The speaking industry is in a bit of upheaval right now, with conferences being canceled and so much uncertainty about the future. As a speaker you should always have backup plans. Most people just think in one direction, when there is a lot of money to be made as a speaker who has an expertise that executives and others need. I mean, you are an expert in your topic, right? If not, you need to take this time to start honing in on what you have that is of value to your audience.

I’ve been hearing about speakers doing their speeches through online videos, which is great. But a faster and easier way to make money right now is with consulting. Companies may be hunkered down with their employees working from home, but they still need outside help, maybe even more right now.

I remember my mother worked as a consultant for a tech company when I was a kid. She would find a quiet spot in the house with a “Do Not Disturb” sign on the door and schedule a couple of consulting calls. Since she was also a writer, sometimes she would even write booklets for them on her topic, which she sold in volume.

One advantage of being a consultant over being a live speaker is that you usually get more work out of it. With a live event, you do a speech and then it’s over. Consulting contracts are usually longer and more intensive. Once things settle down and events are booming again, you will have a great add-on service to complement your speech. You’ll get paid extra and you will be ready and primed to do it. Just like speaking, consulting takes some practice to do it well.

Here are some ways to get started as a consultant and speaker:

  • Hone in on your niche – Now is the time to really start thinking about your expertise and become even more knowledgable and up to date with your info. Study the trades in your specific topic. What knowledge do you have that companies need?
  • Who needs your expertise? – Instead of randomly throwing everything against the wall to see what sticks, spend some time thinking about who needs your knowledge the most.
  • Research your audience – Before you think of contacting anyone, find out what they are looking for and what they need that you could supply.
  • Get certified – If you need certification to add credibility as a consultant, do that first. Find out what licenses and certification would be valuable to your target audience. Having these credentials should also help you as a speaker.
  • Add hard skills to your resume – A backup plan should include some hard skills along with soft skills. What hard skills can you add to your resume?

Everything goes in cycles, but right now consulting is a good skill to have on your resume regardless of which direction the speaking industry is going in. The speaking industry is in a constant sea of change, so be prepared to cover all angles.

 

 

 

 


* Required
* Required, Private