Contact Joel Garfinkle now to book a motivational leadership training program for your employees.

How to Become a Keynote Speaker in 5 Easy Steps

Become a Keynote Speaker: How To Do It In 5 Easy Steps

Me? Get paid for speaking in public? Not likely!

That’s the usual reaction I get whenever I suggest that option to a colleague or client. Public speaking is generally last on the list of things people like or enjoy. In fact, it’s been said that many people fear public speaking more than they fear dying in a plane crash.

But at some time in your life, you will probably be asked to speak in public, so why not be prepared? Believe me, if you focus on the fear factor, it will only grow larger and more threatening. This is why we start with facing your fear.

Do you want to be a better speaker? Or at least to make a presentation to company executives or client groups without fainting from fear? Based on my experience, as a keynote speaker who Use these 5 steps to minimize your anxiety and maximize your impact.

Step 1: Face your fear. “how to become a keynote speaker” plans has to be: Face Your Fear. The fear won’t disappear, but you can learn to work with it. You do this by developing executive presence that will command audience attention.

Here’s how: Start by assessing what you have to work with now. Get a good quality webcam or videocam and record yourself in action. See not just how you look, but how you sound. If you have the most dynamic speech in the world but the quality of your voice is irritating, your audience may tune you out. A good self-evaluation may also include speaking in front of a mirror, or asking for critiques from friends and family. Once you know your strengths and weaknesses, your next steps will be clearer.

Step 2: Find an excellent topic. Start by developing one speech on a topic you are passionate about (or at least interested in) and polish it to perfection. Make it something no one else is talking about, or come up with a new angle on a hot topic.

Step 3: Getting from free to fee. You may have a dynamic speech topic ready to go, but no one is flooding your inbox with invitations, are they? Much like catching fish, you have to go where they are. Service clubs such as Rotary, Kiwanis, or your local Chamber of Commerce are where leaders gather. These clubs don’t pay for programs, but there are plenty of people in the room who will.

Step 4: Follow up, follow through. This is one of the biggest benefits to gaining more speaking as a keynoter or corporate trainer. You must cultivate the positive perception others have of you. Become a collector of business cards, contacts, ideas, and input. For example, let’s say you’re invited to speak to a Rotary club. Afterward, as people approach you to thank you for coming, they may ask a question or make a comment about something you said. Get their contact information and follow up shortly with an email that expands on their comment or answers their question. If someone says they might be interested in having you as a speaker but nothing is specific, keep them in a tickler file and keep in touch. Always provide something interesting, such as a teaser comment about a new topic you’re developing or some new information about the speech they heard.

Step 5: Be diligently digital. This may be way outside your comfort zone, but if you’re serious about learning how to become a keynote speaker, be prepared to get Googled. Half the people who hear you may not remember your name the next day but they’ll remember enough about you to do an online search. You don’t have to start all this at once, and once you’ve started something, you need to be regular. Don’t write a blog post today and not post another one for three months. Your prospective audiences need you to be present and available.

Becoming an in-demand keynote speaker is a long-term project, not a one-night stand. Be patient with yourself. Study, refine, and connect with others and you will succeed.

Copyright © 2012 Joel Garfinkle, All Rights Reserved. Joel Garfinkle is recognized as one of the top 50 coaches in the U.S., and the author of 7 books, including Getting Ahead: Three Steps to Take Your Career to the Next Level. He has worked with many of the world’s leading companies, including Google, Deloitte, Amazon, Ritz-Carlton, Gap, Cisco, Oracle, and many more. Subscribe to his Fulfillment at Work Newsletter and receive the FREE e-book, "41 Proven Strategies to Get Promoted Now!"

This article may be reprinted or forwarded to colleagues and friends as long as the above copyright notice and contact information is attached in its entirety. If you reprint this article, please advise us that you have done so and forward a copy of the article, or a link to the web page where the article can be viewed, to Joel Garfinkle.

Scroll to top