A young contact in my network approached me with that question in an email. “How can I become a professional speaker?” I pondered a few moments and then wrote this back:
“…Well, here’s a 5-step process:
step 1: Find out what you are really passionate about. Where you want to make a difference. Find you purpose.
Step 2. Be really good at it. And start collecting relevant stories that support your message.
Step 3. In the meanwhile, keep building your network and let people know of your passion and your goal to speak about it. Opportunities will arise.
Step 4. Start giving lectures. You can give away “pilots” in the beginning or work for a smaller fee, just to get experience and useful feedback. Use a speaker coach to help you improve. See all of this as an investment.
Step 5. Once you get more known you can start charging more and give even more lectures. Keep evolving and improving.