Ask any professional speaker how an industry newbie should go about securing public speaking jobs, and the response frequently sounds something like...
* Attend Toastmasters meetings and practice your skills.
* Join the National Speakers Association to learn more about the industry.
* Do talks at Chambers of Commerce and Rotary Clubs.
But what if you know you're a good speaker... you understand the intricacies of the speaking industry... and you've done your share of gratuitious freebie presentations. Where do you head then? How do you go about looking for public speaking jobs?
Here are 4 tips to help you locate seemingly elusive public speaking jobs online.
1) Go to Google and Yahoo, and search for the following phrases 'calls for speakers' and 'speakers wanted.' (Without the quotes.)
In the results you'll instantly find links to organizations and conferences that are looking for public speakers.
While many different topics are covered under these searches, you'll find there are frequently a lot of technology speakers wanted. So if this is your niche, it's a good possibility you could get lucky.
2) Check out the Speakers Forum sponsored by Speakers Platform.
Honestly this forum isn't teeming with public speaking jobs. But on occasion you will find a golden nugget.
In fact, this is where I found my first public speaking job many years ago. The meeting planner just happened to be hiring several different speakers, and I was one of them.
You can check it out at: (http://www.speaking.com/educationforum/index.cgi)
3) Follow the conference schedules for targeted associations.
Most associations hold some type of yearly or semiannual conference. Speakers are frequently sought after, so this is an ideal place to locate a public speaking job.
They will typically begin searching for speakers 6-8 months ahead of time. Sometimes less, sometimes more.
You should find out when their next conference is held, and begin checking back to the association web site 6-7 months ahead of time. Calls for speakers sometimes don't get picked up in the search engines right away.
The American Society of Association Executives has an extensive directory of associations at (http://www.asaenet.org/AssociationSearch.cfm?requesttimeout=240&sn.ItemNumber=7333).
4) Apply to training companies.
Fred Pryor/CareerTracks is frequently hiring contract speakers on a variety of topics. The job does require traveling and the ability to sell their products to attendees. According to the the Pryor web site, top contract trainers earn in excess of $75,000 (USD) a year.
You'll be very busy. But it's great experience, especially for budding speakers.
Contract training opportunities can be found at (http://www.pryor.com/career/seminar_leader.asp)
By Alexis Dawes