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Profit, Pleasure and Personal Growth: Speak For Six Figures

If you’re a natural talker, you should know that talk isn’t cheap—when it comes to the speaking circuit.  In fact, as an amateur you can actually earn a little more than US$200 per presentation and when you get a little proficient in your field you can ask for as high as US$1,000 per 2-hour talk. What’s more, you’ll be getting all these by doing what you love most --- talking.

Professional speakers delivering motivational speeches are in high demand these days, thanks to the myriad of speaking opportunities available at schools, charitable functions, and professional workshops.  Community organizations, religious institutions, and other groups are constantly on the lookout for speakers for their fundraising banquets, educational sessions, and other events.

There is no standard educational requirement for professional speakers.  After all, the late Peter Jennings, an acclaimed television news anchor and sought-after speaker, never finished college.  However, generally speaking, the more education you have, the better chances of being successful, since educational achievement enhances your credibility as a speaker.  For instance, if you have a PhD in bioethics, you’ll be in greater demand for speeches on stem cell research than a person with a regular BS degree. 

However, even if you do have nothing but a standard Bachelor of Arts degree, you can still establish a career as a professional speaker. The most important qualification for becoming a professional speaker is the ability to deliver an entertaining, engaging speech in a dynamic fashion.  You only need to convince people that you’re an expert in the subject matter you are discussing —whether it’s politics or the dangers of drug abuse or a simple advice on how to choose the right career. 

You can begin by delivering speeches in your local community—an experience which can possibly lead to speaking invitations in other cities. This will hopefully give you a chance to spread your vocal wings across other shores.  The possibilities are endless; opportunities are just waiting to be tapped. 

The road to becoming a polished, sophisticated speaker takes time but if you’re already endowed with the talent for making people listen to you, the rest will be easier.  Public speaking is a skill that can only be learned by practice.  The more you do it; the more you become proficient in it.  It will also be wise if you join Toastmasters, so that you can gain experience and learn from the experiences of other speakers.

Once you have established yourself as a credible speaker, you can then sign on with a speakers’ bureau, a company which can publicize your qualifications and your accomplishments, secure speaking engagements for you, and make travel arrangements for your presentations.

Or you can advertise and sell your speaking expertise.  You can market yourself online through your own homepage. This will give you an edge over other professional speakers who rely on getting commissions from people they already know.  

But the best form of advertising will still be the word of mouth.  Once you satisfy your audience they will keep on coming back for more and will soon tell and convince others about it, too. As your reputation spreads you will find your presentation booking increasing and your public speaking sphere widening.  

The benefits you’ll get from this profession far surpass the efforts and preparation you put and invested into it.  Public speaking will not only give you the opportunity to share what you know with others but it will also give you a chance to get to know yourself even more; boost your self-confidence, provide you an option to hone your skills and develop a deeper awareness of yourself and other people. 

A big plus will be the prospect of controlling your own schedule and possessing the option of not having to report on a regular basis for work.  Above all the profession frees you from unreasonable bosses and uncooperative co-workers.

If you think public speaking suit your personality and needs, go on and start; share your expertise and ideas with others.  The best thing is to start small and build slowly.  You won’t regret anything; marvelous rewards and tremendous benefits are waiting for you.