I am going to be presenting "Speaking for Fun and Money" at a Toastmasters conference and since I'm often asked "how do I get into speaking?" after presentations or by email, I thought I would pass along a few tips for those of you interested.
- Become an expert. Pick your niche, research and study and listen/read to as many other experts as possible. Yes, it may take a while, but it's worth it.
Get visible. Toastmasters. Chamber of Commerce. Company training program. Church. Community organizations etc. Look for opportunities (or create your own) to speak to a group of people.
Gain credibility. Write, write, write. Your reputation will grow as you are seen in publications or your own newsletter/blog. Speak, speak, speak. Do it for free, just get in front of an audience and perfect your presentation.
Speaking for money. Market research what others are charging, join a speakers bureau and offer bonus materials. Have your own website to showcase what you are all about.
Don't get discouraged. It takes time to build name recognition. Be willing to put in the effort and develop relationships that might turn into speaking opportunities.