You have a lot of options when it comes to earning money as an entrepreneur or business owner.
You can launch a new product on Amazon or Etsy, create an online course, or even start your own website.
However, one of the best ways to make money is also one of the most challenging: giving speeches at conferences, events, and conventions.
Although this isn’t easy (and it’s not cheap), if you work hard and put in the time, you could make quite a bit of money as a keynote speaker.
In fact, some people earn six figures plus just for giving speeches! The key here is being able to speak about topics that are relevant to other smart entrepreneurs who attend these same events
Decide if you have what it takes to be a keynote speaker.
Before you decide to pursue the world of keynotes, think about whether you have what it takes.
A keynote speaker should be confident, passionate about their topic and well prepared. You need a good sense of humor and most importantly, you must have a unique story to tell.
Do you have something new or inspiring to share?
Another important question to ask yourself is, “Do you have something new or inspiring to share?”
If the answer is no, then don’t waste your time. Start by analyzing how much experience and knowledge you have in your field. If it’s not enough for a keynote speech, try sharing some of it at workshops and other events instead of acting as a keynote speaker.
On the other hand, if your skills are impressive enough that they could fill an hour or more on stage with no need for PowerPoint slides (but maybe some props), then you’re well on your way to becoming a successful keynote speaker!
Practice, practice and practice.
Practice, practice, practice.
Practicing your speech in front of a mirror is one of the best ways to ensure that you’re comfortable with what you’re saying and how it’s being said. It also allows you to see how others might perceive your words and body language.
If something doesn’t look right or feel right, try another way until it does feel natural for you to deliver the presentation without thinking about it too much.
Once you feel comfortable rehearsing your speech in front of a mirror, move on to practicing with others—either friends or family members who will give constructive feedback (and maybe give some love along with that constructive criticism), or even strangers if they’re willing!
Finally, don’t underestimate the power of practicing in front of smaller groups first. Before working up to large audiences, small audiences might be more forgiving than larger ones would be when mistakes happen during rehearsal runs.
Set yourself apart as a keynote speaker.
There are two ways to stand out as a speaker:
- Be unique. Speak in your own voice, not someone else’s. Don’t try to be somebody you’re not. Instead, embrace who you already are!
You have a unique perspective and much more wisdom than most people realize. Share that with the world by speaking your truth and being authentic in everything you do.
People will flock to hear what you have to say if they know they’ll be able to learn something new and interesting from you, and they will want more once they’ve heard it!
- Be controversial when necessary. If there’s something important going on in your life or industry that needs fixing or addressing, don’t be afraid of making waves by taking a stand for what’s right—no matter how unpopular it may seem at first!
Take American Entrepreneur Jesse Itzler for example. His keynote speaking style is all about being provocative and keeping audiences on their toes, with topics like “Living with A Seal” or “The Happiness Meter.“
Sure, some people might be turned off by his audacity, but others will find it refreshing and inspiring. As a keynote speaker his style evolved from that of a “happy-go-lucky” motivational speaker to one that challenges people to look beyond the surface level of success.
Get your website in order.
Your website is your first impression to potential clients. Make sure it’s in order.
- Make sure your website is mobile-friendly. This means that when someone visits your site on their phone, they can still easily access all the information they need to learn more about you and book a speaking engagement with you.
- Make sure it’s easy to navigate through the pages of your site so that clients don’t get lost or confused trying to find what they need from you (i.e., contact info, pricing info). A good rule of thumb is that if clients have trouble finding something on your site, then other people will have trouble as well!
- Make sure anyone visiting this page can easily find out how much it costs for them to hire YOU for THEIR event/conference/etc., because having this information readily available will help speed up the booking process when one of those lucky folks does come across YOUR Linkedin profile while searching Google for “Keynote Speaker.”
Build up your social media presence.
Social media is a great platform for building your brand as a keynote speaker. By posting regularly on social media, you can build up an audience who know and trust you. You can also use it to promote your events and increase attendance at these events.
The best way to use social media is by posting high-quality content that engages with your followers. This could be anything from images to videos or articles – the key here is the quality of the content and how engaging it is for those who follow your posts and pages on social media.
The more engaging your posts are, the more people will interact with them and share them across their own networks, which gets more eyes on what you’re doing!
Build relationships with event planners or speakers bureaus.
One of the best ways to get an opportunity as a keynote speaker is to build relationships with event planners or speakers bureaus. In fact, the majority of my speaking bookings have come from those relationships.
I’ve met some of the most influential people in our industry during networking events and have been able to build up a rapport with them, which has led to many speaking opportunities for me over time.
Building these relationships isn’t just important when you’re looking for your first speaking gig, it’s important throughout your career as well!
Event planners don’t want someone who will be difficult or who won’t deliver on their promises. The speakers they are looking for must be able to deliver quality content that attendees will enjoy and find valuable, such as one of our keynote speakers, Mel Robbins this year.
Find ways to keep improving your keynote speaker talks and skills (and keep learning).
Once you’ve delivered your talk, it’s important to keep learning and improving. Here are some tips for how to do that:
- Go to conferences and events where you can learn from others’ talks. If possible, try to get involved in planning or organizing these events so that you can get a feel for what it takes from behind the scenes.
- Read books on public speaking, writing, entertaining audiences, and other topics related to your field of expertise (if applicable).
- Watch videos by experts like Seth Godin on how they deliver their presentations and learn from them.
- Take classes at local colleges or online courses on the topics listed above. Consider looking into opportunities with companies who can coach you or who offer courses on how to deliver amazing presentations such as The Speaker Co.
Rehearsal is key for a great speech
The most important thing you can do when practicing your speech is to time it and watch the clock. If you have a PowerPoint slide that takes two minutes, practice going through that slide in two minutes exactly.
When rehearsing, don’t cut yourself off at the end of your time—if you do, it will be harder to remember to stop speaking right on time during the actual event when there’s more pressure on you.
Practice in front of people who are not invested in your success or failure so they can give honest feedback. If they say something like “you were talking too fast” or “your jokes didn’t land well” then this will help you be aware of what needs work before going onstage for real!
Follow these tips and you’ll be on your way to becoming a successful keynote speaker! Join us this year at The Event Planner Expo and take some notes from our fabulous list of speakers.
Click here to register now for our 10th year anniversary event conference in New York!