My daily blog, social media posts and e-mail messages reach over 100,000 souls so it is my responsibility to post useful content. Oftentimes I read a lot of great info which makes me do things different, better. In the last months I received a lot of messages from aspiring public speakers and professionals wanting to add public speaking to their skills and was asked about how I get gigs and in general about how I’m developing this side. So I’ve decided to start sharing from my experience right away so if this is a subject of interest for you to get amazing value and start implementing. First, you can approach public speaking in two ways:
1. You can aim for a full public speaking career and do only that;
2. To simply add public speaking as a skill and stream of revenue to what you are currently doing (this is my choice also regarding public speaking); Look, no matter what route you follow, by adding public speaking as a professional skill you will be able not just to speak meaningfully to your audiences but will gain amazing presentation skills, capabilities to present online trainings, train and coach, even sell from the stage, a whole new world will open for you. Back in the days, I’ve started to become a public speaker in 2009 when two things happened: a real estate magazine I worked with – Construction & Investments Journal invited me to present two training sessions in English to their advertising clients about marketing in real estate and also received a nice e-mail and took action on it. It was a regular morning and received an e-mail from the organisers of one event I was supposed to attend in one month in Dubrovnik, Croatia.
They said that wanted to offer one of the speaking panels to their conference to one of the attendees of course based on the quality of content, speaking skills and value brought to the audience. I’ve pitched myself immediatly, have choosen a theme related to social media market (one of my dearest subjects) and the slot was mine. It was not a paid gig, but I was anyway there in the audience and had the chance to validate myself in front of 150 top people from European travel companies.
The panel went very well, with usual sweat, butterflies in the stomach but everything went great and the audience was pleased. In the last 6 years I did a lot of public speaking appearances in various countries, in front of small and big audiences and the most expensive event I’ve spoke in was one where the +100 participants paid more than 1000 $ to attend. To speak in front of audiences became one of my deepest passions and really it’s like how is rock’n’roll in music. What is very important for me is to speak based on my expertise with the subject and not to be something I’ve learned from a book and I have 0 experience with. Unfortunately, there is so much fake in this industry – will reveal some unbelievable facts in the next article on the subject.
I see public speaking as an extraordinary way to add value and change lives but it is not a hobby but a business with a meaningful purpose: to advance the life of others. Since 2009 I probably did most of the mistakes possible but also learned tons of good stuff and I am in that moment when I really can take things to the next level. I did a lot of free gigs to get my name out but I do less and less of those and avoid with all costs the events which are just a waste of time. The time is our most precious resource. We simply can’t have more time than we actually have. Based on my experience I’ve drafted the “10 insider secrets to grow your public speaking business fast”.
1. Decide for yourself that you want to do this and not just as a hobby but to build a sustainable business. If you see it just as a hobby it will be neglected the element of value you bring into the world. If you see it as a business even if you will speak for free you will be very careful with what you speak, how yo do it, how you approach the audiences and how much value you can bring into other lives.
2. Get past the stage fear! It is widely recognised that the fear to speak in public is the second after death so many public speakers are not necessarily good but they just passed this fear and there are on stage and this alone can be a huge achievement.
3. Make a plan for your new business. You will see that the plan will not work hundreds of times but the whole process of planning will make the difference;
4. Work (because there is some work involved) to become a trusted authority on a subject, industry or niche. Of course, you can be a motivational speaker but think about how you can be different from anybody else. Even see if you can have associations between your name and your industry. Authorities are rarely questioned about price and relevance. Please don’t forget the fact that the audience don’t want just amazing content. They wan amazing content presented by authorities.
5. Develop training, coaching programs and workshops related to your area of expertise and your speeches. Even if you don’t promote anything during a speech you can receive enquiries from the audience from people and companies wanting to start working with you.
6. Make yourself a pleasing appearance: people and companies buy from people and companies they know, like and trust. Make your presence to be a must for certain type of events.
7. Pitch yourself! Don’t be afraid to pitch yourself even to speak for free to the events where you feel that will add credibility to your bottom line. At the beginning is most likely that you will be alone and maybe later you will be represented by a public speaking bureau or agency. Public speakers are exactly like actors and musicians, it is absolutely the same thing just that the instruments are different. By the way, they have similar paydays – as low or as big they can get.
8. Always build a database of potential speaker bookers – companies, associations, hotels, event halls, PR & communication companies and send them e-mails from time to time and even call them to have you on their radar;
9. This is very important – make yourself available for rescue jobs. If you are available in a certain day to replace a speaker who just cancelled a gig will absolutely help you in the new pursuit of becoming a public speaker;
10. I would say that being a public speaker can be very rewarding financially, you just need to know how to approach it correctly to get maximum returns from your time and efforts. You will earn both from fees, consulting gigs based on your expertise and products: training, coaching, workshops and … books. It’s esential to write at least one physical book – you can write dozens which will boost you credibility. Even with the huge development of platforms like Amazon Kindle still the physical books are amazing ways to establish yourself as an authority. Now, take action and start implementing! In the next article I will write about the fake in public speaking, how to sense it, how not to follow this route and how to make yourself stand out in an ethical way! And of course, I’m pitching myself as a speaker for your next event! Please get in touch! www.adrianniculescu.com