Public Speaking Careers


Public speaking gives many people nightmares, but if you enjoy it, there multiple career options. Public speakers must be effective communicators who can motivate, inspire and inform their audiences. Jobs for public speakers exist in a number of career fields. Some jobs require public speaking tasks on a daily basis, while others mix public speaking and other responsibilities. Although there is no standard education for a public speaker, most earn at least a bachelor's degree in their field of choice, with many earning graduate degrees as well.

Motivational Speaker

If you want use your public speaking talent as a motivational speaker, you must have a lot of energy. As the title implies, these speakers do more than inform their audiences -- they motivate them to action. Some motivational speakers offer general advice, encouraging audiences to live better lives. Others specialize in a topic area, such as nutrition, leadership or sales, and tailor their speeches to help an audience meet specific goals. Most motivational speakers work for themselves, or a speakers' bureau, finding work on a contract basis.

Corporate Trainer

A corporate trainer can either work for a specific company or as a consultant that trains employees at a variety of organizations. For example, a corporate trainer working for a software company might visit customers and train their employees. Such a job requires strong public speaking skills, as the trainer is the spokesperson for the product or service. If you choose a position as a corporate trainer, be prepared to educate customers, patiently answer questions and travel.

Academic Speaker

Many professors who are well-known in their fields of study use their public speaking skills to inform the government on current issues or the academic community. Schools and businesses bring in such professors to speak on a range of topics, from economics to medicine. Others are asked to speak at commencement ceremonies to motivate graduates or at corporate retreats. If your goal is to speak on an academic topic, plan to earn a doctorate in your field to solidify your expertise.

Public Relations Specialist

Public relations specialists serve as the face of an organization. They address issues and engage the community, often in front of television cameras or behind the microphone at large events. If you choose a career in public relations, many of your public speaking responsibilities will involve giving interviews. You must be able to think on your feet and provide clear, correct and convincing answers to challenging questions. While you may be involved in writing speeches, you also must be able to articulate your organization's position in a variety of circumstances.

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