The Three Seasons of a Professional Speaker’s Career
“Be aware of what season you are in and give yourself the grace to be there.”— Kristen Dalton, American Actress
This Fall, I saw the leaves turning colors, and, of course, I reflected on the change of seasons in the weather and how professional speakers go through seasons in their careers.
This article explores the three seasons of a professional speaker’s career.
There’s an emergence into the field in the early stages of a professional speaker’s career. Speaking for an aspiring professional speaker may start as a hobby, possibly as a member of a Toastmasters International Club to aid them in their day job.
Aspiring professional speakers accept they will have to talk for free to numerous groups before they earn a fee for speaking. As the new professional speaker gets more serious about speaking, they could occasionally speak for free to groups like the Lions Club or Kiwanis. Free speeches build their professional speaking foundation, establish credibility, and gain recognition.
In the Emerging Season, professional speakers focus on developing their signature style, building a portfolio, and seeking opportunities to showcase their expertise.
This Emerging Season could take a while, maybe years, before more people contact them to speak than vice versa.
After the Emerging Season, in which the professional speaker builds their professional speaking foundation, establishes their credibility, and gains recognition, they move into the Prime Season.
This season represents the peak of a professional speaker’s career. At this point, the professional speaker has a well-developed speaking foundation, has established their credibility with their audiences, and has gained notable recognition of their speaking ability.
The professional speaker in this season may scale their professional speaking business by writing a book, establishing a coaching option for their clients, and creating and offering asynchronous and synchronous virtual courses.
This scaling of services displays the professional speaker’s versatility, extends their visibility to their ideal clients, and positions them as a thought leader.
During the prime season, speakers are in high demand with accompanying higher fees and are recognized as experts in their field.
They may be delivering keynote addresses, conducting workshops, and enjoying the fruits of their efforts in establishing themselves.
After the Emerging and Prime Seasons, professional speakers move into the Legacy and Transition Season.
Legacy and Transition Season
As a professional speaker approaches the later stages of their career, there may be a shift towards legacy-building and transition.
This could involve mentoring emerging speakers, writing even more books, and expanding their roles as coach and consultant.
Speakers in this season may also reflect on their journey. They may reduce the number of speaking engagements and concentrate more on documenting the wisdom they have acquired from their many years in the professional speaking industry for the next generation of professional speakers.
In some ways, this may be the most satisfying season for the professional speaker. They can be satisfied in that they have given lifelong help to others.
When you pass from this life, do you want to know you have given it your all – you have completely spent the speaking gifts you have been given in the service of others? I do.
This article explored the three seasons of a professional speaker’s career: emerging, prime, and legacy and tradition.
A professional speaker’s career is a process that takes many years, encompassing these three seasons.
The key to a professional speaker’s happiness is to enjoy the present during the journey.
Call to Action
In your Emerging Season as a professional speaker, work to build your professional speaking foundation, establish your credibility, and gain recognition
In your Prime Season as a professional speaker, work to scale your professional speaking business by writing a book, establishing a coaching option for your clients, and creating and offering virtual asynchronous and synchronous courses.
In your Legacy and Transition Season as a professional speaker, mentor emerging speakers, write even more books, and expand your roles as coach and consultant.
“To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.”— The Bible: Book of Ecclesiastes
Frank DiBartolomeo is a retired U.S. Air Force Lieutenant Colonel and award-winning speaker, presentation and interview skills coach, and Professional Member of the National Speakers Association. He was awarded Toastmasters International’s highest individual award, Distinguished Toastmaster because of his outstanding work in public speaking and leadership.
Frank formed DiBartolomeo Consulting International (DCI), LLC (www.speakleadandsucceed.com) in 2007. The mission of DCI is to help technical professionals to inspire, motivate, and influence their colleagues and other technical professionals by improving their presentation skills, communication, and personal presence. Reach Frank at firstname.lastname@example.org and (703) 509-4424.
Don’t miss Frank DiBartolomeo’s latest book!
“Speak Well and Prosper: Tips, Tools, and Techniques for Better Presentations”