How to stay ahead in your Speaking Business in 2024

growing your speaking business learning personal development speaker awards speakers' summit

In the business world, especially in speaking and events, things are always changing. Since I started in the industry back in 1998, I've seen how important it is to keep learning new things to stay successful.  In those days we faxed our booking forms, sent documents by post.  We had VHS and Betamax videos for our speaker showreels.  There was no LinkedIn, we had to go out and meet people face to face at networking events, exhibitions, and client offices.  We feared that the world would end at the stroke of midnight in 1999 because of the Millennium Bug.  But the biggest change?  In those days there were more events and speaking slots than there were speakers on the circuit, now that has flipped.  There are countless speakers out there, but not all of them are successful, because they aren’t all doing what they need to do. 


It is more important than ever before to stay ahead.  How?  By continually investing in your learning and development.


The business of speaking changes constantly, new trends pop up, and what worked before might not work now.  Speakers who keep learning can adapt to these changes better. They stay interesting by updating their speeches, improving how they speak, and knowing what their audience wants.


Learning isn't just about keeping up; it's about leading the way. When you get better, you inspire others, and everyone in the industry gets better.


Growing yourself isn't just about speaking better. It's also about understanding business and the latest ways to market yourself. Successful speakers behave like business owners, so they need to know about more than just speaking.


This means having many skills – as well as knowing how to speak well, using new technology, understanding people, being able to manage your finances, knowing how to bring business in and how to maximise profits. Learning all the time means you always have the best tools to do a great job.


How are you investing in your development this year?  Let me share a list to get you started, I love sharing lists 😊


  1. TED: TED Talks are a fantastic source of inspiration and learning. Speakers can gain insights into various presentation styles and topics.
  2. National Speakers Association (NSA): Especially relevant in the US, the NSA offers resources, networking opportunities, and educational programmes for professional speakers.
  3. Professional Speaking Association (PSA): In the UK, the PSA provides a platform for speakers to share best practices, hone their skills, and network with peers.
  4. LinkedIn Learning: Offers courses on public speaking (they don’t use the term professional speaking, I need to have a word with someone), presentation skills, and other relevant topics for professional development.
  5. YouTube Channels: Channels dedicated to professional speaking and presentation skills.  Here’s one to get you started:
  6. Books and Audiobooks: So many great books.  One of my favourites is ‘The Referable Speaker’ by Andrew Davis and Michael Port.  And one you may have missed but featured yours truly: ‘Speak, Influence, Sell’ by Elliot Kay.
  7. Podcasts: Lots of excellent podcasts, hopefully you have caught all of Speaking Business Podcast.  Initially I started the podcast for my corporate clients, so the first episodes are a great insight into your competition and their businesses, then I moved it to focus on speakers.
  8. Coaching and Workshops: Personalised coaching sessions or workshops led by experienced experts can provide tailored advice and hands-on practice.  For example, there’s someone called Maria Franzoni who will help you work on the business side of your speaking, and Mary Tillson-Wharton who can help you with the content and delivery side – check them out here:
  9. Online courses: Work at your own pace and revisit content whenever you need to.  Not sure where to find a good online course, let me point you in the right direction:
  10. Industry Conferences and Seminars: Attending events specific to the speaking industry can offer learning opportunities and the chance to observe and network with successful speakers.  And on this topic ….


I have details of a very exciting industry event that may be of interest – The Speaker Summit. As an official ambassador for The Speaker Awards, I'm not just attending; I'll be actively participating.  We can meet up in person. 


This event is a fantastic chance to refine your approach to speaking and transform it into a thriving, profitable business. It's a journey I'm deeply passionate about, and I'd love for you to join me in this transformative experience.


I'm extending a special invitation to you to join the waiting list:


The summit is packed with value. We'll dive deep into the tactics of building a successful speaking business, offer unparalleled networking opportunities with top industry professionals, and you'll hear an inspiring keynote from me.


By joining us at the Speaker Summit, you're not just attending an event; you're becoming part of a community where inspiration meets practical tools, enabling you to build and grow your speaking career into a fulfilling and rewarding business.  And you get to spend some time with me.


So, don't miss out. I’m looking forward to taking this exciting step together with you. Remember, in the world of professional speaking, your growth is your greatest asset. The Speaker Summit is more than just an event; it's a stepping stone to your future success. Join us, and let's embark on this journey of continual learning and growth together.


Never Stop Getting Better


Have a fantastic 2024.


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