I have spent a lot of time and money perfecting my presence while on stage and it is something that doesn’t happen overnight. There are many things to consider when on stage, the first being your content.
When presenting a seminar at an event, you need to make sure your content isn’t hard selling, and by this I mean that you are teaching your audience something they didn’t already know. Give your audience value for taking the time out of their day to come and see you talk. This is so important as what people say about you and your seminars, will either work for you, or against you.
You must always be engaging in your talks. This is where my two speaking mentors helped me. You will go to a lot of events where people are classed as “professional speakers” when really, they just stand in front of a laptop, reading notes in a dull tone. Ask your audience questions and make sure you start your talk with an anecdote. Your audience will stay engaged if you start out on the right foot.
If you are looking to become a professional speaker, you need to make sure your offline presence matches your online presence. By this, I mean your social media accounts must reflect everything you do offline. When I speak at events, I will always have my branding in the form of a flyer, brochure, leaflet that I give out, along with various ways to contact me. Some people would like to speak to you via email or phone, however, with Social Media playing a huge part in how we communicate, you may also receive a lot of contact via Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.
It took me over four years to build a relationship with various events so that I could go back for a second, third and even fourth year running. You have to prove to the organisers that you are worth having, and worth keeping.
When taking the leap in becoming a professional speaker, you need to know what you are talking about. Make sure you spend time on your presentations so that you have all the right information and that you are prepared should the audience ask you any difficult questions.
Being a professional speaker is about diversity. You need to be able to speak on different subjects, with a good amount of knowledge on each. My tip for you would be to have a variety of different topics to talk about, before approaching an event to speak there. Know what you are capable of and apply that to your presentations.
One thing for sure is that it doesn’t happen overnight. You need to be prepared for rejection as it is likely to happen. Don’t let this get you down, keep pursuing your dream to become a professional speaker and you will get your break.