Your personal brand is important as an entrepreneur. Being an authority in your field gives you a start-up and your moves weight and importance, and can serve as a bridge for trust.
Public speaking can help establish you as an authority, but as with all things, it costs you time and energy that you could've spent elsewhere.
The solution is to get paid.
When you're a paid speaker, you're maximizing the value of your effort. You develop your personal brand and get paid to do it. The problem is getting to that point. You can get started by doing the following and build up some muscle.
1. Solve Problems
If you've been a manager, you know all about solving problems. Your life revolves around it, from how your product improves lives to the daily issues that crop up at the office.
Fortunately, that's also what you need to do if you want to become a paid speaker - you need to solve a problem.
Witty jokes and anecdotes may work at parties, but organizations and events won't pay for just that.
Solve a problem.
Discuss important issues in your industry and provoke listeners into thinking. If your audience is still discussing your talk at the elevator, you've done your job.
QUESTION to ask yourself and answer: What problem can you solve for an audience better than anyone else?
2. Develop One-Line Insight for Your Speeches
People need an insight they can remember.
If you're not sure what a one-line insight is -- it's a quotable quote, something that encapsulates your statement or stance. It must be catchy, and most of the time you're not going to make one up on the spot. You'll need to prepare one, depending on the content of your speech. Think about Twitter, Facebook or the average text - if you can fit it into that, it's a one-liner.
The good news is you'll probably write your one-liner as part of your speech. All you need is to find which one will stand out and put the right amount of stress on it. If nothing stands out, think about the core of your topic and then try explaining it in one sentence to a layman. That should result in something suitable.
3. Make Visually Pleasing Presentations
Know the importance of presentation. The best products will fail if their packaging doesn't fit in with your brand or doesn't appeal to the target audience.
In speeches, if your use slides (I don't) your slides are your packaging. They're supposed to strengthen your point, but if they look amateurish or rushed, they'll distract from it. If it looks bad, it probably is. How your slides are constructed isn't the only factor.
How you react or treat your slides can also affect your presentation.
If you constantly have to study the slide or act like you've never seen it before, it can give off the impression that you're not prepared, which in turn negatively impacts your authority. When you practice your speech, do it with your slides.
Keep in mind that your slides aren't there to explain your point. They're there to give the audience something to remember visually. There's no need for long paragraphs when bullet points will do.
4. Make a Sample Video
Most organizers won't hand over to just anybody to speak at their event. A bad speaker can leave audiences disgruntled and unsatisfied, which can ruin the event's reputation.
They're going to be picky, and they'll to see how you do onstage before they think about hiring you.
The solution is to make a sample video. The next time you're onstage, even if it isn't a paid event, have someone record it. If you're lucky, your host already has a tech crew recording the event and all you'll need is to either purchase the footage or ask for it. Once you have a selection of clips, make a promo video or reel to put up on your website and in your pitches.
If you're wondering whether you should use these tips before or after you get a few paid gigs, the answer is before. Think about your life as an entrepreneur - your product won't succeed if you only provide value after the customer buys your product and never beforehand.
Become a better speaker first, add value first and eventually people will start paying for your presence at their events.