The writer has been speaking to audiences for 48 years. Over the past 38 years he has been a guest speaker over 900 times.
The writer speaking to an audience at a conference in Hong Kong in 2015
Speaking to audiences is both and Art and a Craft
The phrase: "Life long learning," is certainly applicable to public speaking. One starts off full of trepidation - even stark fear - and gradually grows in confidence, competence, and eventually into conviction that one is a good, proficient presenter who can change people's lives for the better. Eventually a love of speaking is acquired and, once that has happened, a speaker is hooked for life.
Taking the next step
Many people start off their speaking experiences as 'trainees.'
Many people start off their experiences as speakers in such organizations as Toastmasters International, Rostrum Clubs, Gavel Clubs and from the tuition of professional organizations such as the Dale Carnegie Institute. Many finish their training and don't take what they've learned any further. This is a shame. For the world has need of leaders and leaders have need of communication skills - especially public speaking.
The writer in full swing
Some of the 'perquisites' of being a guest speaker
The benefits of being a guest speaker are numerous. Firstly, you are the 'star,' the main focus for why the audience has come along. Secondly, you be treated as the 'guest of honour' in many instances. You'll in all likelihood be 'wined and dined' and look after; placed at the head table alongside the organization's President or Chairman. You'll likely have a car space reserved for you. Someone will be allocated to look after your needs. And, of course, you'll be speaking to audience members who may well be able to assist you in furthering your career as a speaker.
The writer's audience at one of his storytelling events.
You don't need to be a paid professional
You don't need to be a paid professional speaker to obtain high-level 'gigs.' There are many organizations in the world that welcome the speaker who will come along and speak for no fee. There are many conferences worldwide where this is almost expected. The big service organizations such as Rotary International, Lions International for example. Then there are many organization which have huge membership but do not belong to the 'Corporate World.' If you're good enough, and the world knows of you, you will get the bookings.
The writer running a workshop on Storytelling at the first Toastmasters District Conference held at Tamworth NSW.
Speaking outside of Toastmasters
The writer joined his first Toastmasters club in 1972. He took his first presentation OUTSIDE of Toastmasters ten years later and has continued speaking both within and outside of Toastmasters ever since. He has currently been a guest speaker at over 900 speaking opportunities. At eighty-four, the invitations continue to roll in. The beauty of being a speaker is that, providing one's health holds out, one can be a guest speaker until the end of his or her days.
Tom Ware (author) from Sydney, Australia on September 12, 2020:
Thank you, Eric.
Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on September 11, 2020:
Fantastic. I got a lot out of this, not just about speaking. Cool lessons.