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Content Partner "A career in public speaking anyone?"

While 10 years ago a career in motivational speaking was not even fathomable, today its big business for prominent Nigerian public speakers...

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Public speaking


A career as a public speaker is probably one of the greatest careers in the world. Imagine travelling throughout Naija, staying in fine hotels while being paid N1000000 for a few hours work - just to share your ideas, wisdom and expertise.

While 10 years ago a career in motivational speaking was not even fathomable, today its big business for prominent Nigerian public speakers like Steve Harris and Paul Foh, who are paid “crazy well’ for their services.

“Inspiration and motivation are beginning to become big deals - we get so many invitations that we turn [some] down,” says, Steve Harris, who has also authored the book ‘From College Dropout to Corporate Sellout’

If you have the gift of the gab and would love to sell optimism to motivation starved corporate clients and organizations, you’ll initially have to settle for smaller gigs but the corporate seminars and retreats will come once you've established yourself.

To help you hustle your way up the money tree that is public speaking, here are five ways to become one of Nigeria’s top motivational speakers:

Join a local Toastmasters Club
Being able to speak confidently and effectively is a skill that some naturally possess, for those not so lucky it’s a skill that you can develop. The Toastmaster Club is an organization that teaches people how to develop their speaking and leadership skills. This international organization has 25 branches in Nigeria, and by joining this organization, you’ll be equipped with all the technical skills needed to thrive as a public speaker.

Try to get free gigs
Build experience by approaching churches, youth clubs and non-profit organization. Since the experience you’ll develop by inspiring the largely disadvantaged member of these organisations is priceless, initially do these gigs for free.

Start a blog or website
Public speaking is a scene where self-promotion is imperative to your success. Nowadays, a website has become a virtual office; business owners therefore no longer require expensive properties. Create a website and/or blog to extend your motivational ideas online and to book gigs for anyone looking to book your services.
Be sure to print out business cards that include your website and shamelessly promote your website whenever you can.

Offer speech coaching and speech writing
Besides offering motivational services, include public speaking services to your catalogue. Since, Naija is an entrepreneurial hub; you should generate a lot of income by teaching potential and current small business owners verbal and written etiquette.

Product sales
Product sales other than live motivational speeches, is another stream of income that all Nigeria’s finest motivational speakers capitalize on. Create and sell motivational products, such as books, DVD and CD recordings of your speeches. These can be peddled at your events or through your website.

At some point you’ll probably also add one-on-one motivational training to your resume. Remember, the less known you are to potential customers the less likely they will be willing to offer you the serious cash. However, after you establish yourself, then the motivational seminars should start to come in.


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