I love public speaking. Where do I start if I want a career in this area?
Learn from Experts
Confucius said, "By three methods may we learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is the noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; And third by experience, which is the bitterest."
To translate that to speaking, you could say that one way would be to think and reflect about speaking and gradually you would come to understand all involved. You could go out and start speaking, at small groups but according to Coinfucius, this would be the most difficult. You would learn by the School of Hard Knocks. The best way is imitation ... learn from those who are doing it.
You must remember that anything worth doing well is worth doing poorly at first. You cannot expect to start at the top. You should expect to start at the bottom and work your way up.
There are a number of professional speakers who would be happy to train you. James Malinchalk and John Childers are two of the better trainers out there. John often tells the story of how he did not charge any speaking fee, only relying on product sales and made more money than Art Linkletter who was charging and getting an extremely high speaking fee.
Dan Kennedy, a well known copywriter, coach, info marketer tells how to be a good speaker. He says that it does not matter how poor your delivery, if you are speaking to a group of people waiting for a kidney transplant and you are reading off a list of who will receive a transplant within the next week, everyone in the room will hear every word you say. The lesson of course is say something of interest to your audience. Do not talk about what you are interested in, talk about what they are interested in.
If you are just starting out, Toastmasters is a great place to start. But if you truly want to build a business based on speaking, you must learn from the pros. While you might spend a few thousand dollars learning, it will be well worth the price. If you save yourself a year or two of struggle, you will recoup the cost of the training many times over.