Student Success Stories: Marcene Sonnek

Marcene Sonnek

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 speak about relationship management and learning to improve your communication style to make it more positive. Before joining the Booked and Paid To Speak Elite program with The Speaker Lab I was in the realm of having an idea that I felt would resonate with people but I was stuck trying to figure out how to get it out to the world.

I was in the camp of thinking about a book, blog, or something like that to share my message. I ended up seeing a Facebook ad about The Speaker Lab and decided to jump on one of the live events with Grant. From there I booked a call to find out more and the rest is history.

I will say, it was nerve-racking making the decision because it’s an investment. I worried that I would sign up and it would be a bunch of YouTube videos to watch. This is one of the reasons why I’m excited to talk about it because I can say 100%  that isn’t what it is. In fact, it is full of so much information that can help you become a professional speaker.

What were some of your a-ha’s and takeaways?

The biggest a-ha is that the course is so much more than videos, it really is modules that walk you through the SPEAK Framework.

A key takeaway is that I’m not only learning about public speaking, but I am learning how to build a business.  At the end of the day, speakers are also building a business and you don’t know what you don’t know. The Speaker Lab walks you through creating a vision for your business, helps define your message, and really hones in on your audience and the problem you solve as a professional speaker.

As I mentioned, I was thinking of starting with a book, and the course talks about the pros and cons of having a book, coaching, consulting, and a blog. It really goes into detail on all the aspects of a professional speaking business that you may not be aware of.

In fact, I was resistant to writing a book for so long due to the facts of what I didn’t know. How to write it? Who publishes it? What are all the steps? I had so many questions. One of the modules walks you through the steps and offers resources to help you write it. It’s amazing! Additionally, this training opened my eyes to self-publishing as an option and it helped change my thought of a book as being the way I get my message out into the world to being a credential for me in public speaking.

I am so excited to share that I started using that tool three months ago and I sent my book to the printer last week. So that was obviously a big aha!!

The one-on-one coaching was so valuable. Being able to have an open dialogue about my speaking business with someone who understands was priceless. The weekly group coaching calls were great. They are another great example of how I didn’t know what I didn’t know. As my peers in the group would share or ask questions I had these impactful a-ha moments of Oh yeah, that’s a good idea.

Between the SPEAK Framework modules, the one-to-one coaching with personal advice and information, and the group coaching I had plenty of a-ha moments. I would have to say, the most exciting is completing my book, that was a BIG one!

What is your new normal as a professional speaker?

Today, as I still have my full-time job I know the importance of carving out time every evening for my speaking business. Sometimes it’s an hour, sometimes it’s two hours, but my focus right now is filling my pipeline. So I have my leads list that I got through the program which I am using to reach out to prospects.

I am also finding my own leads and reaching out to my inner circle connections. As Grant always says, this is a relationship business. And so right now that’s what I’m really focused on, building relationships, reaching out to people, and making connections.

Today, my public speaking business is about putting the time in, because that’s the other thing too, right? The program makes it very easy from the perspective of following each step and what to do next. You don’t have to worry about that, but you still have to do the work. And so, that’s the part I’m in now, doing the work of building those connections and filling my pipeline.

I did get my first gig. It wasn’t a huge event of three thousand but it was a great experience and really helped me put my toe in the water.  I spoke at an appreciation dinner and I learned so much. It really opened my eyes to all the different forms of public speaking. I felt really confident about my speech and I loved all the feedback on how I made an impact. I may not have had that level of one-to-one interaction with my audience if it was a huge venue. I’m not saying small is better or that bigger is bad, but for my first event, I was appreciative of a smaller-sized audience for practice. Small or large, it’s all about the impact.

Who would you recommend to The Speaker Lab and why?

So obviously it’s for you if you have a public speaking business and you need help in taking it to the next level. Or if you’re thinking about doing public speaking, absolutely this is the place to be.

But I also think that if you were a person who has an idea, you have a message that you think, gosh, I think that this would really help people, or you think this would resonate with some people or be helpful but you’re not sure how to bring it to life… this program is a great way to help you see how to develop it.

Now, I know it’s about public speaking, so you have to be comfortable with that, but it is so much more. It’s about building a business so it goes beyond the art of speaking. It can help anyone trying to develop their message.

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

Training, case studies, and our best tips and tricks to help you find and book more paid speaking gigs than ever before.

How To Be An Emcee
Introduction Have you ever considered adding Master of Ceremonies (MC) to your speaking offerings? Being an MC can help you learn how to add energy to the proceedings of your speaking events and help you...
How to use humor in your talk
Introduction Are you having a difficult time trying to figure out how to use humor to your talk? You're not alone! Many speakers face an intimidating fear of incorporating jokes into their speeches. Today, on...
Top 10 Public Speaking Podcasts You Should Know About
Introduction So, you’re looking for a public speaking podcast to listen to, but you don’t know where to begin? Here at The Speaker Lab, we've collated a list of the top 10 public speaking podcasts...
How to use data to get booked and paid to speak
Grant: Hey, what's up friends? Grant Baldwin here. Welcome back to The Speaker Lab pPodcast. Good to have you here with us today. I'm super excited. I got a really good friend of mine -...
Top 10 Professional Speaking Conferences You Should Know About
Introduction If you've started a speaking business, but are still figuring out the lay of the land, you may benefit from networking with other professional speakers. But where do you find them? While the internet...
57 Resources for Speakers
So you've just started your speaking career. What are some resources for speakers like you to get started building their speaking business? There are a lot of great tools for speakers to build their business,...
How to navigate transitions in your speaking business
Maryalice: It's a true honor to have the opportunity to introduce you to some of our amazing students. I promise you're going to learn so much from their experiences and be inspired by their perseverance....
How to pay taxes as a speaker
Introduction Do you dread taxes or worry you aren’t using the right entity for your speaking business? In this post, we are going to tackle how to pay taxes as a speaker. As a full-time...
9 Travel Tips For Speakers
Introduction If you are somebody who loves to travel, then a public speaking career will definitely be appealing to you, because you're going to get to travel A LOT. But maybe you're not super experienced...
How to write a speaker contract
Introduction So you've started a speaking career, booked your first gig, and you get an email asking for a speaker contract. What do you do? What should be included in your contract? How much should...