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Learn to make money speaking

by Tom Antion 

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is the Electronic Magazine for Presentations Skills Tips, Speaking 4 Money, Speaking Business Referrals, Speaker Marketing, Speaker Humor, and other Public Speaking related Features. Click here for your FREE Subscription.


It doesn't matter what you've been doing with your life, or what you do for a living. Chances are, you've probably learned something. You may not realize what it is yet. But I guarantee you, there is something you know that others will PAY to have YOU teach them.

Let me tell you about a unique opportunity to make money -- because you know something that someone else doesn't know. This is not a get-rich-quick scheme. There are many other people in the country who make a decent living this way, either full or part time. I happen to be one of them.

If you like to travel, this business provides lots of opportunities for you to go and have the client pick up the bill. This past year, besides all the "normal" cities, I've been to Montreal, Reno, Lake Tahoe, Atlantic City, New York, Miami, Houston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Ottawa, Winnipeg, Bermuda, and my favorite was spending four days in Honolulu, Hawaii to do a 20 minute speech . . . . Hey somebody has to do it!

UPDATE: Spent 11 days in Bangkok, Thailand and just got back from Marakesh, Morocco

OK Let's get to the how to's. In this Special Report, I want to tell you about:

1. How to Present Your Expertise

2. How to Pick a Topic That Will SELL

3. How to Package Your Knowledge

4. How to Create Educational Materials

5. How to Market Yourself as a Speaker & Sell Your Products

6. How to Set Your Speaking Fees

Refer Tom for a speaking
engagement and
make $500.00 - $1800.00

1. HOW TO PRESENT YOUR EXPERTISE $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

I want to say right up front, don't be concerned about "stage fright." While speaking to groups is the easiest way to present what you know, you can also make lots of money by packaging your knowledge as:

  • books
  • audio tapes, video tapes, and CDs
  • workbooks and reports
  • and a host of other formats that will convey the knowledge you have to offer.

With today's cheap technology, it's getting easier than ever to do.

When you really get into this and see how much money can be made, you may start to think that a little stage fright might be worth it. Actually, it's easy to learn some simple methods to control it and perhaps get over it altogether. Did you know that talk show host Johnny Carson and the award-winning actor, Sir Lawrence Oliver, both had SEVERE stage fright? But, it didn't stop them.

Another thing: don't think that what you know has to be totally unique. Plenty of people make a comfortable living telling other people simple things like how to stay safe while traveling, or how to reduce stress in their lives. Some speakers-for-pay talk about the life-changing lessons they have learned by running marathons or volunteering at a local homeless shelter. EVERYONE has some kind of story to tell, or lesson to share that other people will actually PAY MONEY to hear.

2. HOW TO PICK A TOPIC THAT WILL "SELL" $$$$$$$$$$$$$$

To make money speaking, you must have a salable topic. Let me give you some examples. Note how what may not appear to be an "amazing" topic was turned into something that was marketable.

Example One
Let's say your main job is working in a large company, and in your free time you've also been studying ancient Indian culture. Learning about ancient Indian culture is certainly a unique hobby. But it's not a very good topic to try to sell to the business world. (Note: I say the "business world," because that's who has the money to pay speakers).

Here's a way one could make this knowledge and experience marketable. As an employee for a large company, you probably see managers making all kinds of mistakes in the way they handle problems and people. You also have lots of knowledge about how the ancient Indians handled problems and people. So, you create a character called "Chief Lot's o Bull" -- The Corporate Comanche (Sort of a Native American Dilbert). You then create a catchy title to your talk: "The Seven Habits of Managing the Indians," or "The Seven Habits of Highly Successful Indian Chiefs." You now have a VERY salable program that, with a little polish, could make you many thousands of dollars every time you present it to a corporate audience, or at a trade association conference.

Example Two
Let's say you and many of your colleagues were laid off. The large, well-known company you worked for treated all the "axe" victims poorly. You could make note of your own feelings and those of many of your colleagues and create a program for large companies on, "How to Handle the People Side of Layoffs." To make this a salable program, you have to show how the poor treatment impacts the company with ill-will and low-productivity from the remaining employees, and how it will cause the company trouble recruiting quality employees in the future. You just created your own job!!! AND with a salable program like this, you won't have to go through the layoff process again.

Example Three
Let's say you have a spouse who is a workaholic. You could create a program that teaches businesspeople how NOT to destroy their families because of work. Corporations and associations do these types of "professional development" seminars all the time. To make this speech salable, you have to show the organization hiring you how a person's family life can significantly impact his or her work performance.

These are just a few examples of how your knowledge can be turned into salable programs. You could be the janitor doing a program on "Let's Clean Up Corporate Waste." You could be an auto mechanic with your ten tip program on "Keeping Your Car Safe & Reliable . . . WITHOUT Getting Your hands Dirty," OR you could be the CEO that writes the book for executives on "How to Become a CEO . . . Without Getting Your Hands Dirty."

Just about anything that teaches people something valuable can be turned into a salable topic.


The next thing you need to master, to make money as a speaker, is to properly package yourself and your programs. You will need demonstration materials that prove to a prospective client that you can deliver an interesting and informative program. These demonstration materials consist of:

  • Audio and video demo tapes
  • Properly formatted program descriptions
  • Your biography and some rave testimonials
  • Your schedule of speaking fees
  • Articles written by you, and about you

Each one of these can cost you a fortune. Or, they can be produced cheaply and effectively when you know how. Since I had no one to help me when I first started, I literally wasted thousands of dollars on printing, promotional materials, and audio and videotapes that were worthless for the market I was trying to attract. Make sure you get someone really knowledgeable in the speaking market to help you with this. Or, you may as well stand out in the street and throw money down the sewer holes (It might be cheaper).

You also have to package yourself properly. If you are trying to attract the corporate market, you need to be able to look like you belong in the corporate market. There are quite a few exceptions, so donít worry if you donít look like Tony Robbins. You can wear costumes like the Indian Chief I mentioned above. I know one guy who dresses like a motorcycle gang member. Another lady dresses like the female version of Marco Polo. Some people dress like Abe Lincoln, Albert Einstein, Mark Twain, Betsy Ross and all types of other "Dead People." Then we have Clinton impersonators and a good friend of mine is a Madonna impersonator.

Packaging is critical to make lots of money speaking. Unless you are already in a high profile position, the packaging is the way people get to see what you have to offer.


I call the books, tapes and CDs you will produce "educational materials." There is a reason for this. People donít really buy books and tapes. They buy materials that will give them the knowledge they desire. Itís no different from when you go to your local Home Depot to buy a book on building decks. The person who wrote the book isnít necessarily a great scholar and maybe canít even spell very well. The person does, however, know how to build a deck and is happy to get your twenty bucks to tell you how to do it. The writer may even have had a college student write the book. It doesnít matter how you get your words down on paper or on tape because nobody cares. It only matters that you get them there and collect the money.

You donít even have to start with a complete book. You can make workbooks, reports and pamphlets and have them printed a few at a time at Kinkoís copies. Literally in a couple of hours you can have an educational product that will bring in money for years to come.

Audio tapes are easy too. Once you have something on paper to sell in printed form, all you have to do is make minor changes and read the printed material into a microphone hooked to a tape recorder. If you canít read that well, or have a terrible voice, get someone else to read it for you.

These tapes can be recorded and edited at home on your computer, or you can go to the many digital recording studios popping up all over the country. The output can be to audio tape, or you can even make your own CDs now if you want to.

Packaging for educational materials is important too. I have methods that allow you to make only one copy at a time and still make a large profit when you sell the item. I use a combination of computer / color inkjet printer / color photocopies and vinyl packaging to make professional educational materials that look good enough to sell in national catalogs. (If you want to see them, click here.

When you produce educational materials this way, you become the publisher and reap all the profits. For example, you can package and duplicate an hour long video tape for about $5.50. Depending on the content, this tape can sell for $19.95 to $99.95. If you license it to a company to show to their employees, you can get up to $595.00 and maybe more. All this profit goes in your pocket. There are ways that you can even get the tape shot and edited professionally for FREE. Portions of this tape can be used as part of your demonstration materials that get you the "big money" speaking engagements I talked about above. There are all kinds of tricks to maximize the income from selling the materials you create in different formats.

              & SELL YOUR PRODUCTS $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

Unless you are a celebrity, you must learn how to sell the programs you create. There are cold calling methods (which I hate and donít do any more), referral methods, and media methods.

Cold calls
Cold calling means that you call, call, call people that may have the ability to hire you and the need for your programs. Some people thrive on this method and get a rush out of getting someone that had no previous knowledge about their services to buy. I personally am not cut out for this kind of selling. I donít have the attention span or the patience to use such a method. However, I must tell you it can be very effective. If you make enough calls using the proper telephone techniques, you will eventually get hired. After you do it for a while, you will be able to get a feel for how many total calls it takes to get hired once. Maybe you find that one hundred calls get you ten people that show interest and one to hire you. You just continue making the calls to the right people, and every one hundred calls or so you get hired. (Wouldnít it be nice if you knew which one was going to hire you so you could call them first? HAHAHAHA!! Fat Chance)

Referral marketing comes from two primary sources. The first and best is a word-of-mouth referral. This means someone saw you speak and liked you. They either hire you themselves, or tell someone else about you, and the someone else hires you. This has many advantages in that the person hiring you does not have to be convinced to hire you by means of demonstration materials, which hardly ever show how good you really are. Usually you donít have to haggle too much about your fee either, because you have already proven your value by your previous performance.

The other referral marketing method comes from your "proactive referral system." You talk to people you know and people you donít know about what you do. You ask them to refer you to people who could possibly use your services. Of course, you should always ask them what they do first, and offer to refer them too. This is basic networking. I offer incentives for those who refer me. Anyone who refers me for a speaking engagement or bulk educational material sale gets 10% just for giving me the lead. If they actively work the deal, they can get up to 25%. (By the way, this offer is good for you too. Just make sure when someone contacts me that they tell me you sent them. You should also contact me, so I know where to send your check.)

Media marketing is where you appear on radio, TV and in print to give advice on your area of expertise. You also use the internet and Email to spread the word about you and your products and services. I love this method. When people call me after seeing me in the media, they generally donít quibble about my fee. They just ask, "Are you available." I really love that. I donít have to send a press kit. I donít have to send lots of time on the phone trying to convince them I can do what they want, and I donít have to call them in the first place. Also, since Iíve become fairly well known in the media, my fees have risen because of the extra credibility I have in the minds of the people hiring me. . . . "If the Washington Post featured him four times, he must be important and credible. Letís bring him in to speak to our people."

You canít just create. Whichever method or combination of methods you choose, you must market your programs and materials if you want to make money.

6. HOW TO SET YOUR SPEAKING FEES $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

I donít know how much you can make. But, I will tell you without giving you the totals, how much I make when I speak.

Iím pretty darn good at speaking, so companies and associations have me as their opening or closing speaker at large meetings when they want some excitement created. At the time of this writing I charge $6,500.00 for up to half a day which is approximately three hours in speaking time. Iíve got a strong entertainment background, so sometimes I get paid just to make the audience laugh. This might be at a banquet or luncheon. I still get paid the same, but the talk is only thirty minutes to, at most, an hour. I also train people in corporations to become great speakers. This is normally booked on a daily basis (six hours) at $7,500.00 per day, with discounts for multiple day programs. Anyone who follows through, and does the things listed in this report, can break in at $1,500-$2,500 per speech. If you've got some decent credentials it could be twice that amount.

I also do speaker coaching for individuals via telephone, email, fax, video/audio tape critiques and in person. I also teach people how to make money at it. I wonít take just anyone as a client because some people just wonít listen. My program is guaranteed. But if you wonít do what I tell you, I canít give you a guarantee.

My corporate fees include 100 copies of my best-selling book "Wake Ďem Up Business Presentations." Giving away your product is a technique you will also use to land more jobs and give great value to the people that hire you.

So you can see, I can generate a really good living by packaging and selling what I know. You can do it too. You can also consider all kinds of barter deals which are a great way for both parties to get what they want with little or no cash outlay. This is a good way for you to get started if you donít have lots of testimonials and credentials. The cover design of my Wake Ďem Up! book came from a barter deal, and so did some of my professional demonstration tapes.

7. TAKE THE NEXT STEP $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

Now you can see how anyone can make a really good living from an at-home business, based upon selling the knowledge and experience he or she has picked up in life. You can also do it . . . if you WANT to. . . . Just follow these proven steps I have given you here.

If you want my personal help and coaching to become a paid speaker and marketer of your special knowledge, I would be honored to help you. Please contact me to:

  • Help you key in on the knowledge you have and how it can be "packaged" to be sold to corporate buyers
  • Personalize a plan to get you started
  • Save you thousands of dollars on developing your marketing materials
  • Teach you the tips and tricks it takes to be a "darn good" speaker
  • Start you on the road to a new and exciting income stream for you and your family


I have produced the finest video system available on professional level speaking. With this course, within a matter of weeks you could be charging for your speaking services. Check it out at Public speaking -- Get paid to speak  

Anyone can do this if they want to, and I'd be happy to help you along the way to learn how to make money with what you know. Call me at (800) 448-6280 in the continental USA or (301) 459-0738. Email mailto:tom@antion.com 

Here's wishing you Great Success!

Tom Antion
PS  Definitely sign up below for your FREE Electronic magazine of Professional Level Speaking and Speaker Marketing tips.

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new2.gif (2572 bytes)FREE SUBSCRIPTION TO:
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