You can become a professional public speaker as a lucrative sideline to your current business or you can make professional speaking the entire focus of your career. It's up to you!
Professional speaking is a flexible and lucrative enterprise. The best public speakers earn all or most of their money from public speaking, and they make very good livings indeed. Fees for public speaking can range from the low hundreds, for those just starting out, all the way up to six figures, for those who have impressive credentials and experience.
What are some types of public speaking you may want to practice? Many speakers enjoy giving workshops, seminars, or keynote speeches. A speech will usually run a half-hour to an hour, depending on the time of day. Lunch speeches, for instance, will be shorter than a keynote speech at a banquet. You may be booked as the highlight or draw of a conference, or be asked to speak to a lunchtime networking meeting.
Workshops and seminars are generally lengthier than speeches. In workshops, participants often get hands-on experience in your area of expertise. Like workshops, seminars may run a day or longer, but they won't necessarily include a hands-on component. Either workshops or seminars may be presented as a part of a larger conference.
Professional speaking can also help you build your business. You may choose to add speaking to your repertoire as a marketing boost. There is no better way to become known. Many people who promote their businesses through public speaking also sell additional products at the “back of the room.” These can include books, CD sets, coaching sessions, and so forth—and all of these can lead to more public speaking engagements, too!
Success as a public speaker adds to self-confidence and self-esteem. Knowing that you can command the rapt attention of an audience of hundreds, or even thousands, gives you unshakeable confidence in nearly every situation. The poise that you gain through mastering public speaking will help you in every aspect of business.
The best professional speakers love what they do and it shows. There's nothing like the adrenaline rush of having a roomful of people applauding you….or maybe even on their feet, giving you a standing ovation! This feeling can even become mildly addictive. But don't worry, if the thought of standing before even a small group makes your knees start shaking, there are techniques you can master to help you become comfortable and skilled.
But don't worry, because this is one addiction that is healthy. After all, as a public speaker you'll be helping people through sharing the information that you, as an expert, have accumulated. Because of this, many people feel called to the profession of public speaker. To these speakers, sharing their special knowledge is as important, if not more important, than the healthy salaries they command for their speaking skills.
So, if you've decided that developing a lucrative public speaking profession is for you, let's get started in learning more about it. First we'll look at some of the pros and cons of a public speaking career.
Anthony Ekanem is a Management scholar, researcher, writer and author. He is also a Chartered Insurer with many years of experience.