From Meeting Speaker to Keynote Speaker

So, you want to be a public speaker? Congratulations!

Getting started as a public speaker

If you are motivated and hard-working, you are already on your way to being on the circuit. We're not going to lie. It's hard work and it takes time, but once you've got a rhythm and a feel for the business, it's really great.

What does motivated mean? Well, it means that you have a passion for helping your audience. So much so that you are willing to spend 12 hours a day, 7 days a week working on your craft. It’s a 1:3 ratio—for every one hour on stage, you’ll spend at least three hours researching and understanding your audience, writing speeches, and honing your stage presence to command attention.

We help you, but there are certain things we cannot do for you. We cannot create content (but we can make it look pretty for social media). We cannot write your book (but we can give you resources to help you). We cannot write your speeches (but we can add them to your blog).

We are not mind readers nor Vulcans who can do the Vulcan mind-meld, i.e. we cannot create content for you. You should know your audience best. You are the speechwriter and the speechmaker.

What you need to get started is:

  • A well-defined and researched audience (we help with this)
  • A marketing plan for your audience (we do this)
  • Build your (awesome!) website (we do this)
  • Professional head shots (we can help with this)
  • An electronic press kit/speaker’s brief (we do this - see the Keith Somers sample below)
  • A professional speaker biography (we have samples)
  • A clear mission statement or purpose for speaking (Ask yourself: what is the single thing you have to offer your audience?)
  • 4-6 polished speeches that:
    • Solve a problem
    • Tell a story
    • Have some one-liners that are tweetable/quotable
    • Have some laugh lines
    • Can be delivered without slides
    • Have a clear, mic-drop ending
    • Are ready for Q+A
  • Information about the 4-6 keynote speeches you offer. Including:
    • Speech title
    • Main message or take-away
    • Speech summary
    • What makes you uniquely qualified to speak on this subject?
  • A list of the media coverage that you’ve had to date
  • A list of recent speaking gigs (paid or unpaid)
  • Links to your showcase video (if you have one) or audio files
  • A couple of well-phrased client testimonials
  • Your resume, including education and professional experience
  • Details about any publications, awards, professional association or other impressive info beyond your resume

A few more questions:

  • Are you a member of Toastmasters or other speaking group? (If not, why not?)
  • What is your going rate now? (Free is a legitimate answer.)

We have a worksheet for all of this. find it at CM Speaker Worksheet

Print these requirements: CM Speaker Survey

Check out this sample press kit/speaker brief: Keith Somers Press Kit

What you must know is that starting a public speaking career takes a lot of work, writing and research. It is an extraordinarily rewarding vocation. We can help, but the job (and the hard work) is yours, if you want it badly enough. Let us know if we can be of assistance.

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Free Resources:
  • Speaker Worksheet

    If you are looking for a career in public speaking, here's where you need to start. This form looks really long, but don't be intimidated. We have to ask many questions in order to get your marketing started, so please fill in as many blanks as you can. As for the blanks you have trouble with, give it a shot in the dark. Any try is better than nothing, but think about it and email us the answer later.

  • Web Worksheet

    If you need a new site, this the right place to start. We need a lot of information to begin the process, but we have narrowed down this form to the bare bones. We have to ask many questions in order to give you exactly the right site for your business, organization, or cause.

  • Social Worksheet

    What are your social media needs? We have put together a very short list of questions to help us understand your social media needs. This is the bare minimum that we need to know to understand your account, so please answer what you can and we will contact you to fill in the rest.

  • Analytics Worksheet

    When we are asked to work up an analytics report, we need to know more than usernames and passwords. This worksheet begins the process of understanding your needs and business goals.

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Fun is the best thing to have. - Cecilie Korst