Become a Speaker – What does a Speaker do? How much does a speaker earn? How do you become a speaker, do you need training? After our speaker agency interview, we got some feedback on the topic of being a speaker and becoming a speaker. So today we had a quick catch up with the owner of speaker agency Keynote Speaker One to talk about the question that many of our readers are interested in: How do I become a speaker? How much does one earn as a speaker? Can anyone become a speaker? We also wanted to start off by finding out how virtual lectures are changing the world of speaking – or are they? We’ll find out now, in the second interview.
Thanks to Keynote Speaker One: Speaker Agency (external).
How much do you earn as a speaker?
FIV: Thank you for taking the time again! Today we want to hear what tips you have for those who want to become speakers. Not only as a transition to my questions about becoming a speaker, I have to ask you! I’m sure many people are interested in one thing in particular: How much do you earn as a speaker?
Knowledge that creates money brings money. So simply put, the more effective your knowledge serves to achieve goals, this does not always have to be money, it could also be about building networks, for example with business representatives, more commonly known as lobbyists, the higher the knowledge transfer is calculated and charged. In short, if you manage to generate more money for the client, you can become a consultant or speaker.
First, though, it’s important to me, speakers don’t just work for money!
Prices for Speaking, Workshop and Coaching
There are many people who have, let’s say, made it, for whom money also no longer has the significance it has for others who are still starting out. They want to pass on their knowledge and experience to the next generation. For example, if millionaires speaking at a small startup conference. For them, it’s primarily not about the money, but about helping other people, motivating them.
To come to your question about the earnings, who starts as a speaker, without an agency, is already good with three-digit fees. As a rule, it is only one hour of work on site. Of course, there is preparation, travel, the final input for the participants, but it is often limited to 60 minutes when it comes to speaking. Those are the early days. Events with over 200 participants usually have people speaking who earn in the four-figure, five-figure range.
Then there are whole workshops or coaching sessions, so to speak, with simultaneous mentoring. Such a day can look like this, for example, that a lecture is given for 30 to 60 minutes, followed by a work unit for 30 to 120 minutes. This change takes place because, 4 times. The effort in the preparation is of course much higher. Accordingly, there is also a higher fee here.
When it comes to prominent speakers, as well as CEOs of large companies, we’re usually talking four-figure to six-figure amounts, for an appointment.
That information will have to do for now!
Topics that will make you a lot of money as a speaker
FIV: In which areas, or in other words, with which contents and lectures, can you earn a lot of money as a speaker?
I would answer the question like this: Don’t pay attention to the topics, but to the customers or industries. Also a good tip for all those who want to become a speaker. Which industry, economy or trade sector has high sales and at the same time many companies, i.e. potential clients?
A simple, classic area that really everyone knows are banks and financial institutions. They manage assets of wealthy people and are accordingly always looking for new inputs from all areas. Whether it’s marketing for reach, sales for closes, or digitization in companies, for more efficient, internal work processes. Such wealthy clients are naturally willing to pay more for good content.
Example: Facial expression training for asset managers
FIV: Can you give me an example of such a special and at the same time profitable area?
A practical example, one of our speakers is particularly concerned with facial expressions. That means he reads faces, more specifically, the emotion in the other person’s face. So he can see whether someone agrees or disagrees with an opinion, simply put. So if a wealth manager is sitting in front of a wealthy person in a meeting, proposing different investment options, he or she can tell by facial expressions whether the client is more likely to agree or disagree, no matter what he or she explicitly says.
Perhaps a client rejects a certain type of investment, simply out of principle or because he or she went into the conversation with other plans. But you can tell from the facial expression that there is a lot of interest, so the investment advisor should not change the subject now, but perhaps drill down a little further, once again mention advantages and so on. This is a simple example, but this simple action generates in the end perhaps an additional turnover of 10 million. All this by learning from 1 day.
Such knowledge, such skills are worth their weight in gold when it comes to investment advice.
Becoming a Speaker: Tips from the experts
FIV: Thank you for the insight. With this example you can see directly how deep the topics can go in your speeches or with the customers. I would also like to be able to read the facial expressions in the interview! Where do I pick up, where not, very exciting. That brings us right to the questions for our readers who want to become speakers! How do you become a speaker and what do you need?
Checklist: Become a Speaker
This is where I would give you very Speaker-Like, succinct bullet points. Let me think for a second. In very, very short, this is what it takes to become a speaker:
- Who are you? Generalist, specialist or a known person
- You need a track record or specific skills that lead to successes
- You need a topic, better still a prepared presentation on slides
- You need experience and reputation through project and customers
- You need networking, outreach, orders, repeat business and referrals.
Your appearance: personality and theme
FIV: What do readers who want to become speakers need to know about each of the areas you just mentioned?
Okay, let’s recap in really, really short order. You have to decide how you want to appear. There are generalists, like CEOs, managers, self-made millionaires, who don’t specialize in a certain area, but can overview, understand and also explain more complex contexts. They know the steps, but often not the work itself. Simply put, someone had the idea for software, but doesn’t know how to program. Programmers do the work, she or he takes care of the management and development of the company, between programming, sales, accounting, human resource management, location management, etc. The same is true in business and politics. Here it is important to have reputation as a speaker, that means people know what you stand for.
Are you such in generalist? Or are you a specialist, i.e. the programmer who knows how to implement ideas and build an application from them?
These are specialists, they deal with a precise topic. The programmer perhaps with Industry 4.0 in digitalization, more explicitly with “Automatisms in production lines the automotive industry”. A generalist would rather give a lecture on “Industry 4.0 in the automotive industry”.
Important for these two groups of speakers, they need success stories! Because only those who have success stories to show will be perceived by others as mentors.
Then there are well known people, they are booked for your name, for internal and / or external reputation reasons.
So first and foremost, find your personality to portray to the outside world and your theme, or themes.
Experience and reputation (good reputation for recommendation)
FIV: What did you mean by experience and reputation?
Experience is made up of many components, the most important of which is your track record. You’ve been doing your job for 20 years and you’ve done it successfully. Or, you’ve programmed an application that hasn’t been done before. You’re top in human resource management and now you’re passing on your experience as a headhunter. You have built a successful company. All these are success stories.
At the same time, however, failure is also ok, that is, mistakes that were made. The mix of success and failure then creates the hero story. Depending on how emotional you want to build your own speech, a very powerful tool for emotionalizing the audience.
Top lecture topics as a door opener for speakers
That brings us back to the topic. You need a topic that you understand and can explain. Especially if you are at the beginning and don’t have a big name yet, you need an exact topic that makes you stand out. In marketing, this is called the “long tail”.
FIV: Can you explain that a little bit more?
Before that, we were on Industry 4.0, a very general topic. A longtail would then be the topic “Industry 4.0: Automation in production lines the automotive industry”. It is much easier to establish yourself when the competition is small. The typical principle of supply and demand. Therefore, young people in particular who want to become speakers should focus on the fact that they place themselves in new topics, here they can address in particular older people and make them their customers. These lack the new knowledge, at the same time they already have assets to pay you, simply put. A win-win situation for both sides.
Now just comes the big question, how do you get customers? Network and reach are the answer. It differs depending on whether it’s about qualitative or quantitative networks. If, for example, you are dealing with the aforementioned “automation in automotive manufacturing”, you don’t need large distribution lists, but rather targeted, few contacts in the large companies and corporations. However, anyone who deals with the topic of “becoming self-employed and earning money”, for example, needs to address a large number of people (private individuals) in order to be able to make a living from it.
In general, I would say, as always when you want to become an entrepreneur, you need a certain topic, you then need to work on it enough and you need to find people who appreciate your work.
Does training as a speaker make sense?
FIV: Is there actually a speaker training?
Most speakers are self-taught. They are good at something and can explain it. I don’t think training is useful, at least not one that is longer than a little coaching, from another renowned expert. Also handy to see what criteria you would look for yourself when looking for a coach. But the danger is, one tells you this, the other that. What you then lose as a speaker is your authentic manner, whether calm or psyched up as an entertainer. So I would say coaching to package content better, to deliver better, in presentation and structure, makes sense. Anything that changes personality should be well thought out.
Live or virtual: advantages and disadvantages
FIV: In view of the current situation and all the digitalization, what do you think is better as an expert: live or virtual? Why: Especially through the time with Covid, we have done many things online that were previously almost always offline. For example, meetings, workshops and, of course, training and coaching. Did you have digital lectures?
I’ve also had a lot of digital lectures in the last year and a half. But I’m not a fan of it, at least not with the current solutions and bandwidths!
For example, I just had to split a group of 260 people, into three groups, so I had to hire an additional 2 speakers. All because it’s not possible to reliably bring more than 50, 60 people in one stream. This is despite the fact that we had already chosen one of the great software solutions for this appointment.
Problem: Bandwidth for video calls
FIV: What exactly is the problem?
The big problem, the bandwidth and the common processing of the data. I am the only one who can stream a video. The more that connect with video over, it’s no different with audio, the worse the connection gets. So basically I’m talking without seeing a single participant. At the first event I thought okay, this can be worked on. But now, a year later, it’s no different. As I said, I’m not a fan of digital training when those are the conditions when it’s also live.
In this example, it was so that no one could ask a question back without having to join in extra, after all, everyone has to deactivate their microphones and webcams. In a live situation, I would see a response immediately, digitally, without video, because of bandwidth or software, I don’t know, people have to actively decide to check in first. That’s an incredibly big barrier. That’s why hardly anyone dares to ask a follow-up question. It always feels like an interruption to the participants, so they feel like they are “interrupting”. It’s also hard to take away that feeling.
After all, you don’t see the reactions of the other guests and you don’t know how they are thinking or feeling, do they have questions or not? Am I the only one who doesn’t understand?
Communication and audience response
FIV: So live or virtual makes a difference?
Yes, live or virtual makes a big difference! Of course, there are always the exceptions, the very diligent, who can learn just as effectively digitally. But as a rule, emotions are part of it, as just discussed but also queries. As a speaker, it’s also much easier for me to see the number of questioning faces, depending on how specific the topic is. Then I can respond to them, for example, elaborate a little further.
At the same time, the participants have the opportunity to discuss among themselves, i.e. live, quietly during the lecture, but also during the breaks, and of course before and after the speaking. The spirit, from stage to audience, is also quite different. And in the end, it’s not just about the factual knowledge, the information, but above all about motivation, wanting to achieve more! Sometimes you first have to awaken the will, sometimes you have to focus and channel it.
Live lectures have many advantages, for the participants and accordingly also for the client. The results are more effective.
FIV: Thanks for the great and detailed answers!
Keynote Speaker One (website): Speaker Agency.
Part 1: Speaker Agency and Trend Topics
Speaker Agency – Learning is something that never stops. We start with our parents, in kindergarten, come to school, do training or study, attend workshops, training and further education, learn languages, arts. Out of personal passion or to earn more money. Many companies invest a little more and book real experts for their company and their employees. Many names are only known in professional circles, others are prominent and known to all. We caught up with the owner of a speaker agency today to talk about the industry, processes and speakers. What are important topics for companies, what are trending topics? We also asked him: how does one actually become a speaker? Maybe you have some valuable knowledge of your own that you can share with others. But let’s start at the very beginning!