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Jeff on the Michael Dresser Show

Michael Dresser show

I did my first online radio show in support of Speaking on the Side with the eloquent Michael Dresser. He’s a very interesting personality and I enjoyed discussing the art of speaking with someone so well-spoken. Michael also gets awesome guests, including authors talking about an enormous variety of topics.

You can listen to the audio clip here.

If you’re a speaker or author and want to get booked on the show, drop a note to Suzy Greenman.

Paid speaking: where do I start?

I had a conversation with a business friend about getting paid to speak, and on the phone he wondered aloud, “Where do I start?”

Good question.

He already bought Speaking on the Side, which in my humble view is the best place to start. There are lots of other places to begin this journey, though, and I want to highlight a few of them here:

sweaty runner
1) Go for a run. Not a bad place to get started! I just got back from a half-hour run around my neighborhood. It was sticky, humid, and exhausting. But I thought of some great ideas along the way, including this blog.

2) Speak for free. Yes, you heard correctly. There is nothing like offering up some gratis gigs to get your speaking juices flowing. As Susan Levin of Speakers Community likes to point out, sometimes free gigs are where the money is. You never know who’s going to be in the audience. Sometimes, it’s a person who will hire you.

3) Put up your speaking website. It’s 2013. If you don’t have a website, you’re not “real.” In the book, I list at least nine ways to make a speaking website. Really, this doesn’t have to take more than an hour of your time. You’ll thank me, though, when a meeting planner surprises you with: “What’s your website?”

4) Catalog your expertise. What do you know a lot about? It doesn’t have to be “traditional” knowledge, like designing websites or corporate takeovers or knitting. Have you ever been laid off by 3 different publishing companies? Accumulated more than 1,000,000 frequent-flyer miles? Helped a grandmother rebuild her home after a hurricane? All those experiences translate into amazing stories, which can form the basis of a great presentation.

5) Write an article. And send it to the “communications director” or the “executive director” at five trade associations that sound interesting. (Here is a list with tons of trade associations.) At the end of the article, which should be informative but not too detailed, list your name and your speaking website and describe yourself as a consultant, speaker, and problem solver in industry X. Chances are, after they run the article in their newsletter, one of those trade groups will ask about your speaking fee.



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