From Lecturer to Speaker

For millenia, lecturing has been seen as a fine art. We still talk about and study the great Greek and Roman orators and the talks that they gave.

A lecturer will convey great knowledge, wisdom and inspiration to their audience. Most often, a lecturer will speak from notes. Most speakers may use a teleprompter, but often they have rehearsed, vetted, timed and committed their talk to memory. Speakers usually know within a few seconds where they are at any point in their talk. A lecturer may have a set period of time to speak and will talk until time runs out.

A professional speaker will also know to within 30 seconds when their talk will end, and will know how to ‘read’ their audience. Or they’ll know what sections or segments of their talk they can knock out or ‘stretch’ so that they can fit into a professional meeting planner’s agenda or event’s timetable. They will do this so seamlessly that no one in the audience will know that a section of content was missing. And everyone will still get a full break before the next session. The best professional speakers do not go over their allotted speaking time.

Often, a lecturer will convey their information to one or a few classes, and then put away their notes until next year. Speakers will often give the same or a similar talk to many people five to perhaps even one hundred times.

A professional speaker will also customize their talk and rehearse it to perfection. They will know where the nuances of tone of voice and speech inflection need to be emphasized or modulated. They’ll also know how to make eye contact and perhaps even joke around with the people in their audience with the ease of a good stand up comic and entertainer. They may even video or audio record their talk so they know how to improve it.

Most corporate speakers are more like lecturers than they are speakers. They will read their company’s financial or other results. Or they’ll share their their insights backed by PowerPoint slides or a press release. Most speakers may use slides, but all eyes are glued on them.

The more you can lecture, the better you will become at speaking to groups. But you need to know and understand the difference between the two if you’re going to go from speaking for free to speaking for a professional speakers’ fee.

When a lecturer can use more elements and techniques from the speaker’s arsenal, they will transform their lecture into a presentation that will emotionally engage their audience. A lecture – even the very interesting ones – may still not be as emotionally powerful as a talk given by an inspiring, seasoned professional ‘speaker.’

There is a great deal of psychological insight needed to develop a talk. The greatest pastors, orators, political leaders and motivators have an ability to move us out of our heads and make us feel good about connecting with our hearts.

Most people who lecture happen to be speaking. There are amazing, highly knowledgeable people who lecture and provide students, audiences, groups and corporations with highly useful and insightful information.

To move beyond being a lecturer means that you will develop a topic and express your expertise. Your talk will go from being an expression of notes and insights into moving a listener and viewer through a fluid, almost choreographed presentation that engages them every 2-3 minutes to laugh, clap, respond or gasp. You’ll be comfortable at using your body language, facial expressions, stories, planned moments of silence and enthusiasm to engage and take the people in your audience on a journey through your content. You will even be able to do this on Skype or via a webinar.

Being a speaker rather than a lecturer may also mean that you’ve added more interactive elements to your talk. Instead of talking ‘to’ your audience for 10, 20 or 60 minutes, you will make it a point to engage your audience. You can use:

o stories and anecdotes that you know your audience will relate to on an emotional level;
o humor or jokes;
o statistics that are easy for your audience to relate to;
o repetition that reinforces your main message but in ways that people will want to hear; and
o inspiring quotes and easy-to-remember references.

Your talk will also be written and delivered so that it engages your audience and ‘pulls’ them through your content for whatever amount of time you’re on the podium. You’ll have moved past standing in one spot with ‘closed’ body language to where you speak with your elbows bent and palms out in front of you to ‘welcome’ your audience to your talk, point of view and insights.

You will also find ways to engage your audience with the expertise that will leave your audience with all the information inherent in a lecture, but with the emotional satisfaction of you as a motivator. Almost any topic can be adapted to become more engaging and even motivational. We’ve all been to talk where we were moved to laugh, cry, shake our heads in realization and leave the room feeling like we had been changed beyond mere head knowledge.

Speaking is never simply about speaking in front of a group. It is ofter far more about conveying information with insights that allow the people in the audience to feel as engaged and be entertained and inspired. When you speak, let people wonder and want to hear what you have to say next, rather than their default of wanting to read emails.

Some of my best friends are University professors who give highly inspired ‘lectures.’ They make it a point to not only be extremely dynamic and interactive with their audiences. They also know how to emotionally engage people. They are called lecturers, but they are really speakers and great orators.

I’ve also heard well-written speeches delivered by uninspired executives and politicians whose body language, deadpan delivery, fear or negativity encouraged people to want to leave the room and for paint to dry faster. The words in the speech and the messenger have to flow if they are to make the impression needed.

Whenever you talk, always know that even if it seems intimidating, talk TO your audience and never talk AT them. They will be far happier to listen to you if you can do this. No matter how simple or complex, deliver your message so that it matters to the most important people of all – your audience.

Are you a lecturer or a speaker? Perhaps you’re a little of both. You’ll always remember the experience of seeing and hearing a great speaker. Great lectures and lecturers are also memorable but in a different way. Get to know the nuances and differences between a lecture and being a speaker and you will improve your talk and deliver a much more powerful and memorable message.

From Podcaster to Pro Speaker at PodcampToronto 2011

Tomorrow, Saturday Feb. 26, I’ll share tips with Toronto’s leading multi-media, audio podcasters, vloggers, web show hosts and online content creators at podcamptoronto 2011. If you are in town, it’s a great event and I highly recommend it.

Chris Brogan was one of the original founders of PodCamp. It is a true un-conference and a great learning fest for all concerned. Plus, I hear pub night is awesome. Registration is free, and you will find the networking is world class.

Today, I’m putting the finishing touches on the notes that I’ll share at Podcamp. To be honest, the notes are as much for me as they are for the audience. Since this is a special event, I will use the slides as ‘triggers’ or ‘prompts’ so I can figure out what I need to say or ‘riff’ on a topice until the next point or slide.

It also helps me to have the slides so I know what I’ve already covered and won’t miss key points or information that I’d really like to share. What I want to use the slides for is to avoid repeating myself, droning on about something that people don’t or won’t want to hear about, or have a public peri-menopausal ‘duh’ moment.

The slides will also help me remember stories that I think will help folks know what it’s like to get front of an audience, the kind of things they can expect, how to create good relationships with meeting or event planners, or ideas about topics or things they can do to start or kick-start their own speaking careers.

None of my ‘stories’ are ‘rehearsed.’ So if you heard me talk, I’d welcome your comments to tell me if they ‘flowed’ well into and out of the rest of the content.

If you want any more information or insights, or have suggestions for topics, please let me know.

Hopefully my talk will go as I hope it will, and everyone there will learn more about the world of professional speaking. If more people can become actively involved in charity, cause, event, educational, public and professional speaking with new, fresh, solid, thoughtful ideas, then all of us benefit in the long run.

And if folks can leave with more useful info than before they first walked into auditorium, and they enjoyed the time I’m ‘on,’ then that just makes my day.

Can We Please All People All the Time?

The greatest challenge for me when I speak to any group is that there are likely people in the room who may already know what I’m talking about. Or they’re hostile, passive-aggressive types who really don’t want to be there. Or they HAD to be there because their boss told them so.

Each of those is a topic unto itself, so let me start with the idea of speaking to people who may already know what I’m talking about and were expecting ‘more.’ Tomorrow I give a talk at PodCampToronto 2011, and there may likely be people in the room who have already been pro or semi-pro speakers. To be honest only a small percentage of what I have to say to them will be useful. But that small percentage could save them hours of research and even earn them thousands of dollars IF they have the patience to write down or follow-up on some of the resources I’ll be sharing.

For most of the people in the room, they may have wondered about what it takes to become a professional speaker, speech writer or visual content creator, and that’s the audience I hope will get the most from my talk.

And then there will be a few souls who were curious and realize that they may not be comfortable – at this time – speaking. But to them: never say never, and who knows what life will bring you in the way of opportunities. So be patient and see what you can learn.

What I hope is that everyone who comes into the room will get a chance to take something key away with them.

My greatest challenge as a speaker is to not give out so much information that I ‘lose’ the beginner speakers in the room. And to put in enough ‘gold’ so that the people who really want to add a new direction to their careers have enough info or a map they can follow to get to where they want to go.

It’s a fine balancing act. Last year at PodcampToronto 2010, most of the people told me they were happy with what I’d shared with them. But there were a few that thought my talk didn’t give them enough info. Actually it did, but those items were in my speaking notes. If they’d asked, they would have been given the info. C’est la vie!

I will usually err on the side of making sure the majority of the people in the room get the info that they came to get. And if the few hot shots in the room aren’t happy with that, then let them hire a professional speaking coach at a few hundred to a few thousand dollars per session.

If I didn’t address something that you’d hoped to learn, please ask me about it now.

You’re also welcome to give me comments and feedback so I can give you the right amount of info the next time.

How to Become a Speech Writer in Only Eight Minutes

My own road to becoming a speaker was not designed. I fell into it. Actually, I was dragged into it and was too embarrassed and scared to admit that I didn’t know what I was doing. The first time I was ever asked to write a speech was for the President and CEO of J. Walter Thompson (now JWT Canada), John J. (aka Jack) Cronin. I’d already been working for Jack for six months, and wrote most of his reports, letters and memos. A bunch of us were at a major industry dinner.

Ten minutes before he had to go on to give out some awards, my boss asked me if I could put together a few words for him. I hope I hid the terrified look in my eyes well. I had never written, let alone given, a speech in my adult life. I didn’t count what I’d done as required public school speaking.

My adrenaline kicked in, and I wrote – er scribbled – out Jack’s impending remarks. Thank goodness I’d only had one glass of wine at dinner!

Eight minutes later, the back of a menu, and two paper napkins were given to Jack for his assessment and review. He calmly read my scratchings and gave me two thumbs up. Later he hold me that I had all the makings of a speech writer. And according to Jack, a darn effective one. That was a pivotal moment for me in my life, and I didn’t know it.

That was a few decades ago. I’ve learned much and have still many things that I’d like to learn and try. The greatest thing that I learned is that speaking is about sharing my voice, time and energy with others. If I can do that well, everyone in the room will be happy.

If anyone had ever told me that I’d write speeches for even more CEO’s after that first outing, I’d have told you that that was a one off situation. In fact, I ended up writing and coaching many CEO’s and executives on their talks and presentations.

If anyone had ever told me that I’d speak in front of 10,000 people, give workshops to VP’s, or get on a plane because someone wanted me to speak in another country, I’d have though they had ingested too much coffee and chocolate.

And if anyone had ever told me that I’d make people laugh, cry in empathy, not commit suicide, try new things or tell me that they were so glad they came out to hear me speak even though they suffered from clinical exhaustion, I’d never have believed you. But all of this and so much more has happened to me because I decided to stand up and try to write, talk and share.

Here’s to your starting new things that relate to speaking in public: a new chapter in your life, new attitude, new speaking opportunities, or even carving out a new career and income stream.

And here’s to sharing your vision of the world with as many people as possible.

Happy speaking!

What’s Your Problem?

How you approach that moment when you stand up to give a speech depends a lot on why you are giving the presentation. Now we are not talking about the fact that you have to give the speech to pass your general education speech class in junior college or that your boss is making you give the speech because he is to darn lazy to do it. Instead to really give a good speech, you must know that the speech is designed to do. By identifying what the goal of the speech is and what you want the audience to experience from your presentation, that will give you a lot of information both on what kind of content to use but on your attitude and “approach” when you actually get ready to give the talk.

There are some very basic reasons that someone gives a speech. Those are to inform, to convince, to amuse or to cause action. Many speeches you hear are a combination of these motivations. A sermon is there to inspire which is a mixture of to convince and to cause action. A lecture in school is to inform and if you get lucky, the teacher will at least try to make the presentation also try to amuse you. So that is the first thing to ask yourself when you have your topic and your audience. Also there are variations on these themes. A speech intended to sell something is a variation on the “to convince” format.

A good question to ask when you are ready to put your presentation together is “What do I want my audience to do with this information?” If you want them to walk away with new information that makes them smarter people, you were speaking to inform. If you want them to laugh and have a great time, you were out to amuse. If you want them to go out and use your web site, to join your political party or stop hurting the ozone layer, the objective of your speech is to convince.

You will not necessarily announce when you start speaking what your objective is. Sometimes it’s obvious. If you are addressing your class at school, its obvious you are there to inform the students. But you may also be looking to convince them to live a certain way or to take some other action with the information you are giving. A speech to amuse is very often also a very softly worded sermon on behavior. Just watch any comedian and you will hear small snippets of philosophy such as “people, we are all the same, we just have to learn to live together” in the middle of the comedy set. That comic is actually out to convince you to change your outlook and behavior and using comedy as the tool to that end.

These are all very valid adaptations on the basic forms of a speech. To make sure your talk reaches its primary talk, lay down the outline or the “skeleton” of the speech with your primary goal in mind. You might even “back into it” by writing the conclusion first. The conclusion might be, “And so ladies and gentlemen, I hope you can see that using mass transit will do a lot to help the ozone layer”. From there you can back up into the body of the speech and lay down, again at the skeleton layer what your three points of the body of your speech is. These are the things that must get done and that you will evaluate whether you were successful by whether you got those points across.

With that skeleton done, you can go back and start writing the speech from the beginning and use any or all of the public speaking approaches to layer that on top of the core reason for the talk. You can use humor, inspirational stories, urban myths or factoids from history to help your speech be fun, compelling and attention grabbing.

If by the end of your talk though, you can tell you hit that primary goal, then your speech was well constructed. And a well constructed speech is easier to give. It is also easier for your audience to hear so everybody wins.

When Things Don’t Go as Planned

One of the greatest fears we face when speak in front of a crowd is also one of it’s greatest rewards. Public speaking is a totally live event. And that means that anything can happen and just about anything could happen in the middle of your presentation. So to change your fear of the unexpected to another talent you have to handling interruptions, think ahead what you will do if things come up and how you will get the crowd back on track with your outline to take them to the conclusion you want them to reach.

Depending on how you conduct your presentation and the type of gathering, questions or objections from the audience could potentially take you off course. This is especially true if you really didn’t plan to have an open forum type of discussion. If you set out to do your talk as a speech, not a discussion and someone interrupts, the first thing to do is recognize the disrupter to assure the crowd you have the situation under control. Your audience comes to your talk with a confidence that you are in control of the room and its important you maintain that control.

Now if the disrupting speaker is being difficult and clearly wants to disrupt the meeting that is when the organizers of the meeting should know to step in and remove that person. But many times the interruption could be a very logical and politely put question or need for clarification. A rule of thumb is if one person asks a question, that means that four or five in the crowd had that question in mind but did not have the courage to interrupt you. Sometimes the disruption may not even be audible. If might be just a hand in the air or a facial expression that is clearly communicating the need to interact with you.

Again, the more you can maintain composure and recognize the question and either answer it or divert it from your outline, the more confidence the crowd will have in you. Many times the question will either be easily answered from your materials. Don’t be afraid to say, “That is an outstanding question which is right here on my outline. So I will be answering that in a moment”. When you do that, it gets a chuckle from the questioner and the crowd and you can continue on your path to finishing your talk just making sure you highlight the area of the outline that came up in the question.

Be prepared also for either a legitimate question that you do not have a ready answer for or for questions that don’t make any sense to what you are talking about at all. For both to simply recognize that the questions was a good question (even if it isn’t) and state that you will do some research and get back to them later with that background information. That will usually quiet the disruptor down and let you get on with your program.

Questions are not the only thing that can go wrong. Something could break either on stage or in the crowd. A person could fall out of his or her chair. A bird could fly in through a window. The list of things that might happen goes on and on. Again as you did with questions that you didn’t expect, maintaining composure and control is the key. The audience will actually key off of you as to whether to panic about the interruption or not. So if you keep your head and handle the disruption with humor and a sense of calm, that will put the audience in that mood too. The effects of the disruption will minimize immediately and because you communicated that you were in charge at all times, the audience will respond to your leadership and come back to you to hear the rest of what you have to say.

You can achieve a feeling of control and calm by thinking through how you will handle the unexpected before you even step up to give your talk. And because you actually expect the unexpected, you can capture strange things that happen to demonstrate your management of the time you have to speak to the crowd. If you do that, it will work to your advantage and you the end result will be an even better presentation than would have happened without the disruption.

Top 5 Strategies to Effective Public Speaking

I was never a huge fan of public speaking. I was always very nervous and had this overwhelming feeling the audience was judging my every word. I now know how to overcome my fears and deliver a memorable presentation.

I have summarized for you the top 5 strategies I use to make sure every presentation is a showstopper.

Realize 90% of Nervousness Doesn’t Even Show

The audience usually can’t see the telltale symptoms of nervousness. The butterflies, the shaky hands or the sweaty palms. The key is for you to not focus on them either. You need to focus on the audience. When you do this two things will happen: 1) they will like you more, and 2) much of the nervousness that you feel will go away.

Don’t Avoid Eye-Contact.

When we are nervous, it is a natural reaction to want to hide. When you are standing in front of a group of people where do you hide? You can’t. So you will tend to look down or look away from your audience. If we can’t see them they can’t see us, right? Wrong.

The other trick people try is to look over the tops of their heads. The idea here is that by looking a peoples foreheads, they will think you are looking at them. Wrong again.

You need to look directly into people’s eyes with kindness. Create a rapport with the audience through your visual contact. If anyone smiles when you look at him or her, smile back. This will make you, and the audience, feel more at ease and will make your presentation more genuine.

Identify three people in the audience whom you want to speak to: One on your left, one in front of you and one on your right. Deliver your speech to these three people. Look at each one for about 4-5 seconds and “switch target” to the next person. Don’t maintain eye contact for too long. This will create an uncomfortable situation. You don’t want to creep people out.

By using this technique, it will give the impression to the entire audience that you are making eye contact, because you are sweeping the room with your glances.

Don’t Apologize.

Never start a presentation with an apology. By starting a presentation with an apology for your nervousness or for having a cold, you are drawing attention to something the audience may not have noticed. You are also announcing to the audience, “the presentation you are about to receive is less than you deserve, but please don’t blame me.”

Avoid Rushing Monotone Voice.

A fast paced monotone speech is a sure-fire way to make your audience feel unimportant. It will also cause them to lose focus and become bored. How many lectures did you sit through in school listening to a monotone professor drone on about whatever subject he was teaching? How much of those lectures did you actually remember?

You don’t want to subject your audience to this same torture and you want them to remember what you talked about.
You can easily avoid monotone messages. Before saying a word think about the value of your message. Think about the aspects that create passionate feelings. Think about speaking clearly with compassion. Smile. Tell yourself a joke. Take a huge confidence breath.
Use eye-contact, positively say “you,” and flow with the message. If you do, you’ll hear, “I felt like you were speaking specifically to me.” That’s one of the best compliments you can get. And it proves that you’re speaking TO not AT the audience.

Limit your talk to a few key points.

Narrow down your topic to either one key point for a short talk, or three key points for a longer talk (a talk longer than 30-minutes). Ask yourself, “If my audience only remembered one thing from my talk, what would be the most important thing for them to remember?” The more points your presentation has, the less focus the audience will have on each individual point. Once you have your key points, then create your PowerPoint slides.

If you remember these five key points, you will be sure to knock-em dead

Using Humor in Your Professional Speaking Gig

If using humor in your professional speaking presentation, understand this. People will pay more to be entertained than they will to be informed. Look around you and you will see that the top industry is the entertainment industry. Encompassing sports events, comic acts, movies, television and music, the entertainment industry steadily received trillions of dollars worldwide.

Humor accomplishes many things in your presentation. Here are some things that humor can do for you!

1. Humor helps you connect with your audience. Make yourself more relatable with your audience as they begin to see that it’s not all about the information. Humor draws your audience to you because people are naturally drawn to positive things.

2. Humor makes you more approachable and likeable as a speaker. Your audience will see you as being more down to earth and again, relatable.

3. Humor creates interest in your topic as well as yourself. Humor just makes things interesting to follow. People like to laugh.

4. Humor helps to keep the attention of your audience. Your audience tunes out because they get lost in your presentation. By using humor, it’ll be harder for your audience to tune out because they will want to hear your humorous story.

5. Humor strengthens point and ideas you want to highlight in your presentation. Funny stories are memorable and can strengthen the point of your message. Television sitcoms are famous for taking real life situations and presenting them in a humorous fashion.

6. Humor removes hostility in your presentation. If there were any ill feelings towards you or your message, humor lightens the mood of your audiences and disarms negative emotions.

7. Humor helps connects pieces of information in your topic. Work humor into the transition points of your presentation. In that way they will be the bridge that connects the points of your message together.

8. Humor helps paint mental images in the minds of your audience. Self-effacing humor is often relatable to your audience because they can see themselves having those same situations.

9. Humor makes your presentation more memorable. People remember when they laugh. They’ll remember funny stories or funny instance during your presentation.

10. Humor lightens a heavy topic. People can only take so much of heavy topics. You don’t want to make your audience feel depressed even if your topic discusses a very grave matter.

11. Humor can bring in better evaluations and more product sales. Humor warms your audience up to you. In doing so, your audience will be more open to purchasing your back of the room products as well as give you a better review.

12. Humor will make people happy. People want to enjoy your seminar. They want to have a good time and they want to be happy. Humor helps you achieve that.

Humor can add so much variety to an otherwise dull, information only presentation. Helping to connect you with your audience, humor is a great addition that can bring you better speaker reviews and increased revenue. Add some spice to your message by incorporating humor!

Using Props in Your Professional Speaking Presentation

People learn and retain information in different ways. As a professional speaker, you must also learn to incorporate as many different ways of engaging your audience in order to reach as many people as possible. In fact, you have an obligation to use anything and everything it takes so that more people can relate your message to their life. This means at one point in your career, you’ll have to use props as part of your message.

A “prop” is any object that is handled or used while you are on stage. Props can be many different things such as flip charts, demonstrations, overhead projections – images, photos, and videos, and even other people. These props enhance the message you are trying to convey to your audience and can also help people connect with your ideas.

Props help your audience to get engaged in your presentation. They help to warm your audience and draws attention to the points your making in your presentation. They are visual illustrations that often are better able to convey the message than your spoken word can. It’s one thing to hear a new idea, but when people see your idea visually, they can develop a mental image in their mind and become visually oriented with what you are trying to say. Visual presentations often make your points interesting and it breaks up the monotony of only hearing you speak. For this reason, props can be used to add variety to your presentation.

Prizes and giveaways make excellent opening props. Often done with large audience presentations such as in large arenas, props are a great way to open your audience. It fires up your audience bringing excitement and anticipation for what you are going to speak about. The prizes may or may not be related to your message. You can use them as icebreakers or even as a way to draw excitement and attention to your support material sales at the back of the room.

Props can often be used as the “impromptu” portion of your presentation. When used correctly, your props can have your audience sitting on the edge of their chair as they strive to see what you are doing at the front of the room. As you talk about your props, your audience won’t feel like you are reading a speech, which brings us to the next point. They can also be a substitute for notes since they automatically prompt you to describe the reason for introducing the prop in the first place. You can essentially go through an entire presentation just using props!

Props have a valuable role in your presentation. Visual images are more easily remembered than the words you speak. On top of that, showing your audience the points you are trying to make can say more than telling your audience those same points. You know the old saying that a picture is worth a thousand words! Props can also help to invoke excitement and rev up your audience as you warm them up for your presentation! Begin to use props in your presentations and see how engaged your audience becomes!

What Does the First Year of Professional Speaking Look Like?

Unless you’re already a celebrity, you’ll have to work through building your professional speaking career from the ground up. This does mean work, but if the topics you plan to be speaking on are your passion, this will not be a chore to do! Also, depending upon how fast you are able to build connections and establish your reputation as a speaker will determine how fast you pass through this phase of career building.

The first phase of building your career is filled with getting the word out that you are available for hire as a professional speaker. You’ll also gain experience as you speak for free. Yes, that’s right – free. Your goal is build a database of clients and testimonials concerning your work before you hit the big time. One resource stated that you should plan on speaking for free for at least 200 hundred times to build a successful reputation and foundation of experience. The reason for all of this is that many speaker bureaus and meeting planners want speakers with experience and an established reputation in the field they’re in. As of now, you are working on creating your future success!

Here are some things you can do as you begin your professional speaking career.
1) List the topics you can speak on. Join a social network like LinkedIn (known as the social network for professionals) or forum and list those topics there.

2) Write some articles on these topics and post them on the free article websites. You can also post articles on your own website and add them to social bookmark sites. Whoever reads your article will see your bio at the bottom of each article and you’ll promote yourself as a speaker for these topics!

3) Get as many free speaking engagements as possible. Check with your local library or the Chamber of Commerce. Get feedback from your free speaking engagements and start compiling a list of these.

4) Take a professional picture of yourself. People want to feel connected to you and personalizing your website by adding your picture to it is just one of the ways. Additionally, you’ll need a professional photo for your portfolio

5) If you’re an expert in a trade, write articles for your industry’s trade publications. Sometimes these publications will ask for a short (1-2 sentence bio) where you can list “professional speaker” as part of your career listing. One benefit is that you can also get paid writing.

6) Get online and create a blog or website about the topics that you cover. Utilize social networking to build relationships with potential clients as well as peers in your industry. Promote yourself as a professional speaker and a thought leader in your industry.
7) Add a tagline to your email signature. Whoever gets your emails will see that you are a professional speaker for hire.

8) Research the industry for pay rates and start developing a fee schedule for your speaking engagements. We mentioned earlier that you should expect to speak for free, however, speaking for free could easily turn into a paying job for you. What would you charge?

9) Create a demo video of a speaking event you’ve done. You can use clips from several of your speaking jobs (including the free ones).
During this first phase, you’re basically building your professional speaking portfolio. You’ll need this portfolio to go after higher paying jobs with speaker bureaus and meeting planners. You’re already working towards your future success!