Are You Guest Speaker Material? How to Find Public Speaking Jobs
Land A Public Speaking Job
To make a career out of public speaking, you need to be confident and unafraid to put yourself front and center for all to see.
Do you consider yourself a crowd pleaser, a showman, or someone who enjoys educating or entertaining others? If so, finding gigs as a guest speaker might be something worth looking into.
There are two ways to land public speaking jobs. The first is to achieve celebrity status and go directly into public speaking where you can instantly command a large paycheck because of your pre-existing fame.
You may not be a celebrity, so chances are you’re going to have to go about it like the rest of us: You’ll have to work hard and earn your status in the public speaking world by marketing yourself well and providing good quality content that audiences love.
Are There Public Speaking Jobs Out There?
When you think about it, speaking job opportunities are everywhere. And since public speaking ranks as one of Americans’ greatest fears, being skilled at speaking in public is incredibly valuable because not a lot of people want to do it.
What can you do with this prized and profitable skill? Here are just a few examples of public speaking jobs:
- Spokesperson – Politicians, celebrities and large organizations are always looking for people with strong communication and public speaking skills who can make public announcements and conduct media interviews.
- Broadcast journalist – In this job, you’re center-stage, delivering the news to thousands of viewers. Strong public speaking skills are an absolute must.
- Motivational Speaker – Need a speaker who can inspire a crowd? Motivational speakers are full of energy, enthusiasm and charisma; their job is to inspire and motivate people to change their lives. Even though motivational speakers typically address groups of people, they know how to make each person in the audience feel like they’re speaking directly to them.
Start Your Public Speaking Career Now
The first step to launching a successful public speaking career is to ask yourself “Who is my audience?” The answer to this one simple question will help you come up with a “client avatar,” a fictitious character who represents your ideal client. Is your ideal client a corporate professional, a member of the media, or a person in a specific trade? When you know who you want in your audience, the task of finding a suitable public speaking job will be easier.
Second, narrow down where your ideal clients are most likely to be and aim to get a speaking gig there. Even if you don’t charge any money to speak at first, the exposure you get will lead to more speaking opportunities down the road. Public speaking jobs can be very lucrative—once you’ve built your reputation and provided amazing content.
Multiple Revenue Streams
When you’re pursuing public speaking jobs, it’s important that you also think about creating multiple streams of revenue. Sure, getting big, high-paying gigs is exciting—and your primary goal if you plan to make a career out of public speaking. No one can guarantee a high-paying public speaking engagement every month, however you can do a few smaller, free or low-paying gigs where you sell other products.
In an interview with Forbes, personal development and leadership expert Chris Widener said he used this exact technique.
Widener created products such as books, CDs, DVDs and eBooks to sell at the free gigs he did, and he’d email a one-page order form to the event organizers ahead of his speaking engagement and request they put a copy on everyone’s seat.
As his speech was drawing to a close, Widener would let people know about his products and have them take a look at the paper left on their chairs. All his listeners had to do was fill out the order form. Widener said that about 20 to 35 percent of the audience would make a purchase. “I’ve spoken to 3,000 people and sold $140,000 in product after a speech,” he said.
You can do the same to maximize the profit from your public speaking jobs.
Find Public Speaking Jobs on Social Media
Social media is a powerful vehicle to propel your public speaking career forward. Look at how powerful Twitter has become, courtesy of Hootsuite:
- 66% of Twitter users have discovered a new small business on Twitter
- 94% of Twitter users plan to purchase from the small businesses they follow
- 69% have purchased from a small business in the past because of something they saw on Twitter
- 75% of Twitter users feel better about a small business after following a business and reading its tweets
- 79% of Twitter users have retweeted from a small business
- 38% of Twitter users have retweeted a new product or service update from a small business
The opportunity is there to find public speaking jobs on social media by making quality connections with the right people, but what about the value of showcasing your public speaking skills through social media?
If you’ve been invited to be a guest speaker at an event and you’re giving a free presentation, why not livestream it or record it to post to your social media accounts? Social media is an invaluable marketing tool that can give you much-needed exposure to advertise yourself as a public speaker. It can help people discover you and your business as well as influence them to hire you to present at their next event.
Social media can also help you to create a loyal following for your freelance public speaking career, never underestimate how powerful a tool social media can be.
Specialize in Being a Guest Speaker
If you’ve reached a point where you’re ready to make a career out of public speaking, there are a lot of great opportunities out there for you. Even if you’re only doing it part-time, starting a public speaking job could lead to new and exciting career opportunities. That’s because really good public speakers are in high demand in every industry.
Even if you aren’t planning on leaving your current career, using your expertise and passion for what you do, combined with strong public speaking skills, could be an additional income source for you.