The Message of You by Judy Carter is a must read for anyone thinking about getting paid for public speaking. More than that, I would recommend reading it if you are a member of Toastmasters.
In her book, Judy helps you to dig into your own experience to find the stories that resonate. The ones that you’re telling already to other people, and the ones that have a life lesson.
She goes on to talk about popular topics that people will hire you to speak about, but she also talks about speaking for free just because you’re passionate about something.
Beyond even thinking about getting paid for public speaking — although that sounds exciting! — her book is a good way to take our craft of public speaking to the next level. We may know that we need to understand our audience in order to connect with them in a speech, but she encourages us to talk to them ahead of the event in order to really know who they are, what they’re excited about, and even what complaints they may have had in the past about other speakers. Why? Because everyone is different!
I love that this book is pushing me to the next level. I don’t know if I will endeavor to be a paid speaker, but I will be using these valuable tips to hone my speeches to a razor’s edge.