How to Start My Own Public Speaking Company
- 1). Identify a list of topics that you consider yourself to be an expert on. For instance, perhaps you have experience as a financial adviser and can talk about how to manage existing resources and plan for a secure retirement. Maybe you have traveled extensively and want to share your slide and your insider knowledge about other cultures and customs. Perhaps you enjoy being around young people and would like to offer tips on how to make smart choices regarding their education, their careers or their social relationships.
- 2). Assess your skill level as a public speaker. If you think it's something you'd like to do, but haven't had enough experience in front of groups, it might be worth joining a local Toastmasters group.
- 3). Identify the reasons you'd like to establish yourself as a public speaker. For instance, perhaps public speaking engagements will go along with consulting services that you offer or to help promote a book you have written. Maybe it's to bring in some extra money. Or you want to network with people from all walks of life and/or provide a high level of interactive entertainment at luncheons or conferences.
- 4). Evaluate how much time you can realistically devote to being a public speaker. In addition to delivering your speeches, you'll also need to factor in the amount of research and preparation time you'll need as well as the time (and cost) of your transportation. Regarding transportation, you'll need to decide whether you only want to give talks in your own area or would be available to travel.
- 5). Solicit advice from people who are already doing what you'd like to do as a community speaker. Ask them how they got started, what their fees are, and if there are certain scenarios that you should try to avoid. Toastermasters International (see Resources) is a great place for you to chat with fellow speakers, learn techniques to become a more dynamic speaker, and even learn how to control your anxieties.
- 6). Identify prospective audiences who would be intrigued by what you have to say. Most people, for example, are interested in learning how to save money. This would have a broader application than talking about how to raise hamsters. Likewise, talking about career development topics will be of more interest to businesses than to women in garden clubs who are either retired or don't have jobs.
- 7). Establish yourself as an expert by writing articles, doing interviews and reviewing books in your area of expertise.
- 8). Network with individuals who belong to local clubs. Ask them what kind of speakers they typically have for their luncheons and conferences. Find out how to get your name into their speakers' bureaus.
- 9). Acquire a business license. If your speaking company is going to have a unique name, you'll need to register it with your secretary of state. Everything you need to know about launching a new business can be found on the website of the Small Business Administration (see Resources). At this time, you will also need to establish your corporate identity for your website, your business cards and any other promotional materials.
Join your local Chamber of Commerce. This is a great way to network with people who will be interested in your services as a speaker.
Set up a checking account for your new business. Keep excellent records of your income, your expenses and also the topics that you have talked about to each group.
Stay abreast of current affairs so that you can talk intelligently about what's going on in the world. This is especially important if you incorporate Q&A sessions in your speeches and someone in the audience asks your opinion about something that is only loosely related to your talk.