Step 3: Set Up Your Seminar
In the first two steps to becoming a professional speaker you have trained your skills and you have also performed for free whenever you could, wherever you could.
The time has come to set up your seminar.
I will give you four powerful reasons why you should create your own training format.
1) On-going training
When you hold your seminars you are confronted with speaking professionally and practicing your skill-set – on a continual basis.
You get to know diverse people and audiences, different reactions to the same phrases. You can detect and analyze patterns in audience reaction. You learn how to predict audience reaction – a powerful tool for any speaker.
“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the saw.” – Abe Lincoln was a wise man. Use your seminars to sharpen your rhetorical saw!
2) Creativity source
You are literally forced to be creative. First when setting up your standard seminar format, later when adapting it to specific client needs with special exercises, different formats, smaller or larger group sizes, …
Don’t be afraid of trying something new, something out-of-the-box. Everthing that is not standard will always be perceived well. For instance, I let my seminar participants take photos of their evaluations on flip chart. All of them have smart phones nowadays. They love it because they receive their information right on the spot.
Your seminars will nurture the creative side in you.
People who will hire you as a professional speaker – at least at the beginning of your career – will always ask themselves if you are capable of doing the job. Will you be able to persuade, motivate or inspire the audience? How should they know? You have no track record. No success stories.
You being a trainer – that’s a different story. The perception shifts to the right direction. You teach people. You are knowledgable. You know how to do your job. You can be granted a credit of trust.
Ask your seminar participants to give you testimonials that you can use on your website and in social media. In my case buzz words I look for in these testimonials to sharpen my professional image are: convincing, passionate, enthusiastic, hands-on, practical, fresh, innovative, inspiring, didactic, experience, expertise.
Testimonials from your seminars will boost your credibility as a public speaking pro.
4) Potential clients
The final and most striking argument for you to set up your own public speaking seminar is more obvious than the non-existence of WMDs in Iraq.
In your seminars you will host professionals, mostly business-oriented people. They all belong to companies. They all can hire you in the future or influence the people who can hire you to speak at their corporate events.
Make side comments during the coffee breaks about your other services like coaching or customized keynote speeches. Do indirect selling. Focus on the power of word of mouth.
Treat all your seminar participants with maximum care. They might engage you one day as a speaker.
In Step #4 you will learn how to write your book – an indispensable asset for you becoming a professional speaker.
Step 1: Train Your Skills
Step 2: Go Out There
Step 4: Write Your First Book