What it’s really like to be a public speaker

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If you’ve thought about taking your expertise out on the road, here are some things to know before setting off.

Everyone involved in business today knows that the gig economy is flourishing. Perhaps you’ve even thought about joining it — not as an Airbnb host or Uber driver, but as a public speaker. It’s a pretty sweet gig, after all. You get to travel the world and get paid to go to parties, all while sharing your passions and expertise with interesting — and interested —people. I’ve been a full-time keynote speaker for almost four years, so I have firsthand knowledge of just how awesome it is, and people often ask me what it’s like. The truth is that there are a lot of perks involved with making a career out of public speaking, but this job also requires perseverance and hustle. Be sure you know what you’re in for before giving up your corner office for life on the road.

The good part

There might be better jobs out there, but I doubt it. Think about all of the highlights in an average public speaking gig. You take an all-expenses-paid trip to a luxurious resort or hotel — often at the beach or in one of the world’s coolest cities. Usually, there is a reception the evening before the speaking event, and you’re introduced to the host organization’s leaders and event sponsors — all inevitably interesting people who open up to you about their lives. You have some fine wine and a great meal, more conversation, and then finally return to your hotel room, where there is often a welcome gift waiting for you. Unlike with consulting and many other road-warrior gigs, you don’t have to stay up late preparing materials for your talk, because you know the material cold.

The next morning, when it’s your time to speak, you get a grand introduction, take the stage, and (hopefully) pull the audience deep into your stories and frameworks. As you exit stage left, the applause rings in your ears and the feeling of having made a difference lingers in your mind. Afterward, people line up to talk to you and tell you a little about themselves. Then there’s often another reception and dinner, and more people approach you all evening long to share their stories, talk about business strategies, and tell you how what you said affected them.

After collecting your hotel points, you’re whisked to the airport, you fly home (racking up airline miles), and then you return to your daily commute to your couch — because you work for yourself, and that means working wherever and however you want.

When not traveling, you’re free to nest at home, connect with friends and family, or use your points and miles to travel the world, where you meet even more new people, interview the world’s top experts to gather cutting-edge information and research, read case studies and books, and collect new stories to put into your next book or talk. Oh, and everything you do, with the exception of half your house payment and groceries, is tax deductible.

Read more: https://www.strategy-business.com/blog/What-its-really-like-to-be-a-public-speaker?gko=b8b56

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