Ask Fred > Career/Work > How can I become a public speaker?

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Dear Fred

Why do I feel so hopeless? I am almost 40, out of work and cannot see a future. I want to do public speaking where I talk to people about how to excel in their career, however I don't have the confidence that I will do well at it. I am going around in circles looking at different job opportunities when all I want to do is public speaking. How can I get the confidence and the belief that I can do this? Where do I start?

Fred's Response

You start with something you can personify. That is not success in occupation or career right now. If you really have the talent to be effective as speaker you success may come in your speaking. One of the best speakers I knew was a greater speaker than he was a performer. The subject you pick to speak on must be one you can make believable and interesting to the audience. I never felt that speaking was an evidence of my success. I thought more about more of what I could give the audience rather than the prestige they could give me. I have a friend who has a passion for speaking but does not get any invitations. In fact he does not have talent to speak. He does not know how to construct a meaningful message and how to give it in a meaningful way. I had to start with civic clubs where they had to have a speaker every week and they did not expect much. As I improved other organizations asked me to speak. The desire for the spotlight is not preparation for helping an audience. Have you asked yourself if speaking is a substitute for failure in other parts of your life? Most speakers progress rather slowly when they start out. Have you considered where you will get your invitations and what subject you can make interesting to those who invite you? I have always considered that I was speaking to audience about a subject and not about a subject to an audience. This puts their interest first. Let me repeat the importance of personifying what you say. You can find some suggestions on the techniques on speaking on the website.