Public speaking can be one of the most lucrative and profitable ways to make money which is available to literally anyone. It is a learnable skill which can be better paid than surgeons, pilots, lawyers and CEO’s. Popular keynote speakers can charge four or five figures per hour with zero qualifications.
There are a few steps to getting paid as a public speaker.
The first is to know your stuff. This might seem obvious but before you ever utter a word into a microphone, make sure that you what what you’re talking about. There are a plethora of subjects. It can be educational, inspirational, motivational, funny or simply sharing your story about what has happened to you. If it’s sharing your story of an experience or book you’ve written then make sure you know how much detail you’re including and the order of events that happened. But whatever it is you have to have the knowledge in your head otherwise you are going to be found out as a fraud very quickly. The better you know your niche or topic the more confidence you will have.
The next is to really get known. You could be the world’s best public speaker but if no one knows about you, you are never going to get booked. This means you have to produce content and get your message out there. This can be writing a book, starting a podcast, uploading YouTube videos, posting on social media, creating a website, attending events, networking, being on TV or any other way. The more “social proof” you have the more it will reinforce that you are an authority on that topic. As you start getting speaking gigs, you can have footage/photographs from those talks online which gives you more credibility. Think of all the speakers on TED talks. They are all known as experts in their field with credentials and experience to back it up.
Learn how to create and deliver a great speech. You can learn how to become a good public speaker through training videos, courses, books, watching other speakers and experience. There is a good way to deliver a speech and a bad way which depends on your audience and what you are talking about. Be clear on what message/value you are trying to deliver when you create your speech and any slides if you are going to use them
Actively seek out speaking engagements and do as many as you can. This all feeds back into the second step of gaining exposure. You can employ an agent to help with this. But ultimately it’s down to you to get those bookings. You can contact event organisers in your niche and ask them if you can participate. At first you probably aren’t going to be able to charge much, if anything. But by doing public speeches for free you will gain exposure, experience and improve. The better known you are in the field, and the better you get, the more people will recommend you.
If you’ve reached the stage (pun intended) where you can deliver great public speeches, there is one of two ways you are going to get paid. The first is to get paid per speech, usually as a keynote speaker. The second can be more profitable, depending on what you are offering and that is revenue from selling any products, goods or services. This can be direct selling from the stage, one to many instead of one to one as in traditional selling. Or it can be done as you gain exposure and people find out more about you after hearing your message from the stage. This in turn can lead to more speaking events and the cycle continues.
Public speaking is becoming more common on social media through live and paid events. Ultimately it all comes down to what sort of exposure you have, and your ability to get your message across.
Stage Fight by Cody Smith – How to Punch Your Fears of Public Speaking in the Face!
Talk Like TED by Carmine Gallo – The 9 Public Speaking Secrets of the World’s Top Minds