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Got a Workshop Idea? — 12 Steps to Get Paid Engagements

Whether you are a coach, consultant, or just someone with a good idea for a workshop, public speaking can bring you a hefty side income, and even a nice full-time income, when you do it right.  But how do you get paid gigs?  Here are a few ideas:

1. Pick a niche – a group that has a problem and you have a solution to their problem 

2. Research past conferences (in your chosen niche – youth market, health care, etc.) and see what topics were presented

3. Write a list of the topics that resonate with you

4. Have a good title

5. Have a brief description of your topic.  Do an internet search and see how others list their topics.  Some seach words can be PUBLIC SPEAKER, WORKSHOP PRESENTER, KEYNOTE SPEAKER, etc.

6. Start with ONE topic

7. … then do two more.

(these six steps should take you no longer than a day’s work and you’d have three topics “ready to go”)

8. Reseearch speakers’ websites and allow them to inspire you (do not plagiarize!)

9. Build your website, starting with 3 to 5 pages:

1) Homepage, briefly describing your services and you. There’d be link to your full bio after your brief descriptio + links to your brief description of your presentations 2) Contact us page, with 5 to 6 lines on the whole page OR even better having a contact form, this way you avoid a ton of spam 3,4,5) three pages, each describing one of your topics. OR you can put all your topics on one page one under another (this way you’d have a simple 3-page site). 

If you have limited funds, build a www.wordpress.com blog-site (it allows multiple pages)

10. Develop business cards, brochures, one-sheets, etc. that match the colors/logo/etc. on your site (vistaprint.com is a great source – they have free and inexpensive acceptable quality products, as well as higher priced good quality products – or if you can afford it, support your quality local printer) 

11. If you don’t have a presentation ready, buy one ready-to-go.  Check out www.egSebastian.com/facilita tor_kits for a reliable source that sells professional quality workshops-in-a-box.  Several of the featured facilitator kits have been used to provide workshops and training to employees of more than 100 Fortune 500 companies and to tens of thousands of companies around the world.  There are applications on Team Building, Dealing with Difficult Employees, Improving Managers’ Performance, etc. 

12. Get out there and get them (tiger)!

Leave your brochures at the Chamber of Commerce, go to networking events, put up some keywords on google, write articles till your nose bleeds and publish them left and right (starting with small publications in your community) and on the internet, volunteer to give your presentations for church groups, non-profits, banks, schools, colleges, hospital staff, ASSOCIATIONS, etc.

Most companies have a certain hour of training requirement that their employees have to complete every month. Some of them welcome volunteers; some of them are willing to pay. In the beginning of my career I used to say “If you have some money in the budget, I’d love to get paid, but if you have a tight budget I’ll do it just to practice this new topic I’m developing.” And guess what, about 30% of the ones that I approached paid me (sometimes only $100, but I was as happy as a pumpkin.)

REMEMBER! When someone hires you, they’ll let you know 3 to 5 months down the road. Except if it’s a local company/organization that needs you tomorrow. Usually you have plenty of time to develop your program (and practice it fro free at some local groups, INCLUDING TOASTMASTERS INTERNATIONAL – THE BEST PLACE TO PRACTICE YOUR PRESENTATIONS in the beginning)

IMPORTANT! I found that many beginner speakers want to teach everything there’s to know about a topic.

NO, NO, NO! Pick 3 to 5 (or 7 or 10) simple, yet powerful, points and deliver those.  Just think about it: if you plan to deliver three points – can you remember those three points?  Ok, you can also use a cheat sheet.  I, for example, always have a three-ring binder on the lectern with my outline, this ensures that I never get lost. 

To make your presentation, or workshop, most effective, here is one way to create a smooth one: MAKE THE POINT + TELL A STORY then you MAKE YOUR 2nd POINT + TELL A STORY and so on – three points; three stories. You can also definitely reinforce the point after each story; then you transition to the next point and next story…

It’s a simple failure-safe system. And, yes, it is ok to have “cheat” sheets, but let’s face it, you’ll give stories that you know and you’ll limit yourself to 3 to 5 points…

And a last word of wisdom: you are on the right track – but if you don’t start moving, the train will run you over. Not he who has the best title and best content makes a living as a speaker (though it helps tremendously), but he (or she) who takes action and promotes him/herself consistently will succeed and ultimately prosper…. 

© Copyright E.G. Sebastian, 2008. All rights reserved.

E.G. Sebastian is a leadership development consultant and an international speaker (speaks 6 languages); is a certified DiSC Behavioral System trainer and DiSC personality assessments distributor.

To hire E.G. to provide a DiSC-based presentation for your group call him toll-free at 877.379.3793, or contact him by E-mail at info@egsebastian.com. Sign up for E.G.’s FREE Effective Communication eCourse and Leadership Training at http://www.egSebastian.com

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