I don't know how many times I've been asked, "How do I get into speaking business?" The question always frustrates me. I'd rather be asked something I can really answer, like how to become a barber.
One inquirer said something, though, that caught my attention. He said he had speaking down to a science, and that he could speak exactly 20 minutes, 19, or whatever was needed. Always exact length of time, though!
While there are certainly speakers who need to pay attention to clock, I don't know of any who are hired simply because they do. Audiences aren't looking for robots. They want real people.
Because audiences want real people, they generally aren't looking for orators, either. They want effective, down-to-earth communicators who have earned right to speak, through extensive research and/or experience, and who are well prepared to speak from heart. If you use humor, someday, after giving many speeches for free, you might even get paid.
Yet, such is still a long way from being successful in speaking business. Much depends on how greatly a person believes in his or her message, and whether, with a good marketing strategy, a person is able to convey that belief in marketplace.
There’s also matter of commitment. In his wonderful book, Winning with People, John Maxwell said that sometimes his response to how-do-I-get-into-the-speaking-business question is, “You may want to do what I do, but would you like to do what I did in order to do what I do?”