As you can imagine some are more committed than others. Some have made real investments of their time, effort and money. All three of those elements are critical.
Then there are the dreamers.
"I love to speak about 'x' and I put together a PowerPoint show. What's next?"
"I've been calling speakers' bureaus and they won't want to talk to me until I'm successful. If I was successful, I wouldn't need them. What's your secret?"
"I want to be a professional speaker and you've got to help me because I bought your book."
"I was let go by my company and I always loved to speak. My friend suggested that I become a professional speaker."
"I'm passionate about my message. I want to change the world. You've got to help me."
Dreaming is a good place to start. And you've got to move past that stage to planning, investing and doing.
All three actions need to be there to succeed.
When I only had the dream to become a professional speaker, I asked a friend who was a speaker what to do. His advice was:
- Don't quit your day job yet
- Join Toastmasters to get good at the craft
- Volunteer to speak as often as you can to any group - for the practice
- Focus on a specific area of expertise
- Become an aggressive marketer of your service
It took at least a few years to get from birth of the dream to full-time professional speaker. I did all the things my friend told me and more.
I appreciate my friend's help and others that I learned from along the way. Naturally I'm willing to assist others but I don't wish to waste my time with every dreamer that crosses my path.
One piece of advice from my mentor, Peter Urs Bender, was "Be nice to people, but be rude with your time."
So I wrote my advice to future professional speakers and published it on my website. Those who are serious will read it and benefit from the open and practical insights. Those who are dreamers won't read it - because they want a pill.
Here's the link to How to Become a Professional Speaker.
As you can see if you visit the link, there's lots of good information there. I invested my time and effort to write this information and publish it as a free resource. It doesn't answer every question you might have but it does cover much more than the basics. Also there are links to other useful resources and books.
It's curious that after sharing this link I have received angry messages from people who seem to believe that I owe them more - for free. As you can probably guess, those people will not make it in the professional speaking business.
If you want to become a professional speaker check this link.
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