Get Paid to Speak

Get Paid to Speak

An interview with Dr. Laura Louis, CEO of Couch to Podium, on how to move into public speaking as a therapist. We look at best practices, what therapists get wrong, and how to get started.

It’s time to reimagine therapy and what it means to be a therapist. We are human beings who can now present ourselves as whole people, with authenticity, purpose, and connection. Especially now, when therapists must develop a personal brand to market their practices.

To support you as a whole person and a therapist, your hosts, Curt Widhalm and Katie Vernoy talk about how to approach the role of therapist in the modern age.

Interview with Dr. Laura Louis, CEO of Couch to Podium.

Dr. Laura Louis is the founder of the Couch to Podium academy which consists of a Facebook community, Courses Retreats, Seminars and a Mastermind. Dr. Louis teaches therapists and counselors all about the business side of speaking. She was able to book over 40 speaking engagements last year alone AND build a steady stream of speaking engagements.

Dr. Louis has conducted over one hundred paid speaking engagements nationally and internationally. She has negotiated travel, and expenses along with $3000 speaking fees. Dr. Louis’ clients have launched paid speaking gigs, developed retreats and launched programs.

Dr. Louis has been featured on NBC, has been asked to speak for the American Psychological Association Conference and The National Sales Conference.

In this episode we talk about:

  • Laura’s program that teaches therapists how to move from doing therapy to booking paid speaking engagements
  • Speaking as an option to scale your business
  • The importance of you identifying your ideal client and what you teach them – that’s a talk
  • Identifying how to create the talk and who to pitch speaking to
  • Supporting your own dreams by being within a circle that is supportive
  • The benefit of getting unpaid experience in speaking (visibility, becoming comfortable, flowing through your talk, etc.)
  • Toastmasters as a great training ground
  • Building your list while speaking, so you can continue to support your audience after the talk
  • Social proof and understanding the experience – photos and videos – help you book speaking engagements
  • Monetizing your speaking through other offerings, back of room sales, licensing, etc.
  • Speaking to your target market to increase clients
  • Understanding how to assess what you can get out of speaking
  • Mindset changes needed to ask for pay or other benefits from speaking
  • Looking at the whole experience and benefits to determine whether you would like to take a speaking engagement
  • How to find paid speaking engagements
  • The need to adjust language to pitch to decision-making (pain points, solutions, without psycho-jargon)
  • The different types of applications, best practices
  • The differences between putting your own events on versus speaking for other people’s events
  • The ability to make money if you master the details of putting on your own live events
  • The need to understand sales and marketing to move forward with speaking
  • The time investment required when becoming a paid speaker

Relevant Resources:

We’ve pulled together any resources mentioned in this episode and put together some handy-dandy links:

Therapy Reimagined 2020 Call for Speakers

Couch to Podium courses

Couch to Podium Membership Program

Dr. Louis’ Facebook Group: Paid to Speak (Mental Health Speakers Group)

Dr. Louis’ Facebook Page: Couch to Podium

Dr. Louis’ Instragram

Dr. Louis’ website:

Dr. Louis’ training:

Relevant Episodes:

Clinical Marketing

Beyond Selling the Couch

Open to Opportunity

So You Want to Plan a Conference

Connect with us:

The Modern Therapists Group on Facebook

Get Notified About Therapy Reimagined 2020 (and TR2019 Virtual Conference)

Who we are:

Curt Widhalm is a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in private practice in the Los Angeles area. He is a Board Member at Large for the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, a Subject Matter Expert for the California Board of Behavioral Sciences, Adjunct Faculty at Pepperdine University, and a loving husband and father. He is 1/2 great person, 1/2 provocateur, and 1/2 geek, in that order. He dabbles in the dark art of making “dad jokes” and usually has a half-empty cup of coffee somewhere nearby. Learn more about Curt at

Katie Vernoy is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, coach, and consultant. As a helping professional for two decades, she’s navigated the ups and downs of our unique line of work. She’s run her own solo therapy practice, designed innovative clinical programs, built and managed large, thriving teams of service providers, and consulted hundreds of helping professionals on how to build meaningful AND sustainable practices. In her spare time, Katie is secretly siphoning off Curt’s youthful energy, so that she can take over the world. Learn more about Katie at

A Quick Note:

Our opinions are our own. We are only speaking for ourselves – except when we speak for each other, or over each other. We’re working on it.

Our guests are also only speaking for themselves and have their own opinions. We aren’t trying to take their voice, and no one speaks for us either. Mostly because they don’t want to, but hey.

Stay in Touch:


Voice Over by DW McCann

Music by Crystal Grooms Mangano

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