international speaker

Listen Up: How You, Too, Can Become An International Speaker

Dec 14, 2018

Are you considering turning your knowledge and expertise into paid speaking engagements?

If you’re passionate about sharing what you know, public speaking may be your calling.

But how do you get started? How do you get paid to speak at events around the world?

That’s the subject of today’s blog, as we examine the exact steps you need to take to become a professional international speaker.

Step 1: Start With the Message

If you want to be in demand around the world, your message needs to appeal to people everywhere. People attend speaking engagements to connect to the speaker and the message and to learn something applicable to their lives. To that end, your message must resonate with people of all cultures.

Your message also needs to be about something so important to you that you feel you must share it. Feeling strong about getting your message out is what’s going to carry you through those long travel days and extended periods away from home.

Simplify Your Message to a System or Story

Here’s a reality of public speaking in the 21st century. Audiences have short attention spans and if you lose them, you may look out and find people on their phones or, worse yet, sleeping.

Engage your audience by centering your message around a compelling story. People love personal stories, especially when it includes a lesson that applies to them.

If your talk is more of a “how-to,” break down the steps into an easy to remember system. If you can name the system with a catchy acronym based on each step, even better.

No matter what style you use, make sure your message solves a problem for anyone who hears it. You can even tease it in your open, as in: “Today, you’re going to learn how to pay off your credit card debt in half the time, even if you’re living paycheck-to-paycheck.”  

Start Speaking Wherever You Are

Ever dream of speaking to a sold-out conference with thousands present in the audience?

You can do it, but start small first. Speak at local events, even if it’s for free.  What’s important is to get your message out there.

Get feedback and hone your message. Each time you speak, pay attention to audience response to discover your best moments and any weak spots which need improvement.

Consider joining Toastmasters International or National Speakers Association, which offer you a chance to improve your public speaking talents and get valuable feedback. These organizations offer accreditation, which can add credibility to your profile as you begin submitting to speak at events.

Practice feeding off the crowd, work out the kinks in your delivery and avoid common public speaking quirks which can doom any speech.

Expand at Home. Then Speak Abroad

After a while, your speech will become a perfectly-crafted presentation. You’ll appear confident on stage and audiences will be fully engaged.

Around this time, someone will likely approach you and ask you to speak to their company, or at a conference or seminar. And they’ll pay you for your efforts. Congratulations, this is when your professional speaking career begins.

Apply to speak at as many conferences as you can. If you get rejections, don’t worry. Rejections come with the territory as most conferences get more applications than they have open speaking spots. Each year you speak it will be easier to book engagements as most event planners like to hire speakers who have spoken before.

To improve your odds of getting hired internationally, become fluent in another language. Many nations around the world know English, but if you can communicate in their native tongue, your odds of landing the gig improve.

The Bottom Line About Becoming an International Speaker

Embarking on a career as an international speaker requires a long-term view. It may be hard and time-consuming to learn another language, but it can also set you up for a long successful career.

Renowned speaker Brian Tracy learned to speak German, a skill which propelled him to 10-15 paid speaking engagements every year in Germany. 

If you’re hard working and adept at crafting simple, engaging and problem-solving speeches, you can enjoy a rewarding international speaking career.

If you enjoyed this article, please check out more content about public speaking on our blog.