How to Break Into Public Speaking
Everyone knows something that other people would be willing to pay to learn or a story of inspiration, of overcoming great trails, or achieving great success. You just have to find out what your niche is. For example in my hobby, one of the best markets out there is the delivery of slide shows for different adventures. Select the best adventure for your audience, pick the best photos, research the facts, organize your material for maximum effectiveness and then deliver your material. It’s that simple.
For the beginner, you can contact your local outdoor stores, college student recreation programs and local outdoor clubs. You can get anywhere from $500 to $1000 or more for one night’s work. If you were to do just 4 presentations a month at $1000 or 8 at $500, you could be earning close to $50,000 a year, working only 4 to 8 nights a month. Not bad for a beginner!
The speaking business can be done part time or full time. You don't have to quit your job and you can run your speaking business from a small area of your home with virtually no overhead. You can travel if you want and even get the client to pay the bill, or you can stay in your home area and sleep in your own bed. The choice is yours and you can go full time speaking when and if you feel the time is right.
NOTE: Most people don’t know it, but Mark Twain started out by giving slides shows of his early adventures and look what happened to him!
When people ask what you do for a living, don’t just say you’re a speaker; instead call yourself an expert who gets paid for speaking about your area (i.e. a professional adventurer). People won't pay to listen to you simply because you speak well. They'll pay you because you have something to say that they want to hear. Don’t think of yourself as just a speaker.
Here are some things you need to do:
- You need a flyer or poster. These are typically full-color on a standard 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper. Make sure to create a faxable version and PDF file format for immediate transmission. Dunn & Associates Design are the best with all you need like hot-selling back-of-room product package design, attention-grabbing speaker presentation kits, quick-response content/topic sheets. Dunn & Associates knows what it takes to get you noticed. Since 1985 they have served a host of top presenters including Tony Robbins, Ken Blanchard, and Dottie Walters. http://www.dunn-design.com
- Develop slide shows of different travels, skills, etc… and contact local colleges, niche stores and clubs.
- Contact the corporate special events market and send your promotional material. Professionalism is the key with good graphic design and copy that focuses on message and approach, not specific content.
- Develop a demo video to send. Your footage should be no less than a year old.
- Sell your knowledge. The idea is that more people can buy what you know through books, tapes, CDs, eBooks and videos than could ever hire you to speak. The recognition will also make speaking engagements much easier to come by because people will have already heard you and your message. In the mean time, the money from the product sales keeps you alive.
- You can get other companies to sponsor your speaking so they can be associated with your message when you speak. Think of anyone who would want to have exposure to your target audience then simply make a proposal to their public relations department.
- Promote your own seminar to the public, where they buy tickets to attend.
- Telephone seminars are where you have participants call in and you deliver the seminar over the telephone. Saving everyone time and travel expenses.
- Webcasts are similar to telephone seminars except you’re using the Internet instead of a telephone to hold the seminar.
- Free speaking to promote your business. Give the participants good information with the idea of establishing yourself or your company as an expert.
- Sell back-of-the-room products at your presentations to increase your profits and help with name recognition.
Speaking Fees Averages:
- National Keynote ~ $9,148.00
- Local Keynote ~ $5,493.00
- National Breakout Session ~ $4,952.00
- Local Breakout Session ~ $2,926.00
Obviously, you’re not going to be able to start out at these figures, but it does give you an idea of what your potential can be. You may just be starting out a $500 a night doing slide shows, but as you improve to a $1000 a night, it only gets better. To keep costs down, your speaking business can be operated part from your home. You probably already have a computer and you don't need audio/visual equipment if you don’t want it. The event planner usually supplies all the audio/visual equipment you’ll need.
To your success,