10 Things You Need to Know If You Want to Be a Professional Speaker
by Allen Klein

1- All major sports teams have coaches. If you want to play in the major league, get coaching.

2- If you want to be good, hang around those who already are.

3- Audiences remember only a few of your words. They never forget the essence of who you are.  Work on who you are, more than what you say.

4- Don’t rush to get your book published. People eventually forget a bad speech. A book is forever.

5- Everything you ever wanted to know about speaking can be learned from two organizations: Toastmasters and the National Speakers Association. Attend their meetings, read their materials, listen to their DVDs.

6- Speaking is a crazy business, but that doesn't mean that you need to go crazy.  Don't go bonkers if you lose a speaking engagement. It leaves that date open for another one to come along, or for you to write your book.

7- Charge less than you think you are worth and grow into your fee.

8- Don't try to do it all. Everything you hear at NSA shouldn't be everything you do. Take only what fits for you, your style, your market, and leave the rest behind.

9- Have a passion for what you do. It will help you get through those delayed flights, canceled engagements, and not-so-great audiences.

10- Have fun. If you are not enjoying what you are doing, why do it?
Originally published on Examiner.com April 17, 2013