October 11, 2017

Public Speaking: 9 Ways To Make A Great Living

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Have you ever wondered whether you could make a great living from your skill in public speaking? Here are 9 answers to that question.

1. Auctioneer

Are you a persuasive speaker? Are you comfortable with asking strangers to give you money for new books or CDs? You could be an auctioneer at a book or album launch. What do you need to do to be a success? First of all, know what your fundraising target is. Next, familiarize yourself with the product and be prepared to deliver a convincing monologue as you encourage the first person to give you money or make an offer. Use humour to relax your audience. If you do well, the word will spread and other authors and composers will look for you to auction their products. Wondering how to look for auctioning jobs? Scan the newspapers and contact publishing houses to find out what new books are about to hit the market.

2. Master of Ceremonies

Every event needs someone who is skilled at emceeing. Duties of the MC (or emcee) include introducing speakers, announcing upcoming items on the programme and managing the flow of the function. The person to do all that could be you. The sheer diversity of events makes the job of a master of ceremonies a very interesting one. Take your pick from awards nights, beauty pageants and corporate events to dinner dances, launches, parties and wedding receptions. Can you imagine any of these events running well without an emcee? Apart from the ability to speak well, you need to be good at working with people and thinking on your feet when unexpected changes occur in the programme. Develop excellent relations with event organizers so they can recommend you to their clients.

3. Moderator

At any forum, a moderator is required to be the link between the audience and the people on the dais who are speaking about a specific issue. The moderator sets the agenda, conducts the conversation with the experts and then invites the audience to participate with their questions and contributions. To be an effective moderator, know the issues and study the art of asking probing questions. Be prepared to contribute the first two or so questions when the time comes for audience participation so there are no awkward silences during the event. Looking for work as a moderator? Monitor the press for announcements about conferences and develop good relations with venue managers.

4. Motivational Speaker

Everybody needs encouragement to spur them on to greater achievements. If you are skilled in a particular field or have overcome great odds, you could have a career as a motivational speaker. Companies need people like you to inspire their staff; young people need role models to encourage them to persevere. Being a motivational speaker can be rewarding, not just for the audiences but for the speaker who potentially can impact the lives of many people. To be effective, you must be a compelling storyteller and show your audience how your experience is relevant to their particular situation.

5. Radio Presenter

Do you love current affairs? Do you have the ability to sound fresh and exciting five days a week from 6am to 10am? Maybe you should consider being a morning show host on radio. Are you raring to go when most people are turning in for the night? Maybe you are suited for late night shows. Love jazz and love talking about it? You could host a show on it. Radio offers vast opportunities to eloquent speakers, no matter their interests or personalities. Another benefit of radio is that you can remain anonymous and even present your programme in your underwear! A good way to land an on-air radio job is by starting out in less visible departments such as production or events. Learn all you can to make yourself ready when the opportunity presents itself.

6. Sales Professional

Are you a positive, passionate and persuasive speaker? Can you take rejection with a shrug and a smile? Do you devise creative ways to solve problems? If you said yes to all of these questions, you could be a success in the world of sales. Every organization in the world is selling something – goods, services or ideas – and effective salespeople are rare. To make it in sales, you’ve got to be enthusiastic. Work for companies you admire, always be a student of human behavior and know the various ways to counter objections.

7. Television Presenter

What else do you need to be a TV presenter apart from the ability to speak well? One thing you have to learn is how to speak to a camera especially during segments when you are addressing your audience directly. It can be disconcerting at first but practice does make perfect. A great TV host has excellent relations with the crew without whom the show would not get on air. It helps if you are photogenic – there are some shows that derive their ratings mainly from a host who is easy on the eye. A radio background is helpful if you want to break into TV but be prepared for lots and lots of auditions before someone decides to employ you. Be prepared for the loss of your privacy if you end up hosting a popular show.

8. Tutor

If you are an experienced public speaker (a veteran of at least 100 speaking engagements) and you excel at encouraging learners to improve, then being a public speaking tutor could be an apt choice. Apply to broadcasting schools for a teaching appointment or offer private lessons. Advertise on Facebook to publicize what you do.

9. Voice-over Artist

Can you use your voice to inject life into a script in order to sell anything from tomato paste to retail banking? You may want to consider a career in recording commercials for radio and TV. Create a demo of your best work and contact advertising agencies for opportunities. To succeed as a voice-over artist, polish your voice by reading poetry aloud and taking voice lessons (get them free online at YouTube). You have to be ready to get to the studio at short notice and work quickly – studio time is expensive!

So there you have it – 9 ways to make a great living from public speaking. Can you come up with any more?