Ok, so you want to become a public speaker, right?
You want to make a living sharing your voice and message with the world, right?
If so, you’re going to love what I have to share with you today.
But before we get started…
If you go to Google right now and you do a search for “how to become a public speaker,” you’re going to find a crap-ton of results that give you answers like: “work on your breathing” or “hold eye contact with the audience.”
And while answers like those would be helpful tips if we were answering: ‘How do I become a BETTER public speaker’, or ‘How do I become more confident/comfortable on stage, as a public speaker.’
They suck as answers to the question, ‘How do I BECOME a public speaker.’
See the difference?
Tips about breathing exercises and eye contact don’t help you get on more stages.
So, this article is going to actually answer the question you have.
‘HOW TO BECOME A PUBLIC SPEAKER?’
What you’re about to read is going to give you step-by-step instructions for what to do in order to go from NOT being a public speaker to being one.
And oh yeah, real quick…
In case this intro is all you get to read...
The big takeaway is that the more times people see you on stage (regardless of the type of stage), the more likely they’ll be to conclude you’re an awesome public speaker. And the more they come to this conclusion, the more they’ll be likely to invite you to speak. So the "trick" is to get them to see you on stage a lot (even if you're not on stage a lot).
In essence, what you’ll learn by the time you’ve read this, is how to be SEEN as a public speaker so that you get invited to speak more often.
Also, and probably more importantly, I want you to understand how to set up your own “public speaking environment.” What I mean by this is that I want you to be able to make it so that your ability to be a speaker is NEVER dependent on waiting for other people to invite you to their stage.
And make sure you read through to the end because after I’ve given you the 9 steps that show you HOW to become a public speaker, I’ll show you how to become the best public speaker in any room you walk into.
Without further ado, let’s jump right in and break down the 9 steps to becoming a public speaker.
Step # 1
Choose A Niche That You Love
This is the first step because if you don’t start off by getting crystal clear about what you're going to be known for speaking about, the rest of the steps are virtually impossible to do.
If you’re going to be a public speaker, then it only makes sense to speak about something you’re interested in, have valuable experience in, and are passionate about.
In fact, the more specific the topic you’re speaking about, the better. Don’t go down the path of being too generic when choosing a topic.
I talk to would-be public speakers sometimes, and they’ll say to me, “Devon, I wanna be a public speaker!”
My response to this is almost always, “Okay, great! What do you want to speak about?”
Often, they’ll answer with something ultra-generic like “health!” or “weight loss” or “personal development.”
My response is always the same; those topics are way too broad. If you want to stand out above the noise, then the first thing you need to do is be SPECIFIC about who you’re going to help.
As an example, if personal development was your chosen topic, you could try to niche it down a bit. A good way to get a proper “niched down” topic would be to ask yourself, ‘who specifically do I want to help with this?’
Years ago, when I first decided that I wanted to become a public speaker, I asked myself, ‘who do I want to speak to?’. I knew I wanted to speak on personal development, but I also knew that I had to get REALLY specific about who I was going to help and what I was going to help them with.
The ideal person - the really specific person that came to mind - was me at 27 years of age.
When I was in my 20s’ I struggled with my weight, I struggled with my self-image, and I had zero confidence around women,
So now, as opposed to having “personal development” as my topic, my SPECIFIC NICHE is: Self Improvement for young men between the ages of 18 and 30 who struggle with confidence around their self-image and women.
Do you see how much more specific that is?
Do you see how much more targeted the solutions I share with that audience are going to be than if my target market was just “personal development”?
As I said before, specificity is the first step. Once you find a crystal clear answer to the question of who you want your message to reach or help, the rest of the process becomes super easy.
So, in summary, step #1 get ultra-specific about the topic (niche) you want to speak on.
It might feel like you’re being ‘too specific’ or limiting yourself, but trust me…
The more specific you are with your niche, the more like an expert you’ll seem, and the more likely you’ll be to get invited to public speaking opportunities in your niche.
Step # 2
Choose A Platform You Want To Be On (Create Your Own Stage)
When someone mentions the word ‘platform’ in relation to public speaking, a few ideas naturally come to mind. Often when people hear the word “platform,” they think of a raised physical stage. However, ‘choosing a platform,’ in this case, refers to social media. You want to choose the best social media platform from which to share your message.
Here’s the thing about social media platforms and how to use them: People often think that more is better.
Meaning that people think that the more social media platforms you’re on, the more you’ll be seen.
I’ve literally had people say to me: "I'm going to be everywhere, and I'm going to be seen by everyone!"
Nope. You’re not. Nor do you want to be.
Jumping on every social media platform will only give you more ways to burn yourself out. Imagine having to post things regularly on Instagram right after posting on Twitter. Before moving to Facebook, and then to LinkedIn, before TikTok.
Sounds exhausting, doesn’t it?
My suggestion to you is that you choose the two social media platforms where the audience that you want regularly hangs out.
Remember that tip #1 says, ‘be more specific about your niche’. If you have that figured out, your next question should be, ‘where does my target audience hang out?’
For example: If you're 20 years old and your chosen niche is related to dancing, then TikTok should likely be your go-to social media platform because that’s where 20-something-year-olds hang out and watch dance moves.
If photography, culture, or fashion is your niche, then Instagram or Pinterest might be the best platform for you.
But what if you're a middle-aged business executive, and your chosen niche is ‘business-y’ stuff?
Is TikTok or Instagram a suitable platform for you?
If your audience is 45- 60 year old business people, then you you’ll find that LinkedIn is going to be a thousand times more suitable for you than TikTok.
What I want you to do after following step #1 and choosing a specific niche that you love, is to choose the platform that you want to be on. The key, again, is to make sure it's one that your audience is already hanging out on.
In summary: Go to where your audience is.
I would pick the top two social media platforms where your audience is and start from there.
Step # 3
Create an Opt-In Page Or A Newsletter, So You Can Capture Your Audience Or Build Your List
One of the most important assets that you can have as a business person is an audience… Your audience, in this case, and as far as step #3 is concerned, is an email list.
Whenever someone watches your content on your social media platform (whichever ones you choose), chances are, they’ll like what they see. What you need to do, in this case, is find a way to direct them somewhere after they’ve finished watching your content.
Where you want to direct them is to a page that offers them something for free in exchange for their email address. The free thing you’ll offer them will usually be a simple solution or tip to a niche-related challenge they have.
For example: If your SPECIFIC niche is women who just had a baby and are looking to lose the baby weight (see how specific that is?), then the thing we can offer them may be something like:
‘Three easy steps to lose 15 pounds of postpartum belly fat in just 4 weeks’.
Do you see how the thing I’m offering them is a SPECIFIC solution to a SPECIFIC challenge that the person in my niche is likely experiencing?
Here’s why you’ll want to do this…
Offering your audience a specific solution to a specific problem in exchange for their email address is a great way to build your email list (i.e., your audience).
With a list like this, you can then let your audience know what’s going on with you or when you’ve released new content.
The most successful entrepreneurs have an email list that allows them to contact their audience at will and say, “Hey, go check out my latest Instagram/LinkedIn/YouTube Video.”
Moreover, having a big enough email list will give you enough leverage to apply the tips and pointers we’ll talk about later on in this article.
The best part of this strategy is that you only need a single-page website to complete it. Here’s an example of what a page like this might look like.
The way I would go about doing this, though, is to create a single page that says something like: “Opt-in, and I'm going to give you the #1 secret to insert the result your target audience might want.”
That’s a bit of a gross oversimplification, but I think you get the idea.
Once someone enters their email address, you’ll need a way to legitimately capture their email and email them regularly. For that, you’ll need an auto-responder. This is the one I use.
When you have a way to capture the email addresses of your target audience and therefore grow your email list, then you’re on the right path to becoming an expert who gets invited to speak.
Step # 4
Post Content Religiously
You want to be a ‘crraaazzzyy’ content poster.
The reason for this is that you want to constantly “be in people’s faces” with the message that you want to share.
The importance of this is that people believe what they see constantly.
If I see videos, blog posts, or tweets from you EVERY SINGLE DAY with a new tip about how to train a dog or deal with postpartum weight loss, then subconsciously, I’m going to start to identify you as the 'dog training person' or the 'post-pregnancy health' person.
And if one day I decide to have a seminar about dog training (or a friend of mine is looking for a dog training expert), then my brain will instantly go to YOU as the person I should reach out to because of your Instagram or YouTube channel has been showing me a zillion dog training nuggets for the past several months.
You MUST be in people’s faces with whatever your message is, and you MUST post content religiously.
Here’s a quick tip, though: Don’t try to create your content as you go. Instead, you could try to set a single day aside to record a bunch of videos, write a bunch of blog posts or create tweet drafts.
Just write down all of the top questions people have about your specific niche, and take a day out to record/write your answers to all of the questions. In just ONE full day of writing and video recording, you’ll have created enough content to chop up and drip out to our social media for an entire month.
The point is that being consistent becomes 100 times easier when you set aside time to create your content in advance.
Step # 5
Get On The Radar Of Big Names In Your Industry
You should understand something about business as a whole:
It isn’t always about ‘beating the competition.’
Too many people go into business with thoughts like: “Mike has an audience in my industry. Mike is a guru, and I’m gonna try and take him down!”
Relax, Spartacus. Life isn’t a gladiator match.
If Mike has built the type of audience you'd like for yourself, then maybe what you need to do is become friends with Mike. If Mike has the people you want to talk to, then maybe the smarter play is to try to team up with him. Getting on Mike’s radar and having him recognize you as a fellow expert is one of the fastest and most effective ways for you to build your brand.
How do you do this?
A good method might be by providing value to him.
Here's a great example of how you can provide value to the big names in your industry:
Suppose you're in the race-car niche, trying to make headway in a community that already has its fair share of big race car experts.
A great way to make your way into the 'inner circle' and gain recognition with the biggest names in your industry is to create a blog or Instagram post of some kind, with content along the lines of "Here are the top 5 influencers to follow in the race-car industry".
List and tag Mike, Mary, Bobby, Susie, and any of the other race car industry experts whose audience you want exposure to in your post.
When Mike gets tagged in your blog post, he's bound to get curious as to what you said about him. If you listed him as one of the top experts to follow in the industry, then you’ll be feeding his ego (and people love a good ego boost).
Once Mike’s ego is boosted, he’s bound to check you out. When he does, he’ll no doubt see all of the content you’ve been religiously posting now, VOILA! You’re on his radar.
If what you posted about Mike was positive, then The Law of Reciprocity might kick in, and Mike may leave you a comment or a shout-out and might even follow you back.
This idea of raising your own clout and growing your reach by adding value to the top people in your industry isn’t new. If you want more information on this strategy, then Google: “The Dream 100”. This strategy helps you find your top 100 places to get in front of your ideal audience and share what you have to offer with them.
These places can be anything from podcasts, blogs, newsletters, Facebook groups, YouTube channels, or anything else in your market.
As you drive deep into this idea, you’ll discover that this one tactic alone can accelerate your growth as fast as any other tactic or strategy out there.
Step # 6
Offer to Guest Speak For Free Or Get On As Many Podcasts As You Can
But... Isn’t the whole point of becoming a public speaker about making a living? What’s this about guest speaking for free?
Hear me out.
If you offer to guest speak for free (whether in person or on a podcast or wherever), the main thing you get out of it is…
YOU GET TO BE ON A STAGE!
In other words, you get a chance to be seen and heard by the audience you want to be in front of.
Especially at first, it doesn't matter how big the stage is. The point is that you just want to be on stage as much as possible!
It is perfectly fine to seek out people with smaller podcasts who already have your audience. Because 9 out of 10 times, these people are looking for interviews. You can seek them out and seize that opportunity to be in front of their audience.
Again, the great thing is that you’re now on stage.
If you’re speaking on a physical stage (in person), the audience won’t even know that you’re there for free. They’ll just see you as an expert who is speaking from a place of authority. And if your content is fantastic, then speaking for free will help create an instant uptick in the number of people who are following you.
So, again, it’s perfectly fine to offer to speak for free.
Find as many podcasts and stages as you can, and make sure that they’re all recorded. And in return for speaking for free, you get a stage and, therefore, exposure to the audience you want.
Step # 7
Get Recordings Of Yourself On Stage And On Podcasts
Remember, when we talk about “the stage,” we’re not only talking about a physical, in-person stage. We’re talking about any platform when you’re the expert, and an audience is consuming your message.
So when I say to “get recordings of yourself on stage,” I’m saying to get a video of yourself on the physical stage, on podcasts, as a guest on an Instagram show… wherever!
It really doesn't matter as long as you’re the one speaking or being viewed as the expert.
The point is to get as many recordings of yourself as you can get. Because these recordings will serve as ‘social proof.’
‘Social proof,’ if you’re unfamiliar with the term, is the idea that if one person has endorsed you as “the expert,” then other people will see you in that same light.
These social proof pictures and recordings of you on stage are some of the things that people will see on your social media. When people see these pictures and videos, they‘ll see you as an expert in your field. When they see you as an expert in your field, you’ll get invited to speak more often.
A quick tip... (the following is something I used to do all the time as a beginner when I needed more footage of myself on stage.)
Let’s say you’re invited to speak at a one-day event.
What you can do in this instance (depending on how many times you’ll be on stage) is:
Change into these outfits throughout the day, and make sure the person recording you captures you from different angles in all of your different outfits.
When you get the footage back, you’ll have doubled or tripled the amount of content you have as social proof and made it seem like you were on stage multiple times or even on multiple different stages.
The point is that you want as many recordings as possible. And remember, always chop any social proof of yourself up into smaller chunks. This way, you can spread them out on our social media over time.
Meaning, that if I have 3 pictures of myself in 3 different outfits on the same stage, then I don’t have to post all three pictures of myself at the same time. I can instead spread all three pictures out over the course of an entire month.
Because the more times people see you on stage, the deeper your message sinks into their minds, and the more you make them believe that you’re the one they need to call when they need a public speaker.
Step # 8
Post Pics and Clips Of Yourself On Stage (As Well As Other Content) Religiously
So… you have taken all the steps above seriously. You’ve chosen a specific niche, picked the top 1 or 2 social media platforms where your audience is, and have now begun to post content religiously.
Good for you! Now, let’s level this up.
What you’ll want to do now is you’ll want to sprinkle in images/videos of you “on stage” amongst all the regular content you post.
For example: If the last three social media posts you made were of content or helpful tips to your audience, then maybe the next one you do will be a picture of you on stage or being interviewed on a podcast.
What does doing this achieve?
I’m glad you asked.
Your regular content and posts may show that you have good content to share regarding your specific niche/topic, but the clips and videos of you on stage will show that YOU ARE AN EXPERT.
Because why else would you be on stage if you weren’t an expert?
Side note: It is perfectly fine to reuse content.
If, for example, you post a particular video or image of yourself on stage today… you can probably post that same image again 3 or 4 months later, and people following you on social media will go, “OMG, you were on stage again!? That is amazing!”
So, don’t be afraid to re-use content. You can absolutely get away with it if there’s enough time in between postings. To your viewers, it’ll just be another image added to their memory bank of you being in a position of authority.
Step # 9
Create A Sizzle Reel, And A Speaker’s Page (Mini Website) and Share With The World
If you go to devonbrown.com/event-emcee/, one of the first things you’ll see is what is called a sizzle-reel.
Just in case you’re not aware of what a sizzle reel is: a little video containing several clips of you doing or speaking or teaching on or off stage.
You can put these together with some awesome background music and some visual effects, and you have yourself a sizzle reel.
A sizzle reel doesn't have to be long. A thirty-second to three-minute-long clip is fine.
A good way to get one of these might be to find a professional video editor on Fiverr or Upwork to make a sizzle reel of you doing, speaking, or teaching something on stage.
A good sizzle reel may last a minute or less, but in those few seconds, you’ll look like the most amazing speaker to ever pick up a mic.
Once your sizzle reel is complete, you can put it on a simple one-page website that has:
- 1A simple headline that says something like: “Looking For One Of The Top Public Speakers On (Insert Your Specific Niche Here)? Check Out The Information Below”
- 2Your sizzle reel
- 3A few bullet points about you
- 4A way for people to easily get in contact with you
Once this simple page is set up, you can share it all over the internet (starting with your email list and your social media following).
When sharing your sizzle reel and/or your speaker's page, you'll want to do so CONSISTENTLY. Set aside 1-2 hours each week to reach out to people in your industry, and let them know that you're available to speak on the specific niche you chose.
There are event promoters and coordinators out there right now who are looking for you. Setting yourself up to be SEEN as a public speaking expert is only part of the equation...
Once you're set up to be seen as an expert, the final part is to kindly (but overtly) let people know that you're available.
Don't worry if no one reaches back out to you right away. This game is all about planting as many seeds as possible. The more seeds you plant (i.e. the more people you tell about your availability to speak, the more you'll have people reaching back out to you when the time is right FOR THEM!
How To Become a Public Speaker: Summary
Following the steps above is not something you can get done overnight. Becoming a public speaker is a process, not an event.
But If you’re willing to follow the steps laid out, however, there’s a good chance you’ll start getting invitations to speak very soon.
Like I said at the beginning, this article isn't about controlling your breathing or making eye contact. As a public speaking coach, I wanted to teach you how to become a public speaker by giving you actual steps to help you get invited on stages and be seen as a public speaker.
Thanks for taking the time to read this, and I hope that these steps are the ones that help you become that public speaker you want to be.
And one last thing (as promised)…
If you want to know how to be the best public speaker in virtually any room you walk into, check out this comprehensive public speaking course that will help you do just that.
And one last thing (as promised)…
If you want to know how to be the best public speaker in virtually any room you walk into, click the link below to check out something that will help you do just that.