How To Become A Paid Professional Public Speaker

How To Become A Paid Professional Public Speaker

We need to listen to the experts if we want to make speaking a career
We need to listen to the experts if we want to make speaking a career
Image Credit: O’Reilly Internal

This speaking stuff is actually quite hard to do. As with all such things in life, if it is hard to do then there must be people who understand the importance of public speaking and are willing to pay you to do it. Right? The answer to this question turns out to be “yes”. Once you’ve been speaking for a while you may start to think about “going pro” – having someone pay you to give a speech. This can open a number of doors for you; however, before you take this step you need to realize that there is a lot that you need to know before you start making your living by giving speeches.

Know Your Material

If you decide that you want to become a professional speaker, then you are going to have to make sure that there are people out there who are going to want to hear what you have to say. What this means for you is that you are going to have to find a niche that you want to talk about and then you are going to have to become an expert in your niche. You are going to have to take the time to understand how adults learn and this will provide you with an understanding of how you are going to have to build your speeches.

Just finding an area that you want to talk about is not going to be enough. You are going to have to do more. Specifically, you are going to have to get out there and be both seen and heard. This means that you are going to have to always be on the lookout for speaking opportunities that will be either free or for a fee. You’ll find these opportunities at conventions, conferences, meetings in your area and even special events. Your goal has to be to collect references and testimonials that will provide evidence of the impact of your speaking.

Keep Your Options Open

It’s going to be a challenge to be a success in the world of paid speaking. If you are successful, it will be reflection as much of your expertise as of your skill at speaking. Professional speakers need to realize where the revenue from giving a speech comes from. Somewhat surprisingly, it may not come from being paid a fee to give a speech. Thinking that you get paid a fee to take the stage is the wrong thought to be having. It turns out that that market is very, very competitive.

A much better way to go about being a successful paid pubic speaker is to expand your options. One thing that you might want to consider is speaking for free and then selling your products at the back of the room. You may also want to create training videos and then promote them online. You could also go all the way and become a trainer. As paid professional speakers we need to understand that the way that we get hired to give a speech is that someone sees us giving a speech. This means that you need to get up and get out there and speak!

Build Your Business

What a lot of speakers don’t realize is that it is easy to get into the professional paid speaker business; however, it is very hard to stay in this business. If you are going to want to be successful, then you are going to find that you need to develop a set of entrepreneurial skills that will see you though. You need to identify one area in which you want to become an expert in.

Speakers need to understand what it means to be an expert. Being an expert means that you can solve a problem for your audience. If you want to have any hope of being hired to give speeches, then you need to become an expert in at least one area. The arrival of social media makes it much easier for us to position ourselves to our potential market. Selling yourself and the products that you have to offer is an art form. You are going to have to get into the mindset that you are a business and what you do is not just give speeches.

What All Of This Means For You

A great deal of effort goes into delivering a good speech. Once we’ve been doing this for a while, a number of us start to think about perhaps getting paid to give speeches and deliver the benefits of public speaking. This is a great idea; however, it turns out that becoming a paid professional speaker is not an easy thing to do. If we want to be successful, then we are going to have to make sure that we understand what needs to be done.

In order to be a successful speaker, you are going to have to start things off by picking a niche that you want to speak about. Once you’ve done this, you are going to want to get out there and be seen and heard. Your goal has to be to collect references that provide evidence of the impact of your speaking. As a paid speaker you are going to want to keep your options open. You need to understand that you probably can’t support yourself based on what you’ll earn from speaking fees, you’ll need to have other products to sell. In order to be successful in the paid speaker business, you’ll need to develop a set of entrepreneurial skills. You are going to have to become an expert in your area and then you’ll need to go out there and promote yourself.

As speakers, we have a message that our audience wants to hear. If they are willing to pay us to hear our message, then we may have a real possibility of creating a professional paid speaking business. However, we need to understand that starting this type of business is very easy, but keeping it running can be quite difficult. We need to become an expert and then develop the skills that will be required to be a professional speaker. If you think that you have what it takes, go out there and offer your speaking services to the world – for a fee!

– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World Public Speaking Skills™

Question For You: How long do you think you should keep giving speeches for free before you switch to starting to charge for them?

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Note: What we talked about are advanced speaking skills. If you are just starting out I highly recommend joining Toastmasters in order to get the benefits of public speaking. Look for a Toastmasters club to join in your home town by visiting the web site www.Toastmasters.org. Toastmasters is dedicated to helping their members to understand the importance of public speaking by developing listening skills and getting presentation tips. Toastmasters is how I got started speaking and it can help you also!

What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

Not every speech that we will give will be the same. There will be times when you are called on to speak in public where the people running the show won’t actually want you to give a speech. Instead what they are going to want to you do is to act as the master of ceremonies (aka emcee) at their event. What this means is that all of sudden your on stage performance has just become a critical part of the success of their event. If you do a poor job, then you can end up ruining the event. If you do a good job, then you can create an experience that shows off the importance of public speaking and is both engaging and appears to be seamless. The job of the emcee is to make all of the speakers feel comfortable and to allow the audience to feel included in the program.

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