If you’re a natural talker, you should know that talk isn’t cheap—when it comes to the speaking circuit. In fact, you can actually earn more than $100,000 by delivering motivational speeches. Professional speakers are in high demand these days, thanks to the myriad of speaking opportunities available at schools, charitable functions, and professional workshops. Community organizations, religious institutions, and other groups are constantly on the lookout for speakers for their fundraising banquets, educational sessions, and other events.
There is no standard educational requirement for professional speakers. After all, the late Peter Jennings, an acclaimed television news anchor and sought-after speaker, never finished college. However, generally speaking, the more education you have, the better, since educational achievement enhances your credibility as a speaker. For instance, if you have a PhD in bioethics, you’ll be in greater demand for speeches on stem cell research. However, even if you just have a standard bachelor of arts degree, you can still establish a career as a professional speaker.
The most important qualification for becoming a professional speaker is the ability to deliver an entertaining, engaging speech in a dynamic fashion. You also need to be able to show that you’re an expert in the subject matter—whether it’s politics or the dangers of drug abuse. You can begin by delivering speeches in your local community—an experience which can lead to speaking invitations in other cities. It’s wise if you join Toastmasters, so that you can gain experience and learn from the experiences of other speakers.
Once you have established yourself as a credible speaker, you can then sign on with a speakers’ bureau, a company which can publicize your qualifications and your accomplishments, secure speaking engagements for you, and make travel arrangements for your presentations.
L. Charles Fernandez is the creator of the Six Figure Jobs Blog, a guide to finding six figure jobs in unlikely fields.