Aren’t we all speakers in our own rights? After all, who doesn’t speak? However, to become a professional paid speaker is a different kettle of fish. Those who are able to charge and command respectable speaking fees definitely do a number of things differently.
In this brief article I will share with you some of those things professional and highly paid speakers invest in to distinguish themselves.
8 Things professional and highly paid public speakers do well
- Have a distinctive message: Your message is central to what you will be speaking about most of the time and because it matters to you, you want to share it with others. The goal is to effectively communicate your ideas and knowledge to others. Clarity and distinction are two important elements that signpost individual speakers message.
- Invest in personal branding: Beyond having a distinct message, top speakers invest time and effort to craft and build a solid brand persona for themselves. As we all know, perception is worth more than gold in the marketplace. So if you are starting out as a professional speaker, it will be well worth it to take some time out to do personal brand audit, and then design your personal brand the way you would like to be perceived when you finally join the league of top speakers. Work every day to attain that persona. How you appear, introduce yourself and dress for the occasion should never be left to chance.
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- Prepare: quite like in every profession, you can never go wrong with preparation. In fact, in the pursuit of excellence, there’s nothing like over preparation. Top speakers know that nothing boosts confidence like being thoroughly prepared for a presentation; and with confidence, a top-notch delivery is almost certain. So, if you want to join that revered league of top earning speakers then you must learn to invest in preparation. There’s no such thing as a perfect speech, but there is a well thought out and prepared presentation.
- Know your audience and tailor your presentation accordingly: It is important to note that a distinctive message delivered to the wrong audience is akin to a wasted effort. So investing in knowing and understanding your audience is as critical as the content of your message. This gives you the best chance to think like them and then be able to imagine what you as part of the audience would like to benefit from the speech/presentation.
- Stay Flexible: While delivering a speech top speakers gauge their audience through their reactions, body languages and facial expressions. That way they are able to determine if they have the attention of their audience, gauge if they are uninterested or confused. While observing, they stay flexible enough to know what to reiterate, adjust, or explain a little further. As a professional speaker aspiring to earn more, you need to develop your perceptive skill – your delivery will surely profit from it. And well delivered presentations will improve your chances of getting repeats invitation or referrals.
- Closeup and personal: Permit yourself to let your personal touch reflect in your speech. People relate to what they believe is real and not staged, and you can be relatable when you tell stories personal to you that can both be humorous and captivating. In fact, top speakers are master story tellers.
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- Put yourself out there: Invest in professional marketing to reach more audiences and build your speaking momentum. Part of this marketing would be to learn to accept strategic speaking offers – even if they are at zero fees. All top speakers commit to a number of free speaking appearances that intersect with their interests or expertise.
- Sign up with a speaker bureau: In some cases, professional speakers have a personal team manage them. However, having a speaker bureau manage your speaking appearances puts you on a better professional pedestal. Most speaker bureaux have leverage and are often more adept at negotiating higher fees for professional speakers.
While it is important to acknowledge that these points are not exhaustive, implementing them will surely improve any speaker’s rating and earning.