When it comes to the business of public speaking, there is one obvious golden rule that many speakers overlook: it’s a business.
You climb onto that stage week after week not because you want to stroke your ego, but because you want to make money. You practice for countless hours not because you love the sound of your own voice, but because you have bills to pay.
Public speaking is a business and a very profitable one at that.
It’s something that Orly Amor knows all too well, and something that she has been preaching for years.
Orly is a public speaker, mentor, author, and entrepreneur. She has made a very good living from this profession and has taught others how to follow in her footsteps.
Over the course of a 60-minute This Week With Sabir episode, she discussed her strategies, tips, and recommendations relating to public speaking, touching on points such as:
- How to Make Money as a Public Speaker: Many speakers work for free and others insist they can’t make money in this sector—both are wrong. This is a very lucrative profession if you know how to do it right.
- How to Become a Better Public Speaker: You don’t need to be an extrovert to be a good public speaker. You don’t even need to be a confident orator. The secrets to success in this sector are not what you might expect.
- How To Be Confident In Public Speaking: To be confident, you just need to get experience, and that means practicing regularly and putting yourself out there.
- The Best Public Speaking Courses and Resources: Find public speaking classes, guides, and more. Orly also has a free 20-minute discovery call available to all fans of This Week With Sabir.
At the end of the episode, I asked Orly for her single most valuable insight into the business of public speaking. She said that it all boiled down to positioning, as how you position yourself in the market will dictate how much you earn and how strong your reputation is.
Watch The Full Video Interview / Listen To The Audio Podcast “Set Your Career On Fire With Professional Speaking (Featuring Orly Amor)”
For more information, watch the latest This Week With Sabir episode to the end or read the accompanying guide below:
The Best Public Speaking Tips With Orly Amor
Public speaking is a topic I have yet to cover here on This Week With Sabir, and there are a lot of public speaking topics to cover, strategies to discuss, and ideas to flesh out. To provide as many insights and as much clarity as possible, I have included multiple headers and subheaders, as well as many of the questions and topics that typically arise when talking about public speaking.
Even if you are a complete novice now, you should be an expert by the end of this guide.
What Is Public Speaking?
The definition of public speaking is as follows:
The act or process of making speeches in public; the art of effective oral communication with an audience.
However, in a professional context, and the context of this article, it’s about being hired to give speeches at events.
If you are a public speaker, it means event planners are hiring you to talk about a specific topic and to inform and entertain the audience.
In addressing the question of, What is public speaking? Orly discussed a few of the most common myths.
The first myth is that you must have a powerful and specific message or be a competent speaker. This is not entirely true.
Event planners are looking for originality. They want unique voices.
Of course, if you stand on the stage and bumble your way through an hour of awkward mumbling and prolonged pauses, they’re not going to ask you back, but it likely won’t impact their decision to hire you in the first place.
Your speech is also something you can practice and perfect in time. You’ll learn when to pause, when to insert a joke, when to ask questions, and how to control your voice.
These public speaking skills will improve with every job that you take. But if you’re not original or interesting and don’t have anything worthwhile to say, you won’t be given a chance to get that experience in the first place.
Some of Orly’s other myths about public speaking and public speaking jobs include:
- There is No Money in Public Speaking: Event planners are actually willing to pay a lot of money for good public speakers. Even during the pandemic, there are speakers getting paid for Zoom speeches.
- You Need a Website, Podcast, or Book: Although these things are good to have, they are not essential. Orly describes a book as a glorified business card. It helps, but it’s not necessary.
- It’s Not For Everyone: With a little public speaking training, the right message, and a lot of hard work, anyone can become a public speaker.
- You Need to Have a Ph.D.: Although many public speakers are experts in their field and have the qualifications to prove it, you don’t need a degree to make it in this profession.
Why Is Public Speaking Important?
Public speaking gives people a chance to get their message out there. It’s an outlet for your passion and one that others can learn from and be inspired by.
It’s also a fantastic career because while there is a lot going on behind the scenes, you’re basically being paid thousands of dollars for an hour of your time.
To help you prepare for the transition into public speaking, keep the following things in mind:
- You Can’t Escape Virtual Speaking: It’s not going anywhere, and why should it? It’s easier, cheaper, and it gives you more opportunities as a public speaker. You can travel the world without leaving your home.
- Events Will Get Smaller Before They Get Bigger: Even the biggest and most lucrative live events are very small right now, and you must accept the fact that you’ll need to attend a lot of smaller events before you can hit the big time.
- You Must Remain For the Long Haul: The most successful people in the public speaking business are the ones that remain for the long haul, and not the ones who just dip their toes in the water. The longer you remain and the more committed you are, the higher your earnings will be. You need that time to learn, improve, and make some valuable connections.
What Is The Fear Of Public Speaking?
Orly Amor is a very gifted and experienced public speaker, but she is also a self-proclaimed introvert, which will come as a shock to many people who have seen her speak.
She is proof that you don’t need to be an extrovert to make it as a public speaker and says that she still suffers from anxiety when she is among a crowd. She prefers being at the front of a crowd but is not comfortable among them.
Being an introvert can make it harder and means you’ll struggle more with public speaking anxiety, but it is an art form, a skill, and it’s something that you will learn with practice.
Orly also says that it’s important to feel a little nervous when you go on stage, as that nervousness turns into energy and keeps pushing you forward.
It’s something that I can sympathize with as I’m also an introvert and I struggled with a fear of public speaking in my past. I was one of the millions of Americans who felt emotionally and physically crippled at the mere suggestion of speaking in front of an audience, and while I no longer have that issue, I’m still very much an introvert.
It’s normal to feel a little nervous about public speaking. It exposes you. There’s nowhere to hide, nowhere to run, and you’re worried that you’ll do or say something embarrassing. It’s a primal fear that we all have.
Public speakers are not robots who don’t feel fear. They’re humans who have learned to live with it.
What Is The Fear Of Public Speaking Called?
The fear of public speaking is known as “glossophobia”. It comes from the Greek word “Glossa” (γλώσσα) which means both “tongue” and “language”, and “phobos” (φόβος) which means “fear”.
What Causes A Fear Of Public Speaking?
Humans are social creatures and we strive for comfort. The idea that we could make a mistake and lose our “comfort” in a social circle is innately terrifying. But it’s something that you will get used to.
It’s important to remember that your fear is not unique to you. You might see Orly strutting her stuff on stage and think to yourself, “Wow, she is really confident and fearless. I will never be like that.” But in truth, she’s also nervous. She’s also introverted, and the only reason she looks confident is that she’s spoken those lines and walked those steps thousands of times.
You’re scared when you first ride a bike—what if you fall off, what if you hurt yourself, what if you embarrass yourself?—but eventually, it becomes second nature. It’s much the same story with public speaking.
How To Overcome A Fear Of Public Speaking
The only way to overcome glossophobia is to practice and get used to the act of speaking on stage. Take public speaking courses, practice in front of friends and family, attend events, and keep pushing yourself.
You’re going to make mistakes and there will be moments that weigh heavily on your mind, but the same is true for everything else in life. Just remember that you will get better, it will get easier, and while your public speaking anxiety will never completely disappear, you’ll learn how to use it to your advantage.
How To Become A Public Speaker
Firstly, let’s get one thing out of the way: You are never too young or old to be a public speaker.
Orly’s oldest client is 78-years-old and her youngest is 27, but she once had a 10-year-old client.
Secondly, you don’t need a public speaking bureau. They are there to connect speakers to clients, but they focus on the speakers that charge the most and earn the most, and if you’re just starting out, you’ll be overlooked.
Thirdly, there are over 64,000 paying events in the US and Canada. If you do the work and form the connections, you will find a gig and you will get paid.
Contrary to what you might tell yourself, this is not a profession reserved for the elite. You don’t need to be a famous actor, comedian, business owner, or TV personality to book gigs and there will always be room for you on the speaking circuit.
It’s a job that you can do full-time or one that you can commit to on a part-time basis. Whether you’re going all-out for 40 hours a week or committing to just 2 hours a month, there is room for you in this industry.
If you are serious about public speaking and want some professional advice, book a 20-minute discovery call with Orly using this link. It’s completely free-of-charge and you can learn more about acquiring her services and making it as a public speaker.
What Makes A Good Public Speaker?
You could be forgiven for thinking that being a good public speaker was about talking loudly, being confident, and telling a few jokes.
But that’s akin to saying that you’ll be a great car dealership owner just because you have some rapport with the customers.
In reality, it goes much deeper than that.
You need to think about clients, contracts, and connections. You need to find additional ways to make money off the back of your gigs and must be organized enough to ensure that the gigs keep coming.
Before a rock band can pull off a great performance on stage, they need to prepare, practice, and ensure that everything is perfect. They need to think about instruments, audio equipment, safety, ticket sales, transport, and song arrangement, and that’s just one gig and one night.
It’s the same story with public speakers.
To be a successful public speaker, you must acknowledge that there are many plates to keep in the air, and if you’re not hard-working, organized, diligent, and committed, even the best jokes in the world won’t help you.
What Is A Public Speaking Class?
A public speaking class is—as the name suggests—a class designed to teach you about public speaking. You can join public speaking classes online and offline and you may learn a lot during these courses.
However, there are many of them out there and not all of them are worth the time and money. If you’re thinking about joining a public speaking course, be sure to research it in advance. Look for reviews, check the credibility of the teachers, and make sure you’ll be getting your money’s worth.
Is Public Speaking Required In College?
If you’re attending college, there’s a good chance you’ll need to speak publicly at some point. It really all depends on your major, but there are speaking requirements for many of them and it’s something that I experienced myself.
It’s hard to avoid it, but it’s also great practice if you ever want to make money from this profession.
You’ll actually be in a very favorable position because unlike a speaking event, where you’re surrounded by a paying audience and experienced speakers, you’ll be surrounded by equally inexperienced, anxious, and young students. They’ll be more understanding if you make a mistake and their expectations won’t be as high.
How To Improve Public Speaking Skills
Practice makes perfect, and getting up on stage is the best way to learn, but here are a few other tips that you should also keep in mind:
- Embrace Nervousness and Keep Practicing
- Speak Clearly and Don’t Rush
- Optimize Your Speech
- Look for Advice and Criticism
- Treat it Like a Business
- Let Your Personality Shine Through
- Use Humor and Real Stories to Connect with Your Audience
- Record Yourself and Watch the Recordings Back
- Grab Their Attention with an Enticing Opener
The $100,000 Question
Positioning is everything.
That was Orly’s response to my $100,000 question—the insight that delivers the most value above all others.
She describes positioning as her “superpower”.
It’s all about how you position yourself in the industry and how event planners see you.
What makes you unique? Why should they hire you? What is your tagline and signature? That’s your position, and if you get it right, you could have a very successful and lucrative career in public speaking.
Public Speaking Resources
Looking for some helpful public speaking resources? There are plenty of great options out there.
Orly Amor’s book Public Speakers: You’re Not All That is easily one of the best public speaking books available right now. It provides a level of depth and insight that you can’t find elsewhere and it’s a must-read for anyone looking to turn public speaking into a profession. I also recommend taking a look at A Pocket Guide To Public Speaking and The Art Of Public Speaking.
Public Speaking with Fran Lebowitz is also worth checking out. The 2010 documentary was directed by Martin Scorsese and features the writer Lebowitz during a number of speaking engagements.
It’s not necessarily a public speaking film and is more about the wisdom and life of Fran Lebowitz, but you’ll still see an expert on stage and there are some useful insights here.
Last but not least, there are a few TED Talks on public speaking that can help you to master this craft. How I Overcame my Fear of Public Speaking addresses public speaking anxiety and the crippling fear that keeps many potentially talented speakers away from the stage, while TED’s Secret to Great Public Speaking is shorter and more general.
About Orly Amor
Meet Orly Amor. Orly is a successful entrepreneur who has started five companies. As a corporate trainer, bestselling author, and international public speaker she has helped over 200,000 entrepreneurs around the world maximize their bottom line by tripling and quadrupling their sales.
Orly Amor always enjoyed speaking and helping people change their lives and impact their circle of influence wherever they go. She was in Property Management for 25 years where she quickly established herself as a Subject Matter Expert; publishing two books on the subject and speaking on numerous occasions, but she did not feel that she was having an impact.
In 2006, Orly was asked to speak at a woman’s shelter on her life experiences and originally declined the invitation. After being invited several times, she finally relented and agreed to speak. It was there she met a woman who wanted to end her life. After hearing Orly speak the woman decided to live and asked Orly to support her. This was the impact Orly was looking for.
Since then, Orly dedicated her life to impacting the lives of 200,000,000 people by helping them realize their own mission-based goals and dreams. Her extensive experience as a Certified Behavioral Analyst has made her indispensable as a coach to many influential corporate leaders.
Orly speaks three languages fluently and has earned her MBA and Law Degree. Despite the impressive education and success as a businesswoman, Orly remains remarkably humble, authentic, and a very engaging speaker.
In addition to being a great public speaker herself, and a great networker for the past ten years, she has helped Public Speakers and Entrepreneurs create their Business Model for Public Speaking. Her gift is to show them how to monetize their craft by taking it seriously and having what she calls “Business in A Box for Public Speakers.” Thereby teaching them how to fish.
Orly recently Published a Book called ‘Public Speakers, You’re Not All That – 12 Reasons Why Event Planners Won’t Hire You, that became an instant Bestseller. Now available on amazon.
Orly is also the Founder, and Chief Visionary Officer of You Are My Light Foundation.