While talent is undoubtedly important, success as a professional speaker involves more than being charismatic. Business acumen, networking skills, marketing, and the ability to adapt to different audiences and industries also play crucial roles.
There's a misconception that Speakers need name-recognition or be famous to succeed. Many successful speakers come from diverse backgrounds and build their reputation through expertise, engaging delivery, and effective marketing.
While motivational speaking is a popular niche, not all successful speakers fit this mold. Successful speakers cover various topics, from business and technology to personal development and niche expertise. Will Speakers still be referred to as a 'Motivational Speaker' a dinner parties? Yes. And that's okay :)
Over 80% of inbound business for a Speaker comes from word of mouth and referral. Speaking for free at strategic events can be valuable in building a speaker's brand, gaining exposure, and expanding their network. #speakmoretospeakmore
In reality, successful speakers come in various personality types. Introverted speakers can excel by leveraging their unique strengths, such as thoughtful content and deep connections with audiences.
Several factors debunk this notion: experience level, demand, name recognition, and market positioning. Speakers specializing in niche topics or industries might command higher fees based on the rarity of their expertise rather than the perceived quality of their stage performance. The biggie? A well-marketed speaker with a strong brand may charge higher fees, even if their on-stage performance doesn't necessarily surpass others charging lower rates.
Whether a speaker needs an agent depends on various factors such as their level of experience, industry connections, business acumen, and personal preferences. Equally as important are their individual circumstances and career goals. Some speakers find great success and satisfaction working with agents, while others thrive as independent entrepreneurs in the speaking industry. It's essential for speakers to assess their own strengths, goals, and preferences to determine the most suitable path for their business growth.
As Tom Clancy says: “An overnight success is ten years in the making.” Most successful speakers undergo years of honing their craft, building a reputation, and gradually gaining recognition in their field.
While having a book published is a significant achievement, it doesn't guarantee success as a speaker. Successful speaking careers are built on a combination of factors, including speaking skills, marketing, and effective networking. (Is this starting to sound familiar yet?)
While a large following can be beneficial, it's not a prerequisite for success. Many successful speakers focus on cultivating a quality audience and delivering high-value content to create impact.
Building and maintaining relationships, effective marketing, and ongoing professional development are critical components of a successful speaking career. Dare we say you must be BOOKABLE to be a success? I guess we just did.