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One of the benefits of improving your speaking skills is that you can actually uses these skills to make money, even a living. It’s a great way to put your speaking skills to use and can be rewarding in more ways than just monetarily. If you feel comfortable speaking to groups, becoming a professional speaker can be quite lucrative provided that there are people willing to pay to hear what you have to say.
Professional speakers can make money a number of different ways. We’ll talk about some of them, both the obvious and not so obvious.
Speech contests are a huge part of Toastmasters and can be interesting to watch. While I’ve never competed, I’ve had the pleasure of acting as contest master and chief judge (on separate occasions, of course) and have really enjoyed being a part of them. But the big question about speech contests is whether or not it’s worth all the time and effort.
Like anything, it really depends on your goals. I know people that make thousands of dollars for each speaking engagement they do, yet have never participated in a speaking contest. I also know of people who have won the Toastmasters World Championship of Public Speaking that haven’t been able to leverage their win to create a successful speaking career. But on the flip side, I know people that haven’t participated in contests that have struggled to make a career out of speaking and people that have won contests and have done well for themselves. And of course, there are thousands of us in between.
If you’ve ever had a conversation with someone and they couldn’t understand you, you know what it feels like to not speak articulately. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re always speaking inarticulately, but we all mumble and fumble our words from time.
I get a lot of questions from people about articulation and how to speak more articulately. It’s actually a lot easier than you think to speak more clearly so that others can better understand you. Here are some of tips about improving your articulation that I teach in my classes.
There is no faster way to scare the living daylights out of someone then telling them that they have to give a speech. For extra points, you can tell them that they’ll be speaking to a large audience – which depending on the person could mean more than 50 or more than 1000 attendees. Why do people associate fear to speaking? What’s the big difference between a speech and a conversation?
In my public speaking classes, one of the first things I teach is that you won’t improve your speaking skills unless you get up in front of an audience and speak. I was sharing this story recently at a networking event and a friend said to me “wait a second, don’t you sell CDs and books about speaking?” When I confirmed that I did, he asked then how do I expect anyone to buy them.
I get asked this a lot by aspiring speakers, especially those in Toastmasters that are looking for a shortcut on the path to becoming a professional speaker. The short answer is no, you can become a successful paid speaker without joining the National Speakers Association (NSA). The follow up question is then “will it help me if I join?” My reply: it depends.
Giving a speech can be a time of high emotions. Yes, public speaking is the number one social fear so a lot of folks probably want to cry when they give a speech. And even the most experienced speakers feel a bit nervous and give speeches that don’t go as well as they had planned. So I guess everyone has the potential to want to cry during a speech. But on a more serious note, there are other times when giving a talk might get the most of our emotions. The question: is it appropriate, or professional, to cry when giving a speech?
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- Blog Carnival on Personal Power 21 June 2009 | Pink Blocks on There’s More to Success than Money
- Regal on Do You Need to Join the National Speakers Association to Be a Succesful Paid Speaker?