Tod has recently been writing a series of posts about his work as a professional public speaker, possibly in preparation for writing an ebook on the subject. First, let me encourage him to write that book–I’d buy it.
His posts thus far have been on research, working with a speakers’ agency and air travel. Tod hates research, and recommends that you outsource it to a service like UClue. I, on the other hand, quite doing the research and forming a talk’s thesis. That is, of course, when I’ve got enough time.
I do some professional speaking. With our (slowly) forthcoming book and a little effort, I could probably do more. Besides the page on this site, I don’t market my speaking–all the work I get comes unsolicited, via word of mouth. I couldn’t achieve Maffinesque success, but I’d imagine that, in time and with some luck, I could become a full time professional speaker.
But do I really want to? Maybe it’s the six talks in four days I just completed talking, but I don’t think I could hack the lifestyle. I find air travel pretty wearing. If I’m doing the speaking correctly, then I’m usually exhausted after a talk. On the other hand, if all I was doing was writing and giving speeches, the energy output would be more manageable.
It’s fun to jet off to Toronto on a Tuesday and come back a Wednesday, but it takes a lot out of me. And all that less travel gets less fun with repetition. It feels a lot less exotic when you also have to fly to, I don’t know, Medicine Hat or Baltimore and sustain yourself on hotel food. Plus, there’s the whole environmental impact of that much travel. I do eight to 10 of those trips a year, and that feels like enough.
I’m really just kicking this around and thinking out loud. I’d be curious to hear from others who are or aspire to be professional speakers. I’m going to harass Tod to come by and comment on the lifestyle.