10 Steps on How to Start a Speaking Career From Scratch

speaking career

Embarking on a speaking career can be an exhilarating journey, blending the art of communication with the power of influence. If you’re intrigued by the prospect of inspiring audiences, educating peers, or advocating for causes you care about, you might be wondering, “How to start a speaking career?” Here’s a comprehensive 10-step guide to launch your speaking career from scratch, setting you on a path to becoming a compelling voice in your field.

1. Identify Your Niche

Every successful speaker has a specific area of expertise. Reflect on your passions, professional experiences, and unique insights. Whether it’s motivational speaking, business, technology, or wellness, pinpointing your niche will help you focus your message and connect with the right audience.

2.Understand Your Audience

Knowing who you are speaking to is as crucial as knowing your subject. Research potential audience demographics, their interests, and their challenges. According to an article by Forbes,  taking the time and care to consider their situation, analyse their needs and confront their particular problems not only shows that you are thoughtful, thorough and well-prepared, but also that you respect their time, their process and their context. Understanding your audience ensures your message resonates and provides value, establishing you as a speaker who truly speaks their language.

3.Craft Your Message

What are the key points you want to convey? Your message should be clear, impactful, and tailored to your audience. Start by outlining the main ideas you want to share, then refine them into a compelling narrative that aligns with your speaking goals.

4.Develop Your Speaking Skills

Great speakers are made, not born. Invest time in honing your public speaking skills. This can include practising your delivery, working on your pacing, and mastering the art of storytelling. Consider joining speaking clubs like Toastmasters, or take professional speaking courses to elevate your presence on stage.

5.Create a Signature Speech

According to a blog by Jaimie Abbott, signature speech is a distinctive narrative crafted by an individual, which effectively encapsulates their beliefs, experiences, and values. This is your story, told in your unique way, used to inspire, persuade, or educate your audience. Develop a signature speech that can serve as a foundation for various speaking engagements. This speech should embody your key messages and adapt flexibly to different audiences and formats. Having a go-to presentation can also boost your confidence and streamline your preparation process.

6.Start Small

Begin your speaking career locally. Offer to speak at community events, workshops, or business meetings. These smaller venues provide a great training ground to refine your message and delivery, build your confidence, and gain valuable feedback.

Take advantage of every opportunity to practise your communication skills so that when important occasions arise, you will have the gift, the style, the sharpness, the clarity, and the emotions to affect other people.” – Jim Rohn, an American Entrepreneur, Author and Motivational Speaker

7.Record Your Speeches

Whenever you speak, try to get a recording. Video footage is a powerful tool for self-evaluation. It also serves as excellent promotional material for your speaking portfolio. Watching yourself can help you identify strengths to leverage and areas for improvement.

8.Build Your Online Presence

In today’s digital world, a strong online presence is indispensable. Create a professional website showcasing your speaking services, testimonials, and clips from your talks. Leverage social media platforms to share your insights, connect with your audience, and expand your visibility.

9.Network Relentlessly

Networking is key in the speaking business. Connect with event organisers, other speakers, and professionals in your niche. Attend industry conferences and seminars. The relationships you build can lead to speaking opportunities and partnerships that propel your career forward.

10.Seek Continuous Improvement

The best speakers continuously learn and evolve. Seek feedback from your audiences and peers. Stay informed about the latest trends in your field and the speaking industry. Consider working with a coach to refine your skills and strategies.

My best skill was that I was coachable. I was a sponge and aggressive to learn.” — Michael Jordan, an American Former Professional Basketball Player

As you embark on your speaking journey, remember that resources like Speaker School can offer invaluable support and guidance. Speaker School provides one-on-one coaching, speaker training workshops, and retreats, designed to help new and aspiring speakers hone their craft and succeed in the competitive world of public speaking. 

Starting a speaking career from scratch requires dedication and strategic effort, but with the right approach and support, it can lead to a rewarding and impactful profession. Whether you aspire to inspire, educate, or entertain, contact Speaker School today!


What qualifications do I need to start a speaking career?

To start a speaking career, formal qualifications are not strictly necessary. However, expertise in a specific field, experience, and strong communication skills are crucial. Additional certifications in public speaking or related courses can enhance credibility.

How can I identify my niche in public speaking?

Identify your niche by considering your passions, professional expertise, and topics that excite you. Look for subjects where you can offer unique insights or solutions to problems, which can help define your specialty area in public speaking.

What are the best ways to improve my public speaking skills?

Improving public speaking skills can be achieved through regular practice, joining clubs like Toastmasters, participating in workshops, and seeking feedback. Recording your speeches to review your performance and adjust your delivery is also beneficial.

How do I get my first speaking gig?

Start by offering free talks at local community events, schools, or business meetings. Create a compelling speaker profile and pitch your topics to conference organisers and event planners. Networking with industry professionals is also essential.

What should be included in a speaker’s portfolio?

A speaker’s portfolio should include a professional bio, a list of topics you cover, video recordings of your speeches, client testimonials, and contact information. Highlight any notable achievements or press coverage.

How can I market myself as a public speaker?

Market yourself by building a professional website, maintaining an active social media presence, blogging about your expertise, and engaging with your audience online. Additionally, consider digital marketing strategies like SEO and email newsletters.

What common challenges do new public speakers face?

New public speakers often face challenges such as stage fright, connecting with diverse audiences, and finding speaking opportunities. Overcoming these challenges involves practice, patience, and continuous learning about public speaking strategies.

How can speaker coaching or training programs help?

Speaker coaching and training programs offer personalised guidance to refine your speaking skills, help with speech crafting, and provide strategies for engaging effectively with audiences. They can accelerate your growth and confidence as a speaker.

Ready to take your speaking skills to the next level? Contact the expert coach here at Speaker School.

Contact Us Today!

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