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by Gary Karbon
Have you considered giving talks as a natural way to supplement your income as a writer? If you haven’t, you should. It’s a powerful shortcut to become known as an “instant guru” in your field without receiving a Ph.D. degree.
Writers are natural speakers since they know how to organize their thoughts and deliver them in a language that others can understand.
Think about speech making as reading aloud what you have written. It’s actually a little more than that in terms of getting used to standing up in front of an audience but basically that conceptualization is not that off from the mark. If you can write an article or a book, you can certainly deliver a speech since writing an informative and engaging speech is the hardest part of the process.
There are many venues for delivering speeches… college campuses… volunteer organizations… conferences… meetings of professional associations… podcasts and webinars… workshops and seminars… these are all opportunities for you both to spread around your reputation as a working writer and also make some money in the side.
In the beginning you won’t make much money, if any. But gradually you can work your fees up to anywhere from several hundred to several thousand dollars a speech. You can actually become so successful you can make the crossover completely and start a new career as a full-time speaker in high demand.
Delivering a speech on a topic you know well removes the need for all that awkward networking. Once people hear your command of the topic they will naturally be gravitated to your products and services. Speakers always have a natural advantage over the non-speakers in terms of marketing their products. There is no doubt about that.
Professional speakers use what’s called the “green sheet” method to make sure that every potential customer in the audience leaves with their name and contact information in their hands – without any need to push their business cards on them as would be the case in a “networking meeting.”
Most speakers also sell their books, CDs and related products after their talk which also adds up to a significant side income. Actually, some speakers rely on such “back of the room sales” alone and deliver their speeches for free.
Establish your credibility, heighten visibility, and create a natural demand for your products or services by adding speech making to your arsenal of marketing tools today.
I highly recommend you join a Toastmasters chapter in your area to learn more about the techniques of speaking in front of an audience. Public speaking is not a mysterious skill that only some people are born with. It can be taught and Toastmasters do a good job at it.
You can also bring your skills up to speed by reading a good book written about the topic like “Getting Famous Through Public Speaking: How to Market Your Product or Service Through Free Seminars, Workshops, Speeches, and Lectures” by Bob Bly in which he provides step-by-step instructions on how to promote yourself by giving public talks.