233: My First-Gen BIPOC Speaking Services: What You Need To Know Before Booking Me For Your Next Event

233: My First-Gen BIPOC Speaking Services: What You Need To Know Before Booking Me For Your Next Event


In this episode, I dive deeper into the process of my first-gen BIPOC speaking services meant for students and professionals. I shed light on my professional experience and speaking style, emphasizing how I deliver holistic, tailored, and engaging services. Additionally, I also discuss my flexibility with budgets to ensure my clients get the most value out of their allotted speaker funding. Send this episode to anyone you know looking to hire a first-gen BIPOC, grad school admissions, or productivity speaker!

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233: My First-Gen BIPOC Speaking Services: What You Need To Know Before Booking Me For Your Next Event


[00:00:00] Welcome back everyone to another episode of the Grad School Femtoring Podcast. This is your host, Doctora. Yvette, for those of you that are new here, I am a first Gen Chicana neurodivergent and chronically ill grad school and productivity coach. I know that's a mouthful, but I like to introduce myself that way so that you have some background and context behind who I am.

Some of the identities that are prominent and important to me and what I do. I decided to record this podcast episode in early 2024 because I've recently been getting more inquiries for speaking engagements than ever before, and I know that some of you. Are new to my work and what I do. So I thought, why not record an episode where I can clarify what you need to know about my first gen [00:01:00] Bipoc speaking services before you even decide to reach out to me to hire me.

Just so that we can kind of get clear on the expectations and hopefully get things started on the right track. 'cause I want to be able to serve and impact. As many first gen Bipoc scholars, students, working professionals as I can. So thank you for being here, for your willingness to listen to this quick episode and for your interest in potentially hiring me as a speaker for your next conference or event.

So let me get started with. Talking to you a little bit about what the process is to work with me. Uh, chances are if you're listening to this episode, you fall under one of two categories. You're one of my longtime listeners, and you've been listening to my podcast four years. My listeners tend to be first gen bipoc undergrads, grad [00:02:00] students, and early career professionals, or.

You are someone who's looking to hire a speaker, who's looking to hire someone to facilitate a workshop for your group or your party, and someone sent you this podcast episode. Perhaps even I directed you to this podcast episode and you're listening to figure out who is this person. What does she do? Is this the right fit for our event, uh, for our programming?

And, you know, neither one of us wants to waste our time. So you're gonna get the information that you need to know in advance before you even reach out to me. And then hopefully if things work out and you find me to be a good fit and vice versa, then we will start some sort of collaboration together. So, um, how does this work typically, before I even recorded this, um.

This podcast episode, folks reach out to me via email. They email me at [00:03:00] gradschoolfemtoring@gmail.com to let me know we are looking for a speaker for X event or to put on this type of workshop. , are you available? What are your rates? How can we work with you? So after folks will.

Reach out to me. I will follow up with my speaker form in that form. I ask for important information that I need to know before I can even tell you what uh, my services are and if I can do something that's gonna work well for you. So you fill out my form. I ask a couple of basic questions like. What, what type of event is this?

Is this a one time thing? Are you looking for a series of workshops? Who is the audience? What's the size of the audience? What is the date of the event? Is this a virtual event? Is it a hybrid event? Is it an in-person event? What is your budget? Because then I can tell you what I can do for you based on your budget.

So that's kind of the second part. So you reach out to me, you fill out my [00:04:00] form as the second part. And then once you fill out the form, there is a link to book a call with me. And in that call, that's when we sort out the details and decide whether or not we're actually gonna work together. So that call is very, very important.

I do expect everyone who wants to work with me to book a call with me so that we can better get to know each other. Uh, I don't like only leaving, uh, essential forms of communication to. Email, although emailing is very important, uh, I also want to have that face-to-face contact, which is why. I ask you to have a call with me.

So, , the other thing that I recently did is I updated my form to list where my rates start at. The reason I decided to do this is because I am a working professional who does these speaking services for a living. I know that in higher ed there, . Are a lot of events and [00:05:00] opportunities where it's expected to get folks to speak for free or for a lower honorarium.

And some people do this as volunteer work, as service work, and this supplements what they do. So they have a salary and they're hired by the institution, and then they may do. Speaking engagements here and there, they might put on a workshop here and there in the community, and they do it, you know, again, it's not part of what, the primary way that they make a living.

So they are able to do it perhaps for free or for a lower fee. In my case, I do do this for a living. I do do this to support my family. I am experienced and because of that, my service rates reflect that level of experience. And if you don't know me and you don't know my background, I have over 10 years, I guess like 13, 14 years of experience working with first gen.[00:06:00]

College students with, uh, low income college students, with BIPOC college students, with members of the global majority who are at institutions of , higher ed, and supporting them to get into grad school and also supporting them with their productivity. So with learning different strategies to get their work done and reach their goals professionally.

I have that experience. I'm also a published author. In 2024, I have my book coming out is Grad School for Me, demystifying the application process for First Gen BIPOC students. I've coauthored that book with my friend Femtor, my colega, Doctora Miroslava Chavez Garcia. So I have that going on as well. I am also working on my coaching certification this year.

I'm also working to get, uh, to become part of a speakers bureau. I am. Actively taking steps to keep growing and strengthening [00:07:00] what I do. , I take this work very seriously, is what I'm trying to say. And so that's why my rates are set where they are at, because I actually only take home a small percentage of that rate.

That's just the reality of being an entrepreneur. You have to pay for your own. Overhead costs. You have to pay to keep the lights on, you have to pay for a lot of things out of pocket. You have to pay for your own benefits. And so all of that means that I take home a very small amount of what I charge for my services, but my services, I've done the work I've run the, the data.

I have taken a look even at the market and my competitors and I. Have determined rates that are in alignment with the market value of folks who have similar years of experience offer similar types of services, and that reflects the adequate payment that based on the value of the services that I [00:08:00] provide.

And now you're probably thinking, wait, hold up, hold up. So what do you do? What makes your speaking engagements stand out from other people? I'm happy to say a little bit more about how I work. I like to say that when I work with anybody, whether it's for my one-on-one coaching services, my group coaching program, or even my workshops, my keynotes and book talks,

I provide services that are holistic and that are tailored. I don't believe in a one size fits all approach to anything. I don't believe in giving cookie cutter presentations. I, uh, don't believe in, uh, giving presentations that lack engagement. And so because of that. I do have a set of workshop topics on my website.

They're listed on there. They're listed on my speaker form that you fill out too. And even though I have my set, I have [00:09:00] three signature workshops. And then in addition to those workshops, I have another three that I give regularly. So the ones that are listed are the ones that I give regularly. And then there's several other topics that I've covered in the past of workshops based on what folks have asked me to do.

That's still in alignment with my knowledge and experience. Uh, but at the end of the day, I tailor my workshops. So even if you're hiring me to give one of my signature talks, I am going to tailor it. That's why I ask all the information that I ask of you. I also ask folks if they, they know who their audience is.

Is if it's a group of students that they work with regularly to survey them and ask them what types of questions do you have in advance so that I can answer those questions and built it into my presentation. I also am a very hands-on type person. I love to share the how to. I don't like to just share methods and theories and concepts [00:10:00] and ideas and frameworks.

I like to. Teach you the how to, and so because of that, I share a lot of tools. I share a lot of strategies so that folks can walk out of my workshops with like literally a resource that they can download to get started on the process of whatever the topic is and whatever the goal of the workshop is.

That might be goal setting, that might be applying to grad school. That might be negotiating funding for an offer that they got for a graduate school that might. Be, um, learning sustainable productivity strategies. Uh, so they're gonna get, they're gonna get tools and strategies that they can.

Test out right after the workshop. Another thing that I do that I love to do, and I just can't help it, is I share a lot of antidotes. I share a lot of stories I share about myself and my experiences. Uh, that's why my. Identities that are so important to me because I hope that to some [00:11:00] extent there might be someone in the audience who can relate to some aspects of my identities.

But then at the same time, because I work with a wide range of different populations, I also share anecdotes and experiences from folks that I have worked with who may have different identities and experiences than me. So I share a lot of antidotes in my presentations, and I try to be intentional in the antidotes that I share so that it's relevant to the audience.

So if my audience is a set of undergrads, the examples I use are different from if my audience is a set of faculty members or staff members, or even graduate students. And I'm able to do this because I've been an undergrad, I've been a grad student. I've been a faculty member. I've been, um, an instructor of record for courses and I've been a staff member and I've directed similar programs.

I also can share these examples because those are [00:12:00] the folks that I work with. I have clients I. Who are undergrads, it's their programs that hire me to work with them. I have clients who are graduate students and either they hire me and save their money out of pocket or they get their fellowships or their department to pay for me, uh, as part of their professional development funding.

I also have faculty who work with me because they need support in their productivity, and those faculty members will pay for me either out of pocket or through their research and professional development funds. So keep that in mind that based on what I'm learning from working with. These clients, and based on my years of experience, I tailor my workshops and the examples that I give to really ground and hone in on whatever the objectives I have for that presentation.

The other thing I do is I want my, my workshops, which are primarily [00:13:00] virtual. I will say this, I only select a handful of. In person presentations because it takes a lot out of me to travel. I, I have to be honest and upfront about this. I have several chronic illnesses. One of them is one that I developed recently as a result of Covid.

I am one of the many people who have developed long haul symptoms, and so it is actually very, very hard for me to travel all over the country to give these speaking engagements in person. I know a lot of institutions and programs and organizations. Prefer in person, but I'm gonna advocate for more virtual workshops.

Because that makes it that much more accessible for a large portion of the population, uh, whether it is not just more accessible for me, but when I give virtual [00:14:00] workshops, we're able to record them. I'm able to follow up with a link to the recording, with transcripts, with captions in a way that I wouldn't otherwise be able to do if it was an in-person event.

So I'm going to advocate for more virtual versus in person. I have not said no entirely to in-person because I do believe, uh, that for certain events. It makes sense, like for certain events, if the event is that directly aligned with the kind of work that I do and they have the budget for it, I'm willing to make that sacrifice.

But, I do firmly believe in the power of virtual speaking engagements, and I'm gonna keep doing that more than I'm gonna be doing the in-person speaking events. And so I'm gonna remind you like. Just please, please, as you organize events, make sure that you're not just organizing in-person events.

There's a whole bunch of folks [00:15:00] that you are leaving out by only organizing in-person events. So that's my advocacy for more, uh, accessible events, especially because. There's just a lot of us who are disabled and don't even realize it. Uh, you know, it's, that's a whole separate conversation that I'm gonna have about, about how many of us are.

Developing chronic illnesses and not realizing it and struggling. And that's one of the reasons why I'm so passionate about what I do and about teaching about sustainable productivity and how to advocate for yourself. So just a heads up, I do do in-person events, I also do virtual events. I offer a lot more virtual speaking events because that's what's more accessible to me, and I also believe it's more accessible to your audience as well.

So, um, I want my presentations. To be [00:16:00] engaging and to increase my engagement, whether it's in person or virtual or hybrid. I ask questions of my audience. I ask engaging questions. I ask questions in ways that, again, increase accessibility. So when I, for instance, give a virtual. Workshop or virtual talk, I tell folks, Hey, you have, you have a couple of options for how to show up and how to engage.

You can raise your hand at any time if you have a question or comment and you know, I will let you know when you can unmute yourself or you can share in the chat with everybody what your question or comment is. Or if you're someone who maybe are a little bit more shy or perhaps more introverted or perhaps you just don't feel comfortable or, or safe in asking the question that you're going to ask or disclosing whatever you're going to disclose to ask the question that you're going to ask, [00:17:00] you can privately message me your question, and then I will.

Answer it. I will share the question anonymously and answer it so that everybody gets the answer. So just a heads up, I do, um, I'm still trying to learn even more ways to make my speaking engagements engaging, but based on. The last couple of speaking engagements I've had, I had three workshops that I gave in the month of January.

They all went very, very well. They were all virtual. I do have, um, I do have. Some inquiries for in-person speaking engagements that I'm still working through to sort out the details to see if they're actually going to happen. Uh, but I know just from the virtual workshops I've done so far that they've been very engaging, I received overwhelmingly positive feedback.

And even when I don't receive, I mean, I've never received anything terrible, [00:18:00] but even when the feedback is more constructive, I take that. I make the necessary changes based on that constructive feedback. So I take all kinds of feedback. Trust me, I don't just expect for you to, um, you know, for you to leave feedback that's only positive.

I want feedback that that is honest and that will help me to keep improving my services. So. Please know that. Um, another thing that I do, aside from tailoring the content of the presentations and uh, intentionally sharing anecdotes that are relevant to that audience is that I, um, I. For some groups, I'm willing to pair workshops with one-on-one coaching sessions.

So I've done this already. I'm actually doing this right now with a McNair program where I am facilitating productivity workshops to supplement their grad school preparation [00:19:00] curriculum. So the staff, they have the grad school prep work. Done. It's set. It's built into their curriculum, but their students need additional support with the productivity piece, with the time management piece, with the goal setting piece.

So they've hired me to give these workshops and then additionally. Because this program is short staffed for now, they have hired me to, uh, provide each of their scholars with a one-on-one coaching program. So they work with me for six sessions, and in those six sessions, I make sure they've worked on.

Every single piece of their grad school application so that they're ready with all their materials to apply this fall. This is just one example of how, of how I'm willing to tailor my services. And this is actually great because I am willing to work with folks regardless of kind of where they fall in their budget.

So, and, it's really, really hard. I'm gonna say this. I'm gonna be, this is, you know, I get nervous sharing [00:20:00] this out loud, but I'm gonna say this. It's hard to figure out or make any assumptions about what kind of budget any program has. You really never know. You could have a university that is at a small liberal arts, and you would think they might have fewer resources than a big name top five university.

But this program is working with the grant. And they haven't spent enough of their grants and they're trying to hire professionals to help them provide services for their students. That also allows them to spend their grant money. So that program, even though it's at a smaller university, has more funding for these services than a big name university that you would assume has more money.

But maybe they have a similar program and they've overspent their money, and so now they're [00:21:00] trying to get folks to provide services, but they're offering you a very, very tiny amount. So that's why I, I no longer assume anything about any institution and what their budget is because you really have no idea.

And so that's why I say, okay, my, my rates start at this amount, but hey, maybe. You can't quite get to my starting rate, but you're able to compensate me in other ways. In a previous episode I mentioned about how I have worked with other folks where we have almost set up like a swap or a bartering system where they've said, you know what?

I'm really good at this, but I need support with the productivity side. Can you help me and I'll support you in this other way? I'm open to these kinds of arrangements. I've done this also for student orgs, student orgs who have had less funding, um, but still wanna hire me to put on a workshop we've arranged so that, okay, what is the amount that you can, uh, fundraise by working with other units [00:22:00] or other orgs?

And even if it doesn't quite reach my rate. But you're willing to make sure that you have your audience fill out my feedback form after the workshop. You're willing to take photos of the event. You're willing to share the event on your social media to promote my services, you know, to, to promote the workshop.

That, to me, is still valuable. So that's why I don't want you to look at my form and think, oh, we don't have the funding for it. If you're willing to kind of figure out a way to make it work, we can make it work. Same thing. If you have a bigger budget and you're trying to spend down that budget, I am happy to create a proposal and to offer you different types of services that make sense for your group.

To help you spend down that budget and maximize the most value you can get out of that budget so that your students can get the most out of it. It's not just, okay, just [00:23:00] pay her as much as she wants. No, no, no. It's, let's make sure you get the most value out of the funding that you have available to pay for my services.

So that's kind of a little bit more about just in general. What it's like to work with me. How do you get started? You send me an email, you fill out my speaking engagement form. You follow up with a one-on-one call. From there, we have a discussion around what your budget is, what the event is, how I can, um, provide services.

That best fit, uh, your event and your group, and that provides the most value. And that's it. After that, we stay in touch, you know, communicate over email. We may have one more follow up call before the event. After the event. You know, I wanna make sure that. Everything is good to go. So we may follow up once, um, more over email [00:24:00] and then of course, if you want to keep hiring me, if you want me to develop this kind of collaborative relationship, please do stay in touch or let me know when to be back in touch so that we can keep working together.

That's it. I think the last thing I'm gonna say is. That even if you're not someone who's in charge of booking events, who's in charge of organizing conferences, who's in charge of bringing speakers or organizing, you know, workshops, et cetera, you can still support my work because like I said earlier, um, there's two, two listeners right now.

There's the folks who are looking to hire a speaker, and then there's my longtime listeners. So if you're one of my longtime listeners, you already know that I'm gonna tell you to send this podcast episode to someone you know who might be in charge of organizing these events. You also probably already know that.

I'm gonna say that if there's nothing else that you can do, if you wanna support my [00:25:00] work, you can hit the subscribe button for this episode and you can also. Leave a podcast review on Apple podcasts. I say this time and time again and I sound like a broken record, but it actually does make a difference.

The more subscribers you get, the more, um, reviews that you get. The higher up you show on, you know, the rankings and the more people can find the podcast and this free resource. Uh, so if you find it valuable, please, please do that. Please hit subscribe. Please leave a review and. I say this a lot and only a tiny, tiny fraction of my listeners actually leave a review, and I found that the way that folks leave a review is if they listen to a podcast that they found was so impactful.

That they're like prompted or like feel called to leave a review. I dunno if this is that podcast [00:26:00] episode, but you know what, uh, maybe it is. Maybe you, this is your, the first episode that you listen to, someone sent it to you. This is your first time being exposed to me and you feel drawn to leave a review.

Go ahead. If you're one of my longtime listeners, if you've been listening to me for a couple of years and you haven't left a review, come on now. Leave a review, please. That's, uh, a great way to keep supporting my work. Um, and that's it. That's it. Just you listening, you subscribing. If you feel called to, you're leaving a review, you're forwarding this episode to someone you know who's looking for a first gen BIPOC speaker, all of that makes a huge difference.

I appreciate you all so much. Thank you so much for listening, and I will talk to you all next time. I.

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