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Monthly Archives: December 2011

Are you a Professional ?

Are you a Professional? Speaker, Trainer, Facilitator, Coach, Mentor, Entertainer

I receive at least 3 enquiries a week from people wanting to know what it takes to be a Professional Speaker.

They are either aspiring speakers wanting to get into the business or they are people already speaking with some skill (e.g. well seasoned Toastmasters -DTM AC-g or company trainers) and wanting to make the transition and or they are people who are being paid (i.e. professionals) and want to up their game.

To make it easier for you to establish where you are or what you need to play in this space I have developed the questionnaire below.  Please read the questions below and then mark your answers to each. These questions take into account the qualifying Criteria of most Professional Speakers Associations around the world and should help you focus on where you stand right now and what it would take you to get to your goal.
The Questions:

No Question/Criteria Answer
Yes /No/A..
1 Do you get paid (currency) for speaking to audiences you address?
2 Are you (A) Paid Directly as a Speakers Fee or (B) Paid as part of your Job as Trainer etc in a company?
This is the first and most basic test – if you are not being paid for speaking then you are not a Professional Speaker/Trainer.
3 How many PAID Speaking Engagements do you do a year? A = 0 to 10; B = 11 to 20; C = 21 to 30; D = 31 to 50; E = 50+
4 What is the Average Size of the Audiences you speak to? A = 0 to 10; B = 11 to 20; C = 21 to 30; D =31 to 50; E = 50 to 500; F = 500+
5 What proportion of your INCOME is derived from your speaking business? A=10%; B = 25%; C = 50%; D = 75%; E = 100%
6 What proportion of your TIME is taken up in your speaking business?  A = 10%; B = 25%; C = 50%; D = 75%; E = 100%
7 Do you operate as a: A =S ole Proprietor; B = CC or Pty LTD; C = Partnership; D = Employed by a Co.
8 Do you classify yourself as a: A = Keynoter; B = Trainer; C = Coach/Mentor; D =Facilitator E = Consultant
9 What describes you better as a Speaker: (click here for definitions) A = Celebrity Speaker; B = Circumstantial Speaker; C =Expert Speaker; D = Industry Speaker; E = Entertainer; F = Motivator/Inspirer
Questions 3 to 9 indicate the type of speaking business you have – be it part time , full time , small-medium-large etc.
10 Do you have a Standard Speaking Contract
11 Do you have a Client Assignment Briefing Check List/questionnaire?
12 Do you have Standard documents for room layout and venue requirements?
13 Do you have your own written Speaker Introductions for clients/MC’s
14 Do you have your own Web Site that promotes your Speaking Business?
 15 Do you have a Business Card for your Speaking Business?
16 Do you have Promotional Material (One Sheets) for your Speaking Business?
17 Do you issue professional Quotes/Invoices to your clients for engagements?
18 Do you have a Financial Advisor/Bookkeeper that does your books?
19 Do you maintain a separate Banking account for your speaking business?
20 Do you have the Technical Infrastructure for your speaking business?
21 Do you have the Administrative Infrastructure to support your business?
22 Do you have the Marketing Infrastructure to support your business?
23 Do you have a Blog relating to your speaking business?
24 Do you have a You Tube Channel promoting your speaking business
25 Do you have a Slide Share Channel promoting your speaking business
26 Do you have a Book / CD / DVD published?
27 Do you have a 12 month Personal and Professional Development plan?
28 Do you have Articles Published?
29 Do you have/use Speaker Assessment Forms when you present your gigs?
30 Do you have at least 5 Client Written References?
Questions 10 to 30  indicate how well organised you are as a professional speaker
31 Do you attend at least 0ne Speakers Related Conference annually?
32 Do you have a Personal Mentor / mentors for your speaking business?
33 Do you mentor any developing professional speakers?
34 Do you belong to any Professional Bodies/Organisations?
35 Do you have a high regard and actively practice ethics in your speaking business – this would include respecting copyright, others intellectual property, honesty in your client dealings, fairness to all, etc.
Questions 31 to 35  indicate how serious you are about upgrading you skills and craft as a professional peaker

Please answer each question Yes/No/ or choose a letter that best describes your speaking business.

 

By answering these questions you will be able to
determine for yourself whether:-

  1. You are a Professional or not   and
  2. Where you are on the professional speaking ladder.

PS:– these are merely items that indicate that you have the necessary items in place to be a professional speaker – the real test is your speech content and your speaking and platform skill that makes people book
you repeatedly and refer you to others – without this all the above is a bit meaningless.

If you would like to discuss any of these items or the Speaking Profession in general please contact me directly and let’s
see how I can help you achieve your dreams.