Faye B. Roberts
So you've decided you want to make a career of public speaking and want to be the best professional speaker you can be. You have some experience, really enjoyed yourself and feel you have something to contribute. The financial rewards are terrific, you get to travel with all expenses paid, meet new people and see new territories and even new countries.
Whether you are trying to learn more about the speaking industry or you are trying to move from an occasional speaker to professional speaker, there are several resources that you should become familiar with. The best place to start of course is with free resources on the web. It has the best compilation of data available on this topic.
Another excellent resource for information about professional speaking is through newsletters. Many of these are free to join. Two of the most highly recommended sources are: Speaker Fripp News and Great Speaking E-Zine. They can both be found on the web.
Speakers organizations are another great source for information. The National Speakers Association is the leading organization for people who speak professionally. NSA has excellent resources and educational materials designed to advance your skills. Toastmasters International has long been known as the number one source to gain public speaking experience. They have local chapters in almost all major cities. Another organization to consider is the American Training & Seminar Association. It provides a resource for professional speakers, corporate trainers, and seminar providers. See also The Advanced Public Speaking Institute which has a huge catalogue of free articles on the speaking profession.
Even the top speaking professionals in the world work hard to keep demand high for their services. As your career moves forward, it is important to keep working at building customer loyalty and expanding your exposure. You can advertise on your own web site, but word of mouth has proven to be the best form of advertising and as your reputation grows people from outside your local area will approach you to present to their group.
Becoming a professional speaker can be rewarding in many ways. First of all it can provide you with an opportunity to earn a fantastic income. You get to travel, set your own schedule, and public speaking will build your self-esteem. You'll be regarded as the expert in your field and that always feels good. Start small, gain experience as you grow, but start. The rewards and benefits are tremendous!
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