There’s a common misconception about professional authors that prevents many people from realizing their dream of going pro. If you think an author’s only job is writing, you’re mistaken. If you want to become a professional author, there’s so much more to the job than jamming away on your computer all day. When you learn how to become a motivational speaker, you’re much better able to build a strong brand as an author.
8 Reasons Why You Should Become a Motivational Speaker
Once your book is published, your next move can help pave the way for your book’s success. When you branch out into speaking engagements, you may discover for yourself these eight surprising ways becoming a motivational speaker helps you as an author.
1. Becoming a Speaker Sets You Apart
The truth is, the world of self-published books is quickly becoming a saturated field. That means you need to do whatever it takes to bring attention to your book, including being assertive about marketing. We author and writer types are often reserved and introverted, and may not seek out public speaking opportunities. If you’re a speaker AND an author, you stand out from those one-trick ponies!
While some authors prefer to stay out of the spotlight, that’s not a wise marketing move. To find readers and make a name for yourself, you need to put yourself out there. Speaking engagements garner attention for your book, and set you apart from the (shy!) pack who aren’t as comfortable in the limelight.
The good news is that even if you aren’t a born speaker, you can learn the skills you need to become comfortable on the stage.
2. Speaking Engagements Make You a Better Writer
Learning the art of both forms of communication—writing and speaking—will bode well for your career. Reading passages from your book is commonplace at book launches, author events, and speaking engagements. The beauty of this exercise is that you get to see your words through a different lens—that of your readers. You can see the real-world, real-time impact your words have on others. Not only is this a cool feeling, it can help you tailor your next book to whatever your audience responds best to.
3. Speaking Establishes You as an Expert
People make value judgments, and if you’re speaking in front of a specific group about your passions, then you MUST be an expert, right? While writing a book can also establish you as an expert, there’s something about standing up in front of a crowd that solidifies you in that “expert” light.
Speaking engagements in your professional area or your book’s niche will earn you professional credibility within that community. Your perceived authority and prestige will be boosted by your association with the event you choose to speak at.
4. Speaking Fees Generate Income
Speaking fees can add up when you consistently book speaking engagements. If you do it enough, speaking can become a significant income stream for you as an author. In fact, speaking fees can even surpass the money you make from book sales.
The more speaking engagements you book, the higher the rate you can demand for your services. The more you speak, the better you’ll be at it, thereby opening the door to lucrative engagements, like keynote speaking at large events.
5. Speaking Gigs Sell More Books
If you knock-it-out-the-park with your speech, you’ll have attendees clamoring to buy your book. “Back of the room” sales can boost your book’s success! Take your books to your events, and press-the-flesh in the back of the room. Sign, smile, and meet your fans, and you’ll make money while feeling like a rock star in the process.
6. Becoming a Speaker Broadens Your Network
Public speaking enables you to connect with your fans and create new fans. If you make a connection with your speech, and you take the time to develop a relationship by answering questions and signing books, you’re marketing yourself, your brand, and your books.
By extension, this type of marketing will result in your fans talking about you to other potential fans. The word will spread that you’re a speaker who must be heard, and an author who must be read. Leverage these connections by collecting emails at your speaking engagements, so you can follow up on future speaking dates and book releases.
7. Speech Writing Lets You Test New Ideas
Perhaps you have a cool new idea for a blog post or a book topic. Write up a speech and try it out during a small speaking engagement, before committing it to print. This is how big-time comedians test their material: a surprise appearance at a tiny venue. They get to see up close the audience’s reaction to what they’re saying so they can refine their messaging.
You can join Toastmasters International if you’d rather not test material on a “real” audience. Interacting with your audience and getting their read on your material can help you decide whether your ideas are publication-worthy.
8. Speaking Generates New Income Sources
CDs, DVDs, courses, workshops: all of these options are secondary sources of income from your book and your role as a speaker. The more prolific you become as a speaker, the more marketable your additional revenue streams will become.
Even if you start off speaking for free to ten students at the local community college, your speaking career can evolve to higher levels. If you’ve recently been published in a well-known publication, had a media appearance, or hit a best-seller list, you can up your speaking engagement fee and product prices accordingly.
Being a writer is great, but if you want to become a professional author, then speaking is a great next step in making sure your book makes into the hands of your intended audience. When you share your message, you’re opening the door of possibility for new, exciting opportunities for you as an author.