The late American writer and lecturer Dale Carnegie, the developer of courses in self-improvement, salesmanship, corporate training and public speaking once said: “There is only one excuse for a speaker’s asking the attention of his audience: he must have either truth or entertainment for them.”
Do you love speaking? Do you have some great truths to tell that can make a positive impact and inspire others?
Truth-telling is one of the noblest things anyone can do. If you love sharing inspiring truths in a public setting, it might just catapult a highly financially rewarding career for you, because in case you don’t know, speaking is actually the highest-paid profession in the world. The highest-paid speakers and presenters can make more than $60,000 just for one event!
I know that sounds totally unbelievable, so allow me to explain. More often than not, when people find out how much money can be earned from professional speaking, they find the amount quite unfathomable. Their brain simply cannot comprehend how it’s possible to generate that kind of income simply because they can’t do the calculation. They can’t do the maths that many of these professional speakers generate in very short amounts of time.
I can remember the very first time I ever met a professional speaker who mentioned to me that they went from earning $60,000 a year to making $60,000 in just one day. That was so hard for me to comprehend. How can somebody earn $60,000 in a single day?
When I thought about that back when I first heard about it (I was working in recruitment), my salary was about $120,000 a year as a base. I had some on-target earnings if I hit all the required metrics, plus a bonus. To be able to make about $200,000, I had to do 90-hour weeks. So for me, I just couldn’t work out how it was possible for someone to generate that amount in a single day.
The reason I couldn’t fathom it is because back then, I didn’t understand scale and leverage. One of the easiest ways to comprehend the amount of money this speaker was earning was just by simply adding up the maths.
When I first heard about this person earning $60,000 in a day, I did the maths incorrectly. I calculated it based on an hourly rate. If someone did about six hours of work a day with a lunch break from professional presenting, then that person is getting $10,000 an hour to speak. So I thought to myself, “Who gets paid $10,000 an hour, let just to talk?” Even lawyers and doctors don’t get paid $10,000 an hour. No human being on planet Earth can possibly be paid $10,000 an hour.
And again, the reason none of it made sense was because I’d done the mathematics in what can be called an unleveraged way. I did all the maths based on time for money. However, this is not what professional speakers get paid for. They get paid for impact and the amount of people they impact at the same time.
Let me say that again: Professional speakers don’t get paid time for money; they get paid for impact and the amount of people they’re able to impact.
What they actually end up earning is something known as leveraged income.
Leveraged income is where you provide value to more people at the same time. Until you get out there on a platform and start speaking to groups of people (called 1-to-many), it’s almost impossible to fathom leveraged income. This is what a lot of speakers use in order to make $100,000 a year as a presenter.
If you’re starting to wonder, “Well, I want to make $100,000 a year as a presenter, how do I achieve that using leveraged income?” let me show you how.
If you want to make $100,000 a year talking to groups of people about what you love, something you’re truly passionate about, there are two core ways you can do that:
1. Keynote Presentations
2. Running Workshops
This is where, as a paid speaker, you walk up to events and present and share your message with a company or a corporation. For this, you get paid a one-off fee for your presentation. As an example, in Australia, the fees that are being paid for keynote presenters range on average anywhere from $2,000 to $10,000 for roughly a 45- to 90-minute presentation.
One of the clients we’ve worked with gets paid $37,500 every single time they present their talk, and their talk goes for only about 40 minutes long. He gets paid a speaking fee of $37,500 because he’s impacting the lives of hundreds of people in this 40-minute talk.
If you want to go down the keynote path, and you’re charging anywhere from $2,000-$10,000, the amount you charge obviously depends on how impactful your message is and your presenting skills.
So let’s say you have a $10,000 keynote presentation, you’ve only got to do 10 of those per year to get to that $100,000/year income. That works out to just one talk a month. If you charge $5,000 a talk, then obviously you have to do 20 talks every year to end up with $100,000.
Another way you can make $100,000 per annum is to run workshops, seminars, retreats, or live events where you charge a fee from every person in the room.
The average ticket price of an event in Australia for four days of training on any topic is around about $3,000 per person in the room. In order for you to get to your goal of $100,000 a year, you approximately have to train around 36 participants. If you train 36 participants that have all paid $3,000 to be at your program for a 4-day workshop, you easily hit $100,000.
So if you have 36 people paying $3,000, if we break it down across the year, it works out to just 3 people a month. That means out of the 7.8 billion people on the planet, you only need to present your content to just 3 people a month! And if 3 people come to your event every month, you’ve made up to $100,000. And I can guarantee that you’ll be able to find 3 people a month to listen to what you have to talk about.
The reality, though, is speaking to 3 people every month is not very leveraged. We can’t call that leveraged income. But what if you can get all 36 people in the room at the same time for the same four days? Well, you end up making $100,000 for that 4-day event. That’s $25,000 a day. So all you need to do is to find 36 people that are interested in your topic that want to learn and immerse themselves in a workshop, retreat, or program. And you’ve done it – in just four days.
So those are a couple of ways you can actually get to $100,000 a year. You can now appreciate that professional speaking in rooms full of people (or even Zooms full of people) is without a doubt one of the highest-paid professions out there.
And for this, you don’t need a university degree, a diploma, or any sort of certificate. You just need a topic you’re passionate about and the acquisition of skills to bring about that topic to life.
So the next time someone explains to you the concept behind professional speaking and figures in the revenues that speakers make, hopefully now you can actually realise the mathematics behind it. I also hope that now you realise that you’re getting paid for the number of people’s lives that you impact at the same time and not getting paid time for money.
You’re getting paid for the amount of value you share.
In case we haven’t met, my name’s Benjamin J Harvey, an ICF-certified coach and the Co-Founder of Australia’s only 2-time AFR (Australian Financial Review) Award-Winning Company, Authentic Education. I co-founded Authentic Education with Cham Tang in 2009.
Since that time, we have refined our secret sauce/formula with countless business owners, including myself.
We’ve also had the privilege of working with people like Dr John Demartini and John Assaraf from the movie “The Secret.” We’ve also been featured in numerous publications and TV shows.
Needless to say, we know how to help you transform lives and actually get paid doing it.
I’m sure you have many other questions, so I’m inviting you to attend my free online course, Prosper From Your Passion Sharing Your Knowledge Online, to get a step-by-step breakdown of how to do what you love and get paid for it.
This course will have no fluff or boring filler content—just practical steps to create a business. Discover your true passion and learn how to package it into an offer, replacing self-doubt with self-confidence.
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