The time it takes to become a professional speaker can vary widely depending on factors such as experience, expertise, and networking abilities. Some people may be able to establish themselves as professional speakers relatively quickly, while others may take years to build their reputation and earn a sustainable income.
Unfortunately, there are no set timeframes or guides on how long it can take to reach the stage of your dreams. In fact, many reports that it takes years to build credibility and a personal brand that is ready for larger stages, but that doesn’t mean everyone will take years.
With hard work and practice, anyone can become a professional speaker.
Here are some general steps that can help someone become a professional speaker.
Develop expertise in a specific area
Having a deep understanding of a specific topic can help a speaker stand out and attract speaking opportunities. Think about your niche and understand what they are needing answers for. How can you become the go-to expert in your field through speaking engagements?
Build a speaking portfolio
Start by speaking at local events, community groups, and other venues to gain experience and build a portfolio of speaking engagements. Starting small is one of the easiest ways to build your speaking portfolio. Be creative with where you can use your knowledge and expertise. Maybe you talk to a group of women entrepreneurs or a high school class of students. The more speaking opportunities you can get starting out, the more you’ll be able to practice and strengthen your keynote talks.
Attend conferences and events
Attend industry events and conferences to network with other professionals and learn from other speakers. Networking is a wonderful way to build connections with people in a similar industry that are looking for guest speakers. Don’t forget to have your elevator pitch ready.
Develop marketing materials: Create a website, business cards, and other marketing materials to showcase your speaking skills and expertise. Have you considered having a speaking page on your website? One thing that I’ve found helpful is having a specific page where I can house my past speaking engagements and achievements. This way I can send it directly to people interested in having me provide a talk for them.
Establish a social media presence
Use social media platforms to build your brand and connect with a potential client. One of the best tools to reach a large number of people is social media. Nowadays almost all research is done on a person via social media and their website. So ensure that you are on the platforms you’re target audience is on so that you can build connections and showcase your speaking skills.
Seek out speaking opportunities
Contact event organizers, industry associations, and other groups to inquire about speaking opportunities. One of the biggest tips that I tell all my speaking students is that they need to attend the events that they are interested in speaking at. If you want to speak at the Women Thrive Summit, then you need to attend the Women Thrive Summit so that you can start building connections, see if you’d be a good fit, and even see if you enjoy the layout of the event itself.
Continually improve your skills
Attend workshops and training sessions to improve your speaking skills and learn a new technique. Even though we’d all like to think we are the best at what we do, there is no reason we can’t continue to learn more. Staying on top of trends and attending trainings is one of the best ways to expand your public speaking ability.
While there is no set timeline to become a professional speaker, building a reputation and establishing a brand generally takes time. Some speakers may be able to earn a living from speaking engagements within a few years, while others may take longer to establish themselves. The key is to stay focused, continue to improve your skills, and actively seek out speaking opportunities
Want to learn more about how to use public speaking to build credibility and authority in your area of expertise? Join the Speaker’s Academy and become a sought-after speaker by the world’s largest stages today!
Name: Raimonda Jan
Bio: Raimonda Jankunaite is the founder and host of the Women Thrive Media & the annual Women Thrive Summit, which is hosted every year to mark Women’s History Month to empower women to thrive. Every year we celebrate and highlight the achievements of women globally.