There are no small speaking gigs, only small speakers. That is, of course, a play on the saying, “there are no small acting gigs, only small actors.”
What that means is that every time you are speaking, there is a chance to make a connection with someone and change your career. I have seen many people get up and speak in front of a 1000 people or even more but they were boring and everyone instantly forgot them. Even though to that person, it was the biggest speech he had given, he did not have an impact.
Other times you speak and even if you were not the main speaker, you had a huge impact. When Abraham Lincoln gave his Gettysburg Address, he was not the main key note speaker yet had great impact on his perception in history.
So i want you to realize, everytime you speak, it could be a way to form a permanent connection with someone. I remember that once i had not done a good job at marketing my service and ended up with only one individual in training. But he had already travelled so far from Eastern Europe so i gave it my best anyway. He left early so i had no idea what impression i made on him. However, we communicated later and being impressed with my approach, he hired me to train the Prime Minister of his country, that opened up doors to even more opportunities for me.
So if you have a speaking opportunity, give it your best shot as you never know where it may take you.