I get a lot of notes from people who are starting out doing speaking gigs for money. It’s something I’ve done a fair number of times, and I know how hard it can be to get it right. Not just at first, but really for as long as you choose to do it.
Personally, the speaking stuff is far from difficult for me; but, pretty much everything before and after the gig can be nothing short of a black art.
So, while this thing started as a short email to a friend asking for advice—what the heck. In the interest of saving myself some future typing—and maybe potentially helping people learn what I wish I’d known starting out—here’s one fella’s incredibly opinionated guide to getting a smarter start in speaking for dough.