How to Become a Professional Public Speaker

Explore the career requirements for professional public speakers. Get knowledge of the skills, education and employment outlook to figure out if this is the right career option for you. Schools offering Communications degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career Overview

Professional public speakers address a gathering of people who may or may not belong to a similar field, but share a common interest for a particular topic. One of their primary responsibilities is to be well versed in the area through good research and data collection so that they can answer any questions that the audiences may have. Take a look at the following chart to see an overview of this profession.

Typical Degree Bachelor's degree
Education Field of Study Communications, journalism, public speaking, theatre
Key Skills Confidence, authenticity, passion, clear speaking voice
Job Growth (2016-2026) -9% (for announcers)
Median Salary (2017) $31,500 (for announcers)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

What is a Key Personality Trait for a Professional Public Speaker?

The speaking skills of professional public speakers are their most prized asset. One must be able to clearly convey the intended message to the audience in a speech. In order to improve upon this skill, you can take public speaking courses along with your major. Apart from these, various providers offer certified courses for public speaking.

What is a Step I Mustn't Miss as a Professional Public Speaker?

As a professional public speaker, it is your duty to research well in order to account for each word and each statistic that you state to be true. Being well informed of the changes taking place in the relevant field, along with the pros and cons attached to them, is a must. You should also have good knowledge of any other topics which are closely related to the theme at hand.

Do I Need a Degree to Become a Professional Public Speaker?

Having a degree isn't always required to become a professional public speaker. However, you can earn a bachelor's degree in areas such as communication or journalism in order to strengthen the skills required for this profession. If you'd rather pursue a bachelor's degree in another field, you can still take public speaking courses to enhance your chances of becoming a successful speaker in that particular area of expertise.

What are My Job Prospects?

To get hired as a novice professional speaker who isn't nationally or even regionally well-known, you need to have a strong background and expertise in your field of choice. Professional speakers can be a huge hit in educational institutions such as schools and universities. Apart from these, businesses often hire motivational or management speakers to help motivate their employees and generate new and better ideas.

There is quite a bit of competition in this field, and you might want to look into strategies that make you stand apart, such as marketing through social media platforms and sending regular newsletters to various institutions and regular customers. You also might want to hire a team that solely works on publicity or connect with a speakers' bureau to help you get bookings.

What Can I Earn as a Professional Public Speaker?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics doesn't collect statistics specifically for professional public speakers. However, the median salary for announcers in 2017, according to the BLS, was $31,500. Over time, you may be able to charge more for your services and increase your salary by becoming more widely known and in demand.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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