Seminars, conferences, and many other types of events require public speakers. Public speakers may be occasional speakers or full-time speakers at seminars and conferences. Many business people use public speaking engagements as a marketing tool to promote awareness of their business or service while often earning a respectable fee for their speech.
Established speakers may work with a speaker’s bureau that functions as their agent. The speaker’s bureau earns a commission on the speaking engagement fee paid to the speaker in exchange for their services. Most speaker bureaus are interested in working with established speakers.
Public speakers and seminar presenters usually speak on a limited range of topics on which they are very knowledgeable. There is no reason why a public speaker cannot speak on a variety of topics, though the research and preparation involved in speaking on multiple topics may prove burdensome.
Depending on the topic or topics you wish to speak about, there are usually plenty of organizations looking for speakers. Civic clubs, business groups, schools, universities, churches and social clubs all utilize guest speakers. Many of these groups or organizations would be glad to know of another local speaker who could discuss topics relevant to their interests.
Public speaking is an ideal home-based business since it requires almost no overhead and the work is performed at other locations. Getting started in public speaking requires almost no financial investment and can result in profit rather quickly.
As with all businesses, the best approaches for marketing your public speaking business will depend on the target audience you envision for your speaking business. The topics you plan to speak on will largely define potential speaking venues.
What topics do you plan to speak about? Which subjects are you knowledgeable enough about to address without needing to first perform extensive research? Which businesses, organizations or groups would be interested in the topics you are planning to speak about? Answering these questions will help to define who your initial target audience will be and will help to identify possible venues.
Research possible venues and then contact event organizers or decision makers about the possibility of presenting at the seminar, conference or event. Another way to find opportunities is to monitor newspapers and relevant trade or industry publications for news of seminars, conferences, or other events that may utilize public speakers. Contact event organizers and discuss whether they are still seeking speakers. Many times when an event is advertised the organizers will already have the speakers lined up in advance. However, speakers sometimes cancel for various reasons and you may be able to have your name on a stand-in list in the event of a cancellation. You may also be able to secure a speaking engagement at a future event in this way.
Business cards and brochures can be great marketing tools for your public speaking business. Business cards help to present a professional image, while brochures can present summary information about your qualifications, interests, and experience.
A business website is essential for many businesses in the modern economy. Public speakers can use a website to great advantage. Your website allows you to display biographical information, your experiences and qualifications, interests and topics that you present on, testimonials from previous speaking engagements, photos, videos, a calendar of events where you will be speaking, and links to other articles or reviews of your speaking engagements. Integrating a blog or article collection into your website allows you to post articles related to the topics you speak about to further enhance your credibility and authority. Your website also allows event organizers to find you when they are searching for experts or speakers. In other words, a well-planned and well-maintained website is an incredibly powerful marketing tool for any serious public speaker.
Many people are afraid of public speaking. However, experienced public speakers have learned that few speeches are delivered perfectly and how to handle the little things that may go wrong during a speaking engagement. Provided you are familiar with your topic, prepared for the speech, and ready when you are scheduled there is really very little that can go wrong. I have been involved in public speaking for nearly 20 years. Some of my deliveries were better than average, some were worse than average, but no one has ever thrown tomatoes at the stage!
Public speaking can be a great way to promote and raise awareness of another business or project you are involved with, and will often yield extra money in the process. Public speaking can also be a business all by itself. Whichever route you choose to pursue, public speaking can be fun, profitable, and, best of all, operated as a home-based business.
Peter Hupalo. Public Speaking/Seminar Business. Thinking Like an Entrepreneur. Site accessed on 23 November 2010.
Christopher Witt. How to Get Started in Public Speaking. Entrepreneur. Site accessed on 23 November 2010.