If you have a powerful message to share, unique insights, or specialized knowledge, professional speaking could be the perfect platform for you. But how do you get started? In this article, I’ll outline a 20-step process to help you embark on your professional speaking journey.
20 Steps to Get Started with Professional Speaking
Like any profession, speaking requires specific skills, tools, and methods to master. This detailed 20-step guide will walk you through every facet of the journey, from identifying your unique voice to building a personal brand to setting up your fees.
1. Define Your Area of Expertise
To begin, you need to define your unique area of expertise. This should be a subject matter that you are well-versed in and passionate about. Choosing a niche will make you more attractive to specific audiences and help differentiate you from other speakers.
2. Identify Your Niche Target Audience
Who will benefit the most from your message? Identifying your niche target audience is crucial in shaping your content and delivery style. Understanding your audience’s needs, challenges, and interests will help you resonate better and ensure your message is received well.
3. Determine Your Unique Voice
Every successful professional speaker has a unique voice. Your voice isn’t just about how you sound; it’s about how you communicate your message. Your voice should reflect your personality, beliefs, and unique perspective on your area of expertise.
4. Build Your Skills
To be a professional speaker, you must be a good communicator. Attend public speaking classes, read books, watch other speakers, and never stop learning. Good speakers are made, not born. And like any skill, the more you practice and learn, the better you get.
5. Build Your Personal Brand
Your personal brand is your uniqueness and the value you bring to an audience. It should resonate through your speaking style, online presence, and promotional materials. Building your personal brand is an important step to get right, so if you need help, join me for Brand in Demand Live!
6. Fine-Tune Your Keynote/Presentation/Speech
Once you have a message, an audience, and a voice, it’s time to craft your keynote. A good speech is engaging and insightful and gives the audience actionable takeaways. Regularly revise and fine-tune your presentation as you gain more insights from your experiences.
7. Practice, Practice, Practice
There is no shortcut to becoming a compelling speaker other than practicing. Rehearse your speech until you know it by heart. Practice in front of a mirror, record yourself, or present to a small group of trusted friends or colleagues who can provide feedback.
8. Create a Professional Website
Your speaker website is your digital business card. It should showcase who you are, what you do, and why someone should hire you to speak at their event. Include a short bio, a summary of your speaking topics, testimonials, and a way to contact you.
9. Be Active on Social Media
Social media is a powerful tool for getting your message out there. Share insights, engage with your followers, and establish yourself as an expert in your field. It’s also a great platform to promote your speaking engagements and create anticipation for your events.
10. Attend Networking Events
Networking is a powerful way to meet event organizers, fellow speakers, and potential clients. Attend industry events, public speaking groups, and business mixers to meet new people and spread the word about your speaking business. Brand in Demand Live will have tons of networking opportunities, so I hope to see you there!
11. Connect on LinkedIn
LinkedIn is a great platform to connect with professionals and business owners. Share your expertise through articles and posts, participate in discussions, and build your professional network.
12. Pitch to Local Events to Get Started
Starting small is a great way to break into professional speaking. Look for local events in your niche and pitch yourself as a speaker. This will give you experience and help you refine your presentation skills.
13. Consider Free Speaking Gigs to Get Started
While your goal is probably to get paid speaking engagements, don’t overlook the value of free gigs early on. They can provide valuable experience, exposure, and the chance to fine-tune your presentation before you hit the larger, paid stages.
14. Create a Demo Video
A high-quality demo video can showcase your speaking style and help potential clients understand what you bring to an event. Include clips of your presentations, audience reactions, and testimonials to make your video engaging and persuasive. As mentioned above, starting out with free and local opportunities is a great way to get footage to create your first demo video.
15. Collect Testimonials
Positive feedback from past events can significantly boost your credibility. After each event, ask for testimonials from the event organizers or audience members. Display these testimonials on your website and in your marketing materials.
16. Register with a Speaker’s Bureau
Speaker bureaus can connect you with potential clients seeking speakers in your niche. While they take a percentage of your fee, they can provide exposure to a broader range of opportunities you might not find on your own.
17. Develop a Marketing Plan
To succeed as a professional speaker, you must effectively market yourself. This involves creating a marketing plan that outlines your strategy for attracting new engagements. It also includes developing compelling marketing materials such as brochures, business cards, and a speaker’s kit.
18. Determine Your Speaker Fee
Deciding on your speaker fee can be tricky. Research what other speakers in your field are charging. Consider your expertise, the value you provide, and your target market’s budget. Remember, as your reputation grows, so too can your fee.
19. Create a List of Speaking Opportunities, Businesses, and Events to Pitch
Develop a list of potential speaking opportunities to target. This could include industry conferences, corporate events, seminars, and more. Research who the event organizers are and tailor your pitches to each opportunity.
20. Run It Like a Business
Lastly, remember to treat your speaking career like a business. This means being professional, meeting deadlines, providing outstanding service to your clients, and continually investing in your personal development. You can build a successful professional speaking career with dedication and hard work.
Join Us at Brand in Demand Live!
There is a lot to do to become a professional speaker, so you might be wondering what’s next. If you’re seriously considering diving into professional speaking, an ideal next step would be to attend Brand in Demand Live.
Brand in Demand Live is more than an event; it’s your springboard into the professional speaking arena! This comprehensive experience will help you create a standout personal brand that gets you noticed. Beyond that, it’s a chance to meet and mingle with other aspiring speakers, authors, coaches, and consultants. You’ll make valuable connections, learn from awesome speakers, and have a lot of fun too.
So why wait? Join us at Brand in Demand Live! Make your mark, amplify your voice, and become the professional speaker you’ve always aspired to be. See you there!