"Speaking is something I really enjoy. I think part of my mission in life is to help drive change in marketing," says Michael Brenner, Head of Strategy, NewsCred, a software platform used by brands to manage their content programs.

Brenner, who cut his teeth at SAP, cites the conference speaking circuit as a key driver to building his reputation and allowing him to meet brand gatekeepers. Today, Brenner does 10-15 main stage speaking engagements per year.

Michael Brenner's 3 rules for getting started speaking:

1. Showcase your own thought leadership. "I started a blog in early 2010 based on what I thought was a gap in the marketplace--blogs from people inside corporate marketing departments. Most blogs, bloggers and twitter rockstars were consultants who either wrote a book, or got into blogging and twitter early," says Brenner, who commented and contributed on other blogs, which grew his own personal brand.

2. Support and promote the biggest influencers in the marketing world. "Jay Baer, Ann Handley, Lee Odden, Joe Pulizzi--all these folks were popular speakers, authors and, I would come to find, great people too. So I created lists promoting their books, blogs, tweets and the events they managed or where they spoke."

3. Ask for help and advice. "Getting into speaking wasn't my main goal. I was looking for their tips on how to solve the problems that big brands face addressing the changing world. As I got to know many of these people, they suggested I do webinars, then participate on panels and finally, speak at their conferences. Once I did get the speaking engagements, I would help them promote the events."