I have to date worked with hundreds of new speakers through The Public Speaking Academy. We have had the privilege of watching people progress through fear and on to better careers, businesses and even improve personal lives as a consequence of new found competence and confidence.
However as an executive coach – some of my time is spent working and providing personal coaching to very talented people with great untapped potential. These people, through coaching and the right tools, have gone on to become highly sought after professional speakers.
So the question is how can you also build a lucrative professional speaking career?
Here are 3 Proven Tips for anyone entering the tough but highly rewarding Professional Speaking business.
Tip 1: Know Your Topic AND Be Known for Your Topic
If I received a pound for every new speaker who said I speak about lots of things but struggle to get work – I could retire and let the income just roll in!!
When starting out many of us make the error of not specialising therefore limiting the possibility of being recognised as an expert/ authority. This directly impacts on your brand and bookability. Think about it a trades person, a doctor, a physio….the list is endless- the greater the specialism the greater the income. E.g a surgeon is the top of tree – well moneywise at least!
So why should a Speaker be any different? Doing this mean you will start to develop your expertise in just the specific area, maybe not but you must focus your marketing activity in one area. I worked with a world leading marketing expert who shared this point. The super niche is now needed for the speakers you train – one inch wide and one mile deep. Being an expert builds a brand profile in the space you set yourself up in and therefore yields the interest you need to become successful.
Tip 2: Perfect your Show Reel
Having professional footage of you speaking – is critical – you wouldn’t buy a car without test driving it first, why should those booking you not know what you look like in front of an audience. For most event bookers they are risking personal reputation by booking the unknown and will avoid it.
As an aspiring professional we must minimise the risk. Ensure that the video footage that you later upload to your websites and social media is your very best and of course highly professional – (Do Not Scrimp On This!). The video show reel is the first thing an event booker see’s of you. I think of it as an interview and that means putting on my best attire, showcasing the best me! Make it smart, professional and engaging.
One of the super tips I offer my clients is to build the video testimonials of event bookers and audience members before they saw you and then after your talk where they are of course elated and singing your praise! As long they are good events (I am sure they are) this acts as a huge super charged lead magnet whilst you are also driving that event bookers risk right down.
Tip 3: Present like a Professional
Speakers who are good are remembered by their audience but speakers who are excellent are rebooked again and again. Practice is imperative to becoming a competent speaker but to be admired and revered as a professional you have to learn from and be mentored by those who are already there. I learned this fairly early in my speaking career. Having a coach changed my own self image, gave me the smartest tools but most importantly gave me the pathway, the blueprint to earning a living from the stage. The speaking industry is tough, unforgiving at times and competitive therefore having the right team with you makes that journey exciting, less lonely and most importantly rewarding.
Happy Speaking, and get to it! If you would like to discuss your speaking career options in more detail, please do not hesitate to call us on 0114 2210 514.