start and build your own speaking business!
By Bob Yates
Public speaking is my
passion. Itís the one thing that I never get tired of.
Knowing that Iím making a difference in the lives of others
turns me on. For years I spoke for free. I never looked at
speaking as a business although it is. More than 100 billion
dollars is spent each year in the speaking industry. I remember the first
time I got paid to speak for a church group. Even though it
was only $50.00, I couldnít believe I was getting paid to do
something that I loved doing. Since then I have gone on to
make more than $20,000.00 for a 20 minute presentation. This
is when the light came on for me.
I had always heard
ďdo what you love and the money will follow.Ē Itís true!
However there is one thing that should be added. ďDo what
you love and become excellent at it and the money
will follow.Ē I decided then that public speaking was the
one thing that I wanted to master and become the best
at. Itís now my full time business and I love it.
The speaking business can be done part time or full time.
You don't have to quit your job and you can run your
speaking business from a small area of your home with
virtually no overhead. You can travel if you want AND the
client pays the bill, or you can stay in your home area and
sleep in your own bed every night. . . . The choice is
Here are a few tips to
get jump-start your own speaking business.
1.Choose a topic that you are passionate about.
Passion is essential to public speaking. I purpose never to
speak on subjects that I am not passionate about. Trust me,
it will show. You are your first audience. If you are not
fired up about your message, no one else will be. When
selecting your topic you can choose a subject that has wide
appeal such as how to lose weight and keep it off or how to
manage your money. Or you can choose a niche topic such as
ďHow to to make it big in real estate foreclosures" or "How
to start your own publishing company." Sometimes, the tighter
the niche, the
easier it is to get rich. Make sure that you LOVE your topic
and have a passion to get your message out to others.
2.Develop a 20-40 minute presentation on your niche
topic. I have learned that one 20 minute speech in front
of the right group can open doors of opportunity to you that
are closed to 90% of the population. Once I was speaking for
a group of about 75 new and current business owners. A lady
walked in on the last 7 minutes of my presentation and liked
my message. Afterwards she came to the back of the room and
bought several of my teaching products. She then asked if I
would be willing to give my presentation in London. After 30
seconds of prayer, I agreed. I went to London several months
later, (all expenses paid) for five full days. Oh, and did I
mention that I got paid to give the speech. A free speech
got me an all expense paid trip to London. This brings me
to my next tip.
3.Speak for FREE first. This is how you develop
your craft. People often say to me that I speak so fluently. What they donít realize is that I have given
thousands of presentations since I started my speaking
career, most of them for free. Speaking for free has several
benefits. First, you get platform time which gives you the
opportunity to perfect your delivery. Practicing in the
bathroom mirror is not how you become a world class speaker;
At least it didnít work for me. You need to feel the
pressure and step into it. You need to make mistakes and
self correct. You need to flop every once in a while to find
out what works and what doesnít. Itís best to make your
mistakes when people arenít paying for them. ďNobody
can ask for their money back.Ē Also, when speaking for free,
record yourself. This is how I developed my first product.
This brings me to my next tip.
4.Create product. Having a supporting line of
teaching and training products is the most powerful and
lucrative part of the speaking business. More that 50% of a
speakerís income usually comes from back of the room sales.
I remember when creating my first marketable product was my
goal. At the time I just wanted to have my first cassette
tape. Remember those days? Finally I created my first
cassette and then my second. Eventually I had a six cassette
series. I learned that if people liked my presentation, they
would probably like my products. I was right. Today, I have
more than 40 different audios, MP3's and videos in my
product line. My message is being heard daily by people that
I donít even know or may never meet. Creating products is
the double-edged sword that turned my life and business
around. There are two reasons I recommend that you create
products. One, it earns you a small or large fortune.
Secondly, it gives you tremendous leverage to touch the
lives of thousands, perhaps millions while you go about your
daily life. This is by far one of the things I love most
about this business.
5.Speak often. Repetition is the mother of skill.
There is a level of mastery that only comes from practice
and repetition. Today, I seem to do what I do effortlessly.
I no longer have fears of public speaking. The words come to
me when I take the stage. I stay ready. But it wasnít always
that way. I have had many flops, nights when it just wasnít
there. It comes with the territory. But the more you speak,
the better you get. The more you speak, the more confidence
you build. I advise you to take advantage of every
opportunity to speak that fits your message. Donít worry
about getting paid. If they pay you, fine. If not, itís ok.
Every time you get to practice your message, you get a little
better. I spoke for organizations that couldnít pay me, but
there was someone listening in the audience who could. This
is a secret I discovered: When I speak and add value to
others, good things happen. Itís just the way it works. Do
it for the love of it. I have often said I love speaking so
much, if people didnít pay me to talk, Iíd pay them to
listen. Follow these simple tips and you too will enjoy the
wonderful benefits of public speaking.