Unlike what most beginners think, beginning a career in the speaking industry isn’t as easy as it sounds. And just like any other job, there are levels to it.
Since motivational speakers start off on their own, they choose where they talk. This will depend on who’s willing to pay them their asking prices for an appearance. And when they start out, they may not have a lot of experience to give them the confidence to claim a fee of $6,000 just for a few hours on the microphone.
This is why they start in the free circuit. This is considered as a training ground for those who just quit their day jobs and decided that they want to speak for a living. And just like its name implies, they do it for free.
Because of the very “affordable” rates in the free circuit, speakers will never run out of opportunities to speak for free. These could range from office meetings, school graduation ceremonies and even local seminars that the government provides. And as depressing at it may sound, motivational speakers get very valuable experience and are able to develop their skills and build their reputation, which is what every beginner speaker needs.
When they’ve gotten a bit of experience and they’ve decided that they want to earn more, they head on to the cheap circuit. Naturally, this is where they can start asking for fees before they agree to participate in an event. And because there are fees involved, these are naturally bigger events wherein the event organizers have the budget to spare for hiring a motivational speaker. These could be company gatherings of medium-sized organizations or business clubs. Motivational speakers usually move on to this circuit when they’ve had a couple of years honing their craft. Also, some speakers stay on this circuit for good, especially when they have books, programs, seminars and other products that they can sell.
The transition from the cheap circuit to the last circuit is what takes a lot of effort and time. This is because the last circuit is called the pro circuit. This is the final circuit wherein names like Zig Ziglar and Rene Godefroy show up. These are the people who get huge fees that almost never go below $3,000 per session and could even go as high as $20,000!
The reason that the transition takes time is because the speakers in this circuit have long lists of satisfied clients and numerous success stories attributed to their help. It takes some time to develop that sort of record. These speakers could spend years trying to help people and make a change through their talks. It may take some time but it will be all worth it when the time comes.
It may be the most lucrative circuit but it doesn’t mean it’s the easiest. Since the rates are high, motivational speakers face some of the most discerning audiences like CEOs and successful business owners who are considered experts in their own fields. That makes things more complicated yet rewarding. Some of the most highly-paid speakers are known to ask for $30,000 just for a session. And there would be clients who would be more than happy to pay that amount just to hear what they have to say about success.
The best part about these circuits is the fact that there are always speakers who are in them. They may not be motivational speakers but they are speakers nonetheless. Participating in these circuits and forming bonds with other speakers is one of the very few ways beginners will be able to take their speaking careers to the next circuit.