Before beginning a speaking career, author, editor, and speaker Sharon Norris Elliott advises authors to first ask themselves, “Do I really have anything to say that anyone wants to hear?” Wanting to be in front of an audience and make financial gains is not enough. Author-speakers should want to share a message that will help their listeners and give them a new, fresh perspective. Once you decide to start hosting speaking engagements, you may have to speak for free at first, explains Norris Elliott. You’re not well-known or established yet, so give people a chance to see what you can do. Build your platform by networking as much as possible, or by perhaps even writing a book that directly relates to your speaking topic. Norris Elliott also recommends running a blog and website where people can find out more about what you have to say and why they should want to hear it.
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