Professional speakers command respect as well as significant fees to speak and share their knowledge at events like conferences, conventions, summits, forums and corporate meetings. How about you? If you really enjoy speaking to crowds and sharing what you know, then perhaps you should consider starting a second career as a public speaker too.
I often say to authors that speaking is a wonderful opportunity to pique the interest of new audiences and drum up support for your book. If you’re comfortable enough putting yourself out there, then giving speeches, giving classes and giving interviews can all help you to promote your book and promote yourself as an author. But it can also work the other way around.
If you thrive in the spotlight, then writing a book can help you to launch a whole new career as a professional speaker. Let me show you what I mean.
Writing a Book Opens Doors
Writing a nonfiction book fundamentally requires three things from the author: knowledge, research and passion. After all, nonfiction books are considered to be works of nonfiction because of the author’s good faith effort to stick to accuracy and facts; it doesn’t matter if we’re talking about cookery, science or politics. Then passion is the main factor in being able to take a book project from initial idea to a complete, finished book that you can hold in your hands.
If you didn’t have anything to say or didn’t know enough about the subject of your book, or had enough motivation and discipline to write, you simply couldn’t write a book. (Not without the help of a ghostwriter’s services anyway.)
Writing a book is a testament to your knowledge of the subject and your commitment to it. That is why writing a nonfiction book bestows a level of credibility upon the author that can be hard to find elsewhere; it firmly establishes the author as an expert. And who do people want to come speak to their group or event? Why an expert, of course!
Writing a book can open doors to bigger and better things, and bigger spotlights. Many entrepreneurs, for example, use their books as part of their sales funnel for lead generation (to make more money). Their readers get access to that person’s expertise in book form for the price of one or two cups of coffee. Then those wanting more are primed to pay for additional higher-priced services like consulting.
The same is true for speakers. A book can serve as both a ticket of admission to the speaking world (establishing your credibility), as well as a calling card (helping to lay the groundwork for a speaking engagement). In fact, this works even if the person booking speaking engagements doesn’t actually have the time to read your book. Having written a book is enough to be your superhero cloak.
Become a Public Speaker
Once you have a book under your belt that establishes your expertise, then it’s time to put yourself out there to speak and speak and speak to your heart’s content. Here are a few tips to steer you in the right direction.
First, practice makes perfect! If you haven’t already honed your speaking skills to a fine art, then take every opportunity to speak in front of a group to do so. And if you’re not already a member of Toastmasters, then I recommend becoming a member. The international public speaking club will challenge you and help you to polish your speaking skills. You might also try volunteering to speak at local clubs, organizations, reading groups and companies. Tell them about your book.
Second, be honest with yourself about the main reason you’re attracted to a second career as a public speaker.
If your motivation is primarily the money, then do your research and create goals for your paid engagements. Who do you want to pay you to speak and at what types of events? Who organizes those events? How much do you want them to pay you? Or would you like to organize your own events to speak at? If so, how would you go about doing that?
You might also decide that you want to become a professional speaker not for the money but for the public recognition and personal satisfaction.
Whatever your reason is though, just make sure you know what it is. This is the passion that will sustain your new speaking career.
Third, build up references from your speaking engagements – volunteer and paid engagements alike. Record videos as samples of your talks and speeches; then upload them to your website, if you have one, or to video websites like YouTube and Vimeo. After all, people who book speakers for high-profile events want to know that you’ve done this before and will want to see for themselves what to expect from you. Show them what you can do.
Your Stage Awaits
Do you feel more ready to become a professional speaker now? To write your book and get those speaking engagements, or organize your own events to speak at? Imagine yourself speaking to crowds, sharing your knowledge and enjoying your new career as a public speaker.
Let us help.
Dudley Court Press
Dudley Court Press works with writers like you every day. As a full-service, hybrid publishing house, we help thoughtful people write their books and become successful published authors.
For more information, including about DCP’s latest program Memoir Writing Made Easy, please get in touch at info@DudleyCourtPress.com.