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Public speaking can be a lucrative business. The best public speakers in the world make over a thousand dollars an hour or more. This profession is not for everyone. It is, however, fairly easy to get into if you are interested.

GETTING STARTED

  • Decide on a topic. It should be something that will set you apart from others. You should be passionate about it, and know that you wouldn’t mind talking about over and over.
  • Contact organizations such as churches, social, civic and non-profit organizations in your area that occasionally use speakers. You can offer to speak at a high school awards ceremony. Continuously network and establish a reputation as a reliable, strong speaker so that you can attract higher-paying jobs. Some of the most successful speakers cold call 40 to 50 groups a day, and receive 3 to 5 speaking agreements, so don’t get discouraged.
  • Volunteer to speak for free at some local events where you know there will be people that could potentially hire you
  • Search meeting and event directories. These can be found at your local library or through the Douglas Publications website (see Resources below). There are more than 25 thousand listings in this directory. Many speakers look to this as a guide to get speaking jobs.
  • Accept one speaking engagement and your name will be out there. Before long they will be searching for you.
  • There is no requirement that you must be a national celebrity to obtain a public-speaking job. If you are a highly skilled accountant, then you probably can locate speaking jobs that relate to taxes or other accounting topics
  • You might try to obtain an offer to speak on a cruise ship, usually with no cost to board the ship and enjoy the cruise.
  • If you have overcome significant obstacles and achieved remarkable success, whether academic or professional, you may want to consider becoming a motivational speaker to share your story with others.
  • You’ll want to register with the National Speakers Association (nsaspeaker.org) as well as Fred Pryor Seminars (pryor.com) to advertise your services. The benefits of these memberships include attaching Certified Professional Speaker to your accomplishments and connecting with a national community of speaking professionals.
  • Search job listings on sites such as careerbuilder.com. Listings will usually describe long-term positions or one-time engagements. You should look for ads that specifically target public speakers, but might also want to look for ads that search for public relations or communications professionals.
  • Register with various associations of meeting planners like Meeting Professionals International (mpiweb.org). Meeting planners are hired to plan, coordinate and execute events and parties. The planner might select event speakers, such as a local pharmacist or veterinarian to participate in the convention.

Before you decide you want to be a speaker, you should give it a few trial runs. Make sure you’ve got what it takes. Like I said, it’s not for everyone, but if you’re good at it, you will be a success.

 


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