Student Success Stories: Amber Simonsen

Here at The Speaker Lab, our goal is to help you get Booked and Paid to Speak. Our Student Success Stories share first hand experiences from our students of how they’ve booked paid speaking gigs and grown their businesses by applying the concepts they learned in our courses.


I found the Speaker Lab podcast, which then lead to picking up the book. I read the book and I thought I was following it as laid out, but I kept getting stuck. I finally got so stuck that months had passed without much progress. I got to a point where I was sick of wasting time. I knew if I wanted to have a successful speaking business The Speaker Lab was the right next step for me. When I discovered TSL had a program I thought why wouldn’t I invest in myself?

I could tell from the first group coaching session that my experience with TSL was going to be good. This is exactly what I needed to hold me accountable. But also to have a community around me of professionals who are all going after the same goal. I knew I was in the right place with the right people.


When I first started out I was like, I can speak on anything; project management, work-life balance, time management. Then in the very first module of the SPEAK Framework – Solve A Problem – it helps you condense and forces you to clarify your message. Once my message was landed, I felt like it literally set the foundation that helped me build everything else.

Other things that were so helpful were things like how to rehearse, how to navigate the proposal stage, and how to build my pipeline. These were all things that I thought I knew but clearly not in the way I needed to in order to build my business.

But I think the the biggest impact the SPEAK Framework had on me and my speaking business was showing me the values of an unpaid gig. I had been saying no to unpaid gigs… which meant I wasn’t speaking a lot. When we got to the lesson for the demo reel, I remember thinking, I have to book something!

That’s when I learned about how to use an unpaid gig in order to get things like video footage, testimonials, photos, and I was like, yes, this is brilliant! So, it was that realization that all of a sudden propelled everything forward, and once people saw me speak and we made a connection at an event, they went right into my pipeline. So free gigs do have their role, and TSL teaches you how to use them wisely.


The Speaker Lab has really helped me navigate this multi-step process of doing the initial phone call, sending the abstract, putting together the proposal and honestly, the conversation about asking for money. TSL teaches you to say your number and say no more… thats’s so hard to do.

But that was huge for me because before I would’ve discounted for friends or start jumping in with all these solutions. But something interesting happened to me. I was on a prospecting call and I followed the TSL guidelines, I said my number and kept quiet. When he heard my number, he kind of nodded and said, let me give you a little bit of of advice – your number’s too low.

WOW, I thought! All of a sudden I had a validated baseline and that became my new number which is now the number I use whenever I start.

In addition, TSL has really opened my mind to this being a business and should be treated as such. I booked my first gig after adjusting this mindset which was very exciting. I feel the momentum building and I’m really excited about it all.


If you feel like you have a message to share, this is the place where you can come to learn how to build the business. That’s the piece that I feel so many people who read the book are missing. The accountability to implement the strategy. I know, because I was that person.I am really good at implementing strategy, but when you are implementing something that you have never done before you need the accountability piece. TSL provides that with their content, coaching, and community.

Think of it like this – so many speakers have paid thousands of dollars to go to college and didn’t really think twice about it. It was an investment in you and what doesn’t pay off better than an investment in yourself? Investing in The Speaker Lab to create a professional speaking business is what will take you to the next level.

Connect With Amber Simonsen

Want to know exactly what to say to finally land paid speaking gigs?

We’ll send you the exact three emails you can send to conference planners and event organizers that lead to Grant Baldwin (our founder) booking over $2M in speaking gigs. 

Practical Advice and Strategies for Building Your Speaking Business

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