Public speaking is no longer just a passion or a side gig for Americans. Professionals who love communicating and reaching out now embrace it as a full-time career. According to a LinkedIn survey, the average public speaker delivered 10–15 paid gigs in 2020 and 2021. While the majority of them charged under $5,000 per gig, the top 3% earned a whopping $10,000 to $20,000.
Undoubtedly, public speaking can be a lucrative career that can make you anything between $50 and $75,000 annually. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg because you can explore career options beyond the center stage at events and workshops. You only need to think outside the box to find the perfect opportunity to match your skills and preferences.
If you want to make it big as a public speaker, you must look for openings in unconventional places. This idea works because your competition is likely less invested in these areas. You can find yourself a niche and build from there.
Here are a few lesser-known career options worth exploring as a public speaker:
According to recent research, there are more than 40,000 professional speakers in the U.S., and the motivational speaking industry alone is worth $1.9 billion. That translates into unprecedented opportunity, but also huge competition. So why not make the most of the opportunity and cut through the competition? You can do it by finding your niche as an educational leader.
A degree in Educational Leadership and Organizational Innovation can give you an edge as an educational leader and prepare you for a role as a motivational speaker specializing in the domain. The best part is that you can pursue an Ed.D degree online instead of going back to school. The curriculum of the degree prepares you to lead change in schools, communities, and public and private organizations.
The Marymount University faculty confirm that an online degree is ideal for professionals looking to upgrade their skills without disrupting their current careers. Learners can work in the education industry or explore unconventional roles such as leadership coaching and instructional coaching.
Public speaking enthusiasts need not confine themselves to small events addressing a few hundred or thousand attendees. You can use your skills to reach a much broader audience by becoming a news anchor. According to the 2023 PayScale statistics, the average annual salary for a news anchor in the US is $64,194. However, the most popular ones can make millions.
Since you have to face the camera for the role, a pleasing personality sets you up for success in the industry. You should also be good with verbal communication, active listening, the ability to improvise, social perceptiveness, and writing and editorial skills. A bachelor’s degree in Journalism or Mass Communications can give you brownie points when looking for a job.
You may be a good speaker but not comfortable in crowded settings. Why not work as a counselor who helps people experiencing personal difficulties? You can use your communication skills in more confidential settings. Also, you have the option to address small groups and gradually move to large ones if you wish to try your hand at public speaking down the road.
The good thing about this career option is that it enables you to do your bit for people struggling with problems. Besides the financial return, the positive reinforcement makes it a worthy choice. You need a mental health degree to enter the field. Educational counseling is also a career alternative for similarly-minded professionals.
Advertising Sales Representative
Public speaking skills also set you up for a career in business if you have a penchant for sales. You can work as an advertising sales representative to sell products and services to clients. The job of a sales representative is to contact potential clients and make sales presentations, both of which require public speaking skills.
The career option is relatively easy as you can start without a formal degree and learn on the job. Your employer will also provide training and development opportunities. A bachelor’s degree in marketing, advertising, and sales is a plus.
Public speaking is an excellent career option if being in the limelight doesn’t make you nervous. The opportunities are far better than you imagine, as you can explore varied and unconventional career options that require this core skill. Each of these career choices gives you a chance to work in your area of interest and find a niche. You only need to use your existing speaking skills and pursue the right education to get a good start.
This was originally posted on SpeakerHub Skillcamp.