Speaker as Viable Career Path

Now, imagine you are a student, and somehow, your teacher called you out to come to the front of the class and give an impromptu speech about your hobby.
What would be your reaction? Would you go in front and speak confidently? Or would you freak out and start shrieking?

Joke lang!
Now, I bet that most of here didn’t have ‘speaker’ in our childhood ambition. Most of us wanted to be a pilot, doctor, policeman, and all other glamourous jobs when we were kids.
Do you know that actually being a speaker can make you gain as much as other occupations out there?
According to Forbes, the sweet spot for most speakers is $6000, plus or minus – probably $4500 – $7500 per speech. That’s pretty alluring for anyone to jump into this speaking and training career.

Plus, there are so many perks that come with the job!
For example, by giving speeches or delivering training, you are establishing and boosting your personal and corporate brand. You can always network with your audiences, regardless of their background. This is because public speaking will always bring like-minded people together and it’s a very good chance to network and connect!
There’s nothing to lose from that, instead, you are gaining and opening more opportunities for yourself to take your public speaking career to the next level!
Furthermore, by being a speaker, you can choose what do you want to talk about and the underlying message. In short, you are free to set up your own content and talk to the world about it. You can choose to focus to speak about you are passionate about, eg: nature conversation, education and get paid for speaking about that!
But sure enough, you before you consider of treading this career path, there are few things that you need to keep in mind.

1. Specialisation

“Speaker” is a very general term. You can be a motivational speaker, or be a professional trainer or a corporate coach. This depends on what you want to do.
To determine what your career path, you first must know what are the differences between a coach and trainer.
A coach is basically is brought is to identify certain problems and improve the situation. For example, an underperforming sales team will have a training with a coach to improve their performances and boost their morale.
A trainer can be considered as the teacher of the corporate world. They usually focus on the training, giving knowledge in certain subjects, especially in the corporate context. Trainers also typically have to be experts in their subject to be effective.
The table below describes briefly the key differences between a trainer and coach. (Credits to Integrify)

2. Requirements

Usually, there are no prerequisite requirements that you need to obtain before you can go out and speak. However, there are a few essential steps that you need to take before you can go up and speak to your crowd.
First is of course to hone your public speaking skills. You cannot call yourself a speaker if you cannot deliver your message to your audience properly. The skills and tricks in delivering a speech, I can say for sure, can only be learned if you speak in front on a regular basis.
To do that, find suitable places to do so. You might want to get rid of that stage fright and get started to speak in front in your monthly/weekly staff meeting or else you can start speaking and participate in the lectures at your university.

While there are no specific qualifications required to be a professional trainer, you are at least expected to have a strong relevant educational background. To do this you need to have educational certificates such as a bachelor’s degree and above in the subject that you wish to speak about.
This will allow you to establish your personal brand and build your authority in that subject.
On the other hand, you can go and join public speaking workshops, in which you can learn from the current practitioners and at the same time, network with budding public speakers and like-minded people.
In short, the career path to become a public speaker is heavily dependent on what are you trying to do, what do you hope to achieve and who you inspire to be. Unlike most of the other careers out there, being a speaker means you will need to have solid intrapersonal skills and the confidence to take risks and grabbing every opportunity out there!
P/s: Personally, I really love the movie The King’s Speech which was about Queen Elizabeth II’s father, King George VI who was a stammer. As a king, he was expected to deliver speeches, especially in the times of war, to boost the morale of the people, but he was a nervous stammer.
A beautifully portrayed movie, about how a man/king can regain his confidence to speak boldly in front despite his disability.

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