Going Pro


Turning Your Passion Into Profit:

Making a Living as a Professional Speaker

Many people enjoy doing presentations and training, just for the thrill of it.  However, some people are lucky and persistent enough to turn their passion into their income by becoming professional speakers or trainers.

Statistics show that companies and individuals are spending more money on skill development and personal development.  Therefore, it would appear that speaking, training and facilitation skills will continue to be in demand in the future.

The seminar and professional speaking business can be profitable for those who:

  • have something to say,
  • know how to say it well,
  • can find people willing to pay to hear what they have to say.

What do Professional Speakers Do?

There are a variety of ways that speaking expertise can be applied. The two most common types of performance are as keynote or motivational speaker or as a seminar leader or trainer.

Keynote / Motivational A keynote or motivational speaker generally provides a short session, of up to one hour, which is intended to inform, inspire and or motivate the audience to some feeling, understanding or action.

These sessions are generally high in energy and involve the rapid delivery of ideas and information. 

Seminars or training sessions are generally of longer duration than a keynote or motivational session extending from 1/2 day to several days in duration.  While these also require an energetic and interesting delivery the content is normally delivered at a slower pace.

Training and seminars are characterized by extensive interaction with the audience (participants).  The sessions usually  have a core concept or specific objectives which are intended to be achieved by the participants:

  • some knowledge to be acquired,
  • skill to be gained,
  • course of action to be adopted.
Seminars and training events generally include handout materials or other resources for participants to use during and after the session.

Facilitator As the level of knowledge of our organizations and the complexity of interaction between people is increasing there is an increasing demand for individuals to work with organizations and groups to facilitate change or learning within the group.

This type of professional work generally involves and requires extensive knowledge of facilitation skills, subject expertise and possibly coaching or mediation skills.

Products  Many speakers and trainers find it financially rewarding to produce products such as manuals, books, and audio or video resources to sell.  In fact, the most successful speakers may find that they generate as much or more income from these products as they do from their performances.

So, how do you be come a pro?

Does this career sound interesting to you?  How do you get started?
See the additional information linked from this document:

  • Why pursue this career
  • What does it take
  • Getting Started
  • Business Issues
  • Resources to help you 

Best wishes for a glorious career!


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Last modified: November 11, 2007