have a simple “one sheet” with just one topic ready to go. I like using this one topic one sheet because it has a little more detail on the subject matter and I can customize the information based on the target audience. I just save it as a .pdf and sent it to the contact I have and ask for a time to discuss the content. There is a talk I give on a regular basis about the Power of LinkedIn in which I’ve designed a simple one sheet with a little more detail for the organizer’s use. What I’ve experienced is that organizers will take this topic, cut and paste some of the information and design their own event flyer to promote to their attendees. Nothing complicated needed, just the topic and some “key points” of discussion. And always have a high-resolution headshot and SHORT introduction ready to attach to the email along with something like this piece:

If it is your intention to deliver a speech in your local area, look the part and come prepared. Take the time to organize your topic of conversation and design a professional one sheet. I guarantee you will significantly increase the chances of getting booked for an upcoming event when you have a one sheet at the ready.

Need help or feedback on a keynote topic? I am happy to review your content and share any ideas that may help you get booked as a speaker. Schedule a time to talk and get on my calendar this week. It’s my treat!


I’m Kimball Stadler and founder of Top Dog Performance. Pulling together all your social media and online marketing efforts, takes a detailed plan and sometimes a little extra help. I’m here to help you.

Check out my website: or call me and let’s talk about your marketing needs | 954.328.4927

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