Most people, when they really think about it, have a passion and a message they’d love to share with the world. Well, hands down, public speaking is the best way you can share your message and connect with people on an emotional level.
Not only that, but public speaking can help you be seen as an expert in your industry, thereby helping you to grow your own business. And, as one final benefit, public speaking can also pay very well. It’s not unheard of for sought-after speakers to earn tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars per year.
So now that you know some of the benefits public speaking can bring to your life, your business and your wallet, you may be wondering how you can get started. It will take some work and patience, but if you follow the steps below, you’ll be on your way to building a successful and profitable speaking career.
Step 1: Start with a Single Topic
You may have a vast array of knowledge and multiple topics that you are passionate about. Spend some time selecting just one single topic that you could speak on for 45 to 60 minutes. Try to niche down as much as possible.
For instance, you may have a lot of knowledge about marketing. But you’ll want to drill down until you have something very clear and specific. You don’t want to give a presentation on “X online marketing strategies that are working in 2020.” You want to drill down further: “How small, local businesses can leverage email marketing in 2020.”
Broad does not work in the world of public speaking. Niche down as much as possible. If you’re not sure; if your topic is too broad, pitch it to a few people and see what they think.
Step 2: Hire Yourself
New speakers often find it challenging to get hired when they have no experience. You can easily solve this by hiring yourself to gain the experience.
You’ll want to book a room. Most colleges and universities have rooms available to book. Do so 2-3 months in advance so you give yourself time to develop your presentation and promote the event.
So how do you promote the event? Well, if you already have a blog or a social media page that has a following, you can start here by giving the details of the event.
You may also want to do a little paid promotion. Currently you can run a Facebook campaign for as little as $5 a day. Let’s say your topic is about entrepreneurship. You could simply target your local area and then use Facebook’s interest to find people in your area who have shown an interest in starting a business. You can also put flyers up around town.
A quick note about what to charge. You’ll want to charge a little something so people are actually invested in showing up, but not so much because, after all, you’re new. Usually charging somewhere between $10 and $20 will attract a good crowd.
Step 3: Record Your Presentation
Ask a friend to record your presentation for you. This will give you content to use to promote yourself to other events in your area and throughout the country. On top of this, this recording will most likely prove to act as valuable feedback to help you improve your speaking skills.
Step 4: Repeat if Necessary
Depending on what you saw when watching your first presentation and on any feedback you received from the audience, you may want to book another room and hold another presentation to hone your skills and become even more comfortable with your topic and just being in front of people.
Step 5: Create Your Marketing Material
By now you should have at least one if not more videos of you speaking. Go through these and select the best parts. Hire a video editor to cut these together into one speaking reel. Be sure to place this reel on your website.
You’ll also want to create what’s called a one-pager. All of the event organizers you reach out to will inevitably ask you what your topic is about. These people are busy so make their life easier by creating a one-pager that clearly outlining what you speak about.
Lead with the topic. No one knows who you are yet as a speaker, so don’t put your name at the top. Lead with what your training is associated with: leadership, marketing, reducing your carbon footprint, etc..
Take no more than two paragraphs to write a succinct description of your presentation. When necessary, use bullet points to make the description skimable.
If you have any testimonials from your first presentations, include one of those. This will show organizers that what you offer has value. And, if you’ve been able to work with any known organizations in the area, include these names as well to bump up your credibility.
And finally, your one-pager should include your rates and contact information.
Step 6: Put Yourself Out There
Once you’ve gotten comfortable it’s time to start applying to speak at conferences where your topic will make the most sense. Like most things in life, getting hired is a numbers game, so apply to as many gigs as you can to start.
As you can see, beginning a speaking career will take some effort, but the payoffs are well worth it. If you follow these 6 steps, you will soon be on your way to getting steady bookings.