The Secret Niche within the Professional Speaking Industry
They Don’t Want You to Know About
The World of the Professional Speaker or Motivational Speaker, is huge, potentially lucrative and very enticing!
No wonder thousands of professional speaking hopefuls jump in each year, joining speakers networks, clubs and associations, buying training, reading books, hiring coaches and then setting off to develop their business.
This might be you!
Unfortunately, there are not many statistics on how many of these Professional Speakers hopefuls make a decent living or in fact get many paid speaking assignments before they give up on their dream.
What I also find fascinating, is that when most people hear the words Professional Speaker, they normally imagine a picture of a dynamic keynote presenter, opening and closing conferences with a powerful feature presentation, changing lives and selling thousands of dollars of merchandising at the back of the room. Perhaps this is also the vision of many Professional Speaker hopefuls when they set out on their journey.
In reality however, the professional speaking industry is a house of many rooms. There are many different ways to make a good living and to fill your diary with engagements.
Keynote Speaking is just one niche among many and in a lot of ways the most difficult nut to crack.
There are also –
Training Speakers, Breakout Speakers, Running Workshops , Facilitation, Infotainment, After Dinner Speaking specialists, Product Demonstrators, Trade Show Experts, Interviewers, Hoax Speakers , Humorists, Writers and more.
And of course there is my favourite niche… the world of the MC or Master of Ceremony.
In fact, some of the busiest and most solidly booked professional speakers around the world are MC’s.
Where do MC’s Work?
You’ll find MC’s –
Working at – Corporate Events like Conferences, Conventions, Seminars, Summits and Expos.
Working at – Sporting Events, Fashion Events, Consumer Events and Weddings
Working at – Social, Association, Community and Government Events
You see, one of the great advantages is they can easily, and often do, get booked year after year by the same clients. I personally have been booked for 10 consecutive years with one company to do multiple events for them each year. I have several colleagues who have done 15 – 20 years with the same group! There are clients who will even move the date of their event so that they can use a particular MC who knows them, their culture and their aims.
And yet these people, these busy MC’s are often not talked about or perhaps even held in the same regard as the fabled Keynote Speaker.
I call it the BV Theory, named after Backing Vocal singers.
I have many friends in the Entertainment industry, in all different fields including musicians and singers. Several of them are multi award winners and house hold names with the public. But I also know a bunch of highly talented people who just didn’t get anywhere in that tough business.
But some of the busiest and most in demand musicians around the world are the Session players and Backing Vocal singers. And they are largely unknown. Sure, they’ll get a mention on the CD notes, (if there is such a thing anymore) and perhaps a mention if it’s a live show. But these musicians are in high demand and very well paid. Just like MC’s.
And there are parallel stories in many other niches – the Art World, the Acting World, the Dance World.
Another great thing about MC work, is that it is a relatively easy niche Market to get into!
There are a number of strategies to get started and to get work that are outlined on our website and even a downloadable proven MC RoadMap that you can follow.
There are also many distinct venues or markets that are crying out for MC’s. We list nearly 50 in this Article. Pick a few and dominate them either on a Local, City, State or National level.
Or International level. I’ve been booked, as an MC, at events in Hawaii, Cambodia, Hong Kong, South Africa, New Zealand and of course all over Australia where I live.
So, as you can see the market for MC’s is huge and in many way only limited by your imagination and drive.
Many people also find that doing corporate MC work allows them to then break into the world of Keynote speaking after they have established a name for themselves and developed a client list.
Many Professional Speakers find that adding MC work to their offerings allows them to charge more, meet new clients and gives a steadier cash flow.
I know you will find plenty of resources here on the site to help you on your journey.
Please check out our Bestselling book The Expert MC Toolkit & Resource Manual
Important Reminders for Professional Speakers
For those of you who are already Professional Speakers and thinking about getting into MC work as well please read these extra notes.
# The Client is King
Or Queen. You must remember that you are there to help the Client achieve THEIR goals for the event. This might be more than just keeping it running to time.
Reinforcing messages, dealing with disruptive attendees, running Panel Sessions, Interviewing Speakers & VIP’s, Networking events etc. These are things Professional Speakers are well suited to doing anyway, it just needs a slight pivot in your thinking and approach.
# Your Job is Broader than you imagine
As well as the things mentioned above, you might need to liaise with the Audio Visual Team, help speakers with their microphones, keep an eye on the seating and room temperature, calm nervous speakers, inform the Banquet staff about when you are breaking for lunch and if you are running early or late etc. These things all need to be done and they probably won’t be on your To Do list.
# You are taking a back seat.
And often all those little things you do, won’t be noticed by the attendees. Great MC’s put the Client and the Event first. Sure, you can insert a bit of your own character, content and personality into the running of the event, but always think about the big picture.
# The MC Business is a huge and profitable niche within Professional Speaking.
# There are clear pathways to become a brilliant MC and to build a business.
# It is possible for Keynote Speakers to become MC’s.
# It is possible for MC’s to become Keynote Speakers.