Three things to remember for a successful speaking career

For some, presenting is a need. For others, it’s something they love doing and want to do more. But can you make a career out of it? You sure can, I did!

If you are like me, after your first talk, you will want more. Public Speaking is addictive. The applause, the connection with the audience, the fact that you are teaching others. All these elements could be reasons why you want to pursue a speaking career.

But having spoken once, or even a few times, doesn’t make you a speaker. It doesn’t mean you have a speaking career. For that to be the case, something more has to happen.

I’m not talking about money here. I’m talking about being a speaker who gets invited (back) often to conferences. A speaker who gets asked by a company to come in and inform or inspire their staff.

To get to that point, there are a few things you need to remember.

It takes time

Having a successful speaking career takes time. It doesn’t just happen. You need to put real work in it. There are very few speakers who go from a small event straight to the big keynotes or TED Talks. You’ll either have to be extremely talented, have an extremely unique topic or be extremely lucky. In all other cases, you have to at least take a few years to grow.

Question yourself and renew yourself all the time

In all the years I have been speaking, not a single talk I did was a repetition of another one. Yes, elements did come back and some talks were similar. But every single time, I renewed my presentations. To make it better. I questioned myself every single time.

This made my talks better, but it is bigger than that. Because I questioned myself, I grew. I changed not only presentations but styles, topics and much more. I was always trying to become a better version of myself every single time. Constant change will make you spiral up.

Focus on presence

Being a better speaker, to get asked back is more than presenting great content. You have to ‘be there’. You have to have a great presence. Your presence is what makes people listen to you.

If you want to grow, focus on presence. Play with the audience. Become comfortable on stage and use your body to send out a message. Become someone people want to see!

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