6 Speaking Steps To Begin Your Speaking Career in 2022
by Elaine Powell
The speaking industry currently in the USA is worth over US $1.9 billion. There are no stats for its worth worldwide but I would treble that amount. Therefore it is a very smart business move to give this industry the time and attention it deserves. Not only will it give you incredible monetary gains, but it will raise your visibility, thought leadership and attract your ideal clients.
Every female speaker who is earning six figures and over in this industry began their speaking journey differently. One thing we all have in common is that we answered a calling that said, “It was time for us to speak up, and speak out,” and so we did.
Is it your time? Is that why you clicked on this article? I am just declaring it for you. Wink, wink!
You see what I have found during my 100,000 hours of speaking and training is that there are many steps for you to become a sought after speaker. And I am going to share with you six of them.
1. Know Your Why
One of the first things you need to look at is what is your ‘Why’ for going out speaking.
Many people know, what they want to speak about, and how they are going to do this but not many have spent time really thinking about what is at the core of why they want to speak. Simon Sinek coined the term “Golden Circle,” where he purports that great organisations and great leaders’ communication should start at the core of ‘why’ they do something; why they exist, then what they do, and lastly, how they go about accomplishing it.
Knowing your ‘why’ is crucially important because it speaks to the heart of your listener. When speaking becomes challenging, which it will, like all careers, you can touch base with why you took up this mantel in the first place. Therefore make your ‘why’ bigger than yourself and let it be your North Star.
2. Positioning Yourself
How do you stand out in a crowded market? How do you position your product or services to meet the needs of your targeted segment?
Positioning helps to establish your service’s identity within the eyes of the client. It has you be the first person they think of when they hear Instagram reels or branding. This is what is known as the term ‘Niche,’ which means nest, nook, a corner in their head. You want to be ultimately nesting inside your ideal client’s head.
Do not be everything to everyone, as you will speak to nobody. Starting out you want your niche to be an inch wide and a mile deep. Do you want to be a small fish in a big pond or a big fish in a small pond? Be known as an expert in your field.
So now you have set the foundation with your positioning, established your target audience and niche. Next, find out who is willing to pay for your area of expertise and start to have conversations.
Remember event organisers don’t book speakers,
they book experts who speak.
3. Craft an engaging signature presentation
Your signature presentation is your product and therefore it deserves the time and attention to make it outstanding. Many event organisers are not only hiring you to deliver an amazing presentation but they want their audience to take away tools, strategies and tips afterwards. They want you to transform their audience. Having an outstanding signature presentation ensures that people want to hire you again, give a glowing testimonial and recommendations to others. If you are serious about boosting your credibility, visibility and client attraction then improving your presentation skills needs to be a goal for 2022.
Maybe set yourself a goal of speaking on a TEDx stage, which will boost your thought leadership in that area instantly. Download my Free pdf 5 mistakes people make wanting to get on a TEDx stage.
There are also many coaches and programs out there to support you in this amazing art form. Just because you can speak, does not make you a speaker. Same as, just because you can sing, does not make you a singer that people will want to pay for. Most speakers who are over six figures have had a speaker coach. Coaches see your blindspots, they share their years of experience and expertise with you. This ultimately saves you years of frustration, loss of potential income and the most precious commodity, time.
4. Have engaging messaging
Messaging is multi-faceted. There is the messaging that says who you are, who you serve, what problem you solve and what solution you deliver. It is succinct to the point. You put this type of messaging on your social media profiles, website and on your speaker biography.
Then there is the messaging that you put inside your presentation that the audience will take away at the end. They remember the message long after you have left the stage. There are many formulas out there for you to utilise. Your job is to be a master of delivering your message to those that need to hear it.
5. Discover your story
Storytelling is a huge part of any business. From the origin story to your brand story, to a short anecdote that you tell to let the audience know that you see and hear them. You will use your story in a presentation, webinar, online marketing, email marketing, podcast and summit interview, sales pages, Facebook and Instagram lives, literally everywhere. It is an art form that once learnt will not only make you a lot of money but will impact the lives of those listening to you.
There are many storytelling arcs that one can use in order to not only tell engaging stories but stories that transform the listener. Your job as a speaker is to learn this phenomenal art form and to deliver it exceedingly well. Check out this free brand story workbook to help support you.
6. Start small and build up your speaking experience
It seems a simple step but do you know how many people do not even put the word ‘speaker’ in their online profiles. Start telling people that you are a speaker. Write a list of your low hanging fruit. These are the people who you already have in your network that either host events, have contacts with event organisers or organisations that you would like to speak at.
Spend time looking at your contacts on Linkedin and see who they are connected to. If you have a good relationship with that person, why not email them, let them know what you are up to as a speaker and ask for an introduction.
Remember that word of mouth is the best marketing tool ever.
Now that you have some key steps in which to implement, the only way you are going to get results is to take action and just do it. I look forward to seeing you elevate your voice, message and story from the stage and beyond.