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How to Become a Public Speaker: Get Paid to Speak 

POSTED ON Dec 6, 2023

Chad Aleo

Written by Chad Aleo

Home > Blog > Business > How to Become a Public Speaker: Get Paid to Speak 

Learning how to become a public speaker can improve your confidence, authority, and even your business revenue. It can give you a platform for sharing your important ideas with the world.

But I have to be honest. Just because you love to talk doesn’t mean you know how to give a speech. 

I’ve always had the gift of gab, but that didn’t mean I was naturally a good public speaker. In fact, my family used to pay me to STOP talking! I had to learn how to become a public speaker, and now I can teach you all the tricks I picked up along the way. 


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How to become a public speaker in 12 simple steps

Learning how to become a public speaker may seem overwhelming at first, but if you follow these key strategies, you can absolutely break into the public speaking business.

1. Determine your area of expertise

Almost all public speakers have a niche, an area that they are passionate about and experts in. So what are you passionate about? What unique ideas do you have to offer to an audience?

Do you have special life experiences? Did you overcome hardship? Do you have unique insights in the business world? What are you especially skilled in?

Use these questions to determine what you’ll talk about when you learn how to become a public speaker. 

2. Identify your audience

To give a successful speech, you need to understand your audience intimately. What are their hopes, goals, and fears? How old are they? What field are they working in? Do they live in a certain geographical area?

Understanding these things about your audience will help you to find the right events to speak to them at – and can help you to connect with them better when you give your speech. 

3. Work on your speaking skills

If you want to learn how to become a better public speaker, then you need to take some time working on your speaking skills. There are plenty of effective public speaking tips out there that can get you started in crafting a powerful and captivating speech. 

You can watch videos of other public speakers, take public speaking classes, and record your own speeches so you can see what you can improve on. 

Above all, learning how to become a better public speaker requires practice, practice, PRACTICE.

4. Write a book

You might not think writing a book is instrumental in learning how to become a public speaker, but let me tell you why it is. 

A book:

  • Builds a following
  • Boosts your authority
  • Helps you organize your thoughts
  • Is an incredible marketing tool
  • And can be used during your speech to boost sales

Think about it. A book can help to launch your speaking career so much faster when you are starting out. There will be buzz around you. Networking will be easier. Potential employers will already know you are credible in your field. And that’s not to mention what a book funnel will do for your revenue.

Once you learn how to turn your book into a speech, your speeches will be better thought out and more compelling. You can see which parts of your book your readers respond to most, and target those during your speech. 

Plug your book during your speech. Anyone who listens to your speech, or sees it afterward online, will want to buy your book. And the sales will just keep rolling in. 

5. Craft your brand online

When you try to pitch yourself for speaking engagements, the first thing people will do is look you up online. And you want your online presence to be professional, cohesive, and compelling. 

Think of what your brand is and precisely how you do (and don’t) want to be portrayed. Then make sure everything across the internet (from LinkedIn to YouTube to TikTok to Facebook) tells that story. 

You should create a website that explains who you are and what you do, and begin creating content (on a blog or through social media) that shares your expertise. By creating helpful content, you will build trust and sway people into working with you.  

6. Join public speaking groups

The next step in learning how to become a public speaker is to join some groups that are solely dedicated to public speaking. Maybe you want to get a TED Talk coach to learn how to get a TED Talk.

Or maybe you would like to join Toastmasters International and pick up a bunch of speaking experience along the way that can land you a keynote speaking role in the future.

What is a keynote speaker? It is THE headline speaker at a conference, and it’s the exact role you want to set your sights on if you want the most outreach and the biggest payout. 

7. Network

Learning how to become a public speaker isn’t just about speaking well – it’s about who you know. Strangers probably aren’t going to hire you, if you’re just starting out, so you’re going to have to make connections with people who would hire you in the future. 

Tell as many people as possible that you’re embarking on a career as a public speaker. You never know who has the connections you need! You can also attend networking events near you. Follow up with everyone you meet at them. 

8. Book your first public speaking gig

Now it’s time to actually start speaking! Hopefully, your networking has paid off and you can book your first speaking gig. 

For your first few speaking engagements, you will need to be willing to speak for free. The first gig is the hardest, but once you have this under your belt, you’ll be a lot more confident in your skills. 

9. Start local

Even if they are small or not particularly glamorous, speaking at local events is the best way to start boosting your credibility. Look for upcoming local events and conferences and try pitching your speaking services to them. 

As you continue to learn how to become a public speaker, you will be able to book bigger and bigger events. 

10. Set your speaking fee

Once you have enough speaking gigs under your belt, you can start to charge for them. Do some research to see where you fit on the pay scale based on your location, experience, and topic of expertise. 

Remember, if a venue offers you a fee, you don’t have to accept it straight away. Most people have a range of what they are willing to offer you – and they aren’t going to start at the top of it! Try requesting a rate between 10% – 30% above what they offer and see how it goes. 


Then, keep rating your rates as your experience grows! 

11. Market yourself

If you want to keep growing your career, it’s important to never stop promoting yourself and your speaking services. You can also find extra ways to monetize your speeches in the process. 

Bring your book up on stage and mention it to your audience. Tell your audience how they can get in touch with you after your speech. Create a course, offer a workshop, or write another book.

Upload your speeches to YouTube, use social media and email lists, and keep on networking. 

There are so many ways you can promote yourself during (and outside of) your speeches. 

12. Keep practicing

The work is never over once you decide to start a career as a public speaker. You will always be chasing and prepping for the next big speech. And there is always something new you can learn. Keep improving your skills and trying new techniques to ensure your career stays on the upswing. 

Ready to captivate your audience?

You’ve learned all the steps you need to take to learn how to become a better public speaker. Now you just need to follow through with them.

If you need help with writing your debut book, the team at selfpublishing.com is here to help. We’ve assisted countless entrepreneurs in crafting a book that boosts authority, improves sales, and sets them up for success. 

You could be next!  

Book a call with our team for a free strategy session today. 


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