Here is the unspoken and uncomfortable truth of our profession: Most speakers will never earn even a reasonable living as a professional
speaker. Sure, many will get paid speaking gigs, but get-
ting gigs is not the same as running a speaking business.
Worse still is that hundreds of our qualified, brilliant,
professional speaking colleagues will quit the profession
this year, and every year, opting instead for the security
and consistency of a “real job.”
To an extent, we are to blame. We tell people to fol-
low their passion, speak their “truth,” and if they have
a powerful message that is burning inside of them, they
can earn a great living as a professional speaker. Most
never will. It’s not that passion and a strong message
aren’t important, it’s just that those amorphous qualities
have very little to do with the business of speaking.
BY DAVID AVRIN, CSP,
GLOBAL SPEAKING FELLOW
Which will help you strike gold in your business?
MINE YOUR CONTACTS
You’ve heard it before: Speaking is not your business.
Getting the gig is your business! Giving a great presentation
is merely delivering the service that was contracted.
The good news is that if you have a message that
helps audiences increase sales, guard against disruption, decrease turnover, build brand equity, spark
innovation, develop leaders, or manage conflict, then
you have the foundation for a speaking business. The
question is: Do prospective clients and meeting planners know who you are?
To ensure long-term success in the speaking business,
you need to reach out to those who don’t know you. Half
of my speaking revenue comes from clients and prospects
who had no idea who I was before we reached out to them!
We pitch and prospect—constantly.