If you’re interested in speaking at larger events, what one thing should you do to get the ball rolling?

Public speaking can be an effective (and lucrative) way to build your credibility as an industry expert and thought leader. If you want to work your way up to booking big-time speaking gigs, here are 11 tips from members of Young Entrepreneurs Council.

1. Get a Speaking Agent
If you want to be a serious speaker, you should secure an agent who will help you land the best speaking opportunities. We have so many clients that want to speak but don’t realize how important it is to have an expert in the industry working for you if you want to grow your speaking career. – Beth Doane, Main & Rose

2. Develop a Relationship With the Event Organizer
I strongly recommend that you develop a relationship with the event organizer because applications to speak rarely seem to work. Find a mutual friend in common with the organizer or a senior leader at the event and get an introduction so you can prove your domain expertise directly with the organizer. – Douglas Baldasare, ChargeItSpot

3. Outreach Locally
Building a speaking practice takes time. I’ve been doing it professionally for 13 years, and I began by promoting the one book I had at the time to a handful of local and related organizations. My initial audiences were small, but I used them to capture video and testimonials, and soon graduated to bigger opportunities. – Alexandra Levit, PeopleResults

4. Build a Robust Network
The best way to get the doors to open for you is to build a robust network and do a great job. When you do a great job, you’ll get recommended. If you want to go big, start wherever you are now with anyone who will take you. Don’t worry about the pay or the audience size. Start honing your craft and getting better so you can begin to command attention, big audiences and a sizeable speaking fee. – Darrah Brustein, Network Under 40

5. Work on Something Worth Speaking About
The way to get the ball rolling when it comes to speaking engagements is to have a project, cause or accomplishment worth speaking about. Pick something you are so passionate about, you think you could talk about it forever. This project can create both the connections and subject matter you need to accomplish your goal. – Michael Dash, Parallel HR Solutions, Inc.

6. Look at Past Speakers from the Events
Research past speakers at events and understand what topic they talked about, as this will give you insights to pick the right events, topics and content for your speech. If you find past speakers with similar profiles, it would be easier for you to reach out to the organizers and convince them to give you a speaker spot. – Piyush Jain, SIMpalm

7. Understand Current Trends
Build up a modern reputation for yourself. You really have to stand out and make a name for yourself with the amount of competition these days. Start engaging on social media consistently and build up some loyal followers. Staying relevant with current trends is key because people can learn from you and put your words to test in the modern world. – Stanley Meytin, True Film Production

8. Create an Experience
There is content and there is delivery. Most speakers ignore delivery and instead, attempt to pour content into the brains of attendees. Stand out by creating an experience that opens their mouths with laughter, or awe, and then pour your message into their bellies. The key differentiator is creativity. An artful presentation marries content and delivery to drive to a memorable epiphany. – Corey Blake, Round Table Companies

9. Take Advantage of All Opportunities to Get on Stage, On Camera or In Front of a Mic
Speaking frequently begets speaking at larger events. Why? Because people who run events go to other events to scout talent and to see what is going on in the industry. If you are there and they see you, this can be a big break to get on bigger stages. Beyond that, it helps to have a resume of successful speaking gigs when trying to getting on bigger stages. Experience is always a plus. – Justin Faerman, Conscious Lifestyle Magazine

10. Offer Your Expertise
To make it to the big stage you need to start small. Hone your skills while building your authority and credibility by offering to present to your chambers of commerce, organizations within your niche, and holding free training sessions locally. Post your talks online to gain exposure. Once you’ve perfected your presentation, use your portfolio to pitch yourself to bigger platforms. – Stefani Taylor, Lead Dazzle

11. Build Your Social Media Following
Organizers of conventions and larger events want speakers with a social media following – someone who excites a group of people. So become that person. Find your audience, connect with them, build your following, and opportunity will likely present itself. – Abhilash Patel, Abhilash.co