Student Success Story: Dominique Luster

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.

Why TSL?

I am a professional archivist, and I speak in the diversity, equity, and inclusion space by teaching how history is made so that we can find a better future.

I came to The Speaker Lab to incorporate speaking into my larger platform. I was already consulting and believed speaking was the next step. Classes and being coached by someone who had already accomplished this was the best way. The Speaker Lab was that for me.

How did the SPEAK Framework and the VIP Cohort impact your speaking business?

First, it taught me how the business side of speaking worked. Coming from the history and cultural heritage space, we would have speakers come into museums and talk, but I needed to find out how they booked them. Learning how to find paid speaking gigs helped me to actually build a business.

Second -and I have to give Erick Rheam a big shout-out for this- learning the marketing assets that need to go out to the event planners to promote your speaking expertise was a game-changer. This is the abstract, the demo reel, the website, and all the critical components that need to be part of these assets; this was key.

Finally, having Erick and the other coaches critique my abstract, or give guidance on my talk or website, was a confidence builder and a huge time saver. When left to our own devices, we humans can often be overly critical, leading to inaction. Or be overly confident, which misses opportunities for improvement. Having someone who knows what needs to be done and how to do it, simply saves you a ton of time.

What Results Are You Experiencing?

I think we’re still in the building phase, but I’m encouraged. You can easily fall into that trap of feeling like it’s something you’re not doing or you’re not good enough. I don’t allow myself to go there. I know this is a long game – a relationship-building business, so I don’t take no replies personally. This is where working with The Speaker Lab and their coaches has been so valuable. I know I have great assets in my abstracts, website, demo, and even my emails – it is simply the nature of the business.

Patience and trust! This is something you have to develop to build this business. If you’re sending out hundreds of cold and desperately trying to book gigs, it simply won’t work. You need to trust you have done the work, focus on giving a great keynote, and believe that you are worthy.

I submitted a call for speakers for a free speaking event a few months ago. And in my opinion, free events do have some value to speakers, and I encourage those reading to weigh those wisely. I had done the research and knew this event was a great fit. I didn’t hear anything back and moved on with my life.

About six to eight weeks later, I got an email from the event coordinator saying they loved my stuff and wanted me to consider being the keynote. I was thrilled! You simply never know. This went from a free event to a paid one. It all works out when it is the perfect fit.

Who Would You Recommend to The Speaker Lab?

I recommend it to women of color who think that they can’t. Mamas of color who feel that they can’t, or believe that no one wants to hear what they have to say. Women of color who know they have something they want to share with the world, but limiting beliefs are holding them back.

I recommend The Speaker Lab to women who look like me and aren’t sure about their own voice. Because a woman who’s confident in her story can change everything.


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