So, you’ve decided to start giving speeches to promote your product or yourself. You know your subject and you have material ready. Where can you go to speak?
Guess what? There are loads of places looking for someone to speak. The weekly e-mail newsletter from my professional association periodically carries the tagline, “We’re looking for speakers. If you have something to share that you feel would be of benefit to our members, place contact…”
So, where can you speak?
- Service clubs: Rotary, Kiwanis, etc.
- Community organizations: Chamber of Commerce, 4H, Junior Achievement, Libraries etc.
- Professional and trade associations: Realtors, Insurance Agents, etc.
- Direct sales groups: Amway, Avon, PartyLite, etc.
- Church groups:
- Community learning: Community colleges, civic education programs, universities
- Conferences: Local, Regional, National, etc.
- Small business: Small businesses generally do not have a big budget for staff development. Speakers can provide employee training for such business.
- Non-profit organizations: Same as above.
- Speakers groups: National Speakers Association, Local Speakers Bureau, Toastmasters International, etc.
- Related industry listings: Association of Meeting Planners, Corporate Meeting Planners, etc.
- On-line search: Enter “call for speakers” in your favourite search engine.
- Networking: Word of mouth is the most successful way for meeting planners to find speakers for their events.
Think about your desired audience. Don’t go and speak just anywhere and everywhere. If your speech doesn’t fit the group’s function, they may not be listening to what you’re saying.
Not every speaking opportunity carries a cash payment. Smaller groups and organizations will often provide a meal and a small token thank you gift. Larger groups may give an honorarium and others still will ask you to set your fee. If you do a good job of marketing yourself or a product, you will make money.
Get out and do it. You may not be a brilliant speaker at first, but you’ll be good enough and will improve with practice. You will start enjoying it, and the opportunities and profits will multiply.