These are gloomy times for many Publicity Hounds who are corporate speakers and rely primarily on speaking fees and back-of-the-room product sales.
Some companies, faced with huge expenses they can’t control such as the skyrocketing cost of gasoline, are slashing training budgets. Corporate speakers, competing with thousands of other speakers for gigs, are finding that the pot of money available to pay them has shrunk.
4 ways to tweak your topic
If I relied on most of my revenue from speaking, which I don’t, one of the first things I’d do is figure out a way to tweak my topic for the college market. Unlike private companies, colleges and universities have several sources of money, such as student activity fees, that are recession-proof. That means the college speaking market doesn’t go south when the economy does.
Here are four examples of how you can tweak your topic for colleges:
1. A speaker who trains corporate executives on leadership can take the fundamental points of the presentation and teach college stuents how to be leaders, whether it’s within their fraternities or sororities, or student government, or within a special-interest group on campus.
2. An expert on corporate recruiting and retention can teach college fraternities and sororities how to recruit and retain members. Greeks, by the way, have their own budgets for hiring speakers, yet another recession-proof pot of money.
3. Speakers who specialize in motivating corporate audiences as convention keynoters can take their message to college campuses, where motivational speakers are in high demand.
4. Diversity trainers who target corporate America should start thinking about how they can teach college faculty, staff and students about diversity. At a four-year collge, a kid from the inner-city and a farm kid from Kansas can suddenly find themselves roommates, with all kinds of potential problems.
Where to learn more about speaking at colleges
Leadership, fraternity and sorority issues, motivational and inspirational messages, and diversity are among the 17 categories of topics that are in demand at colleges, universities, two-year colleges and tech schools. James Malinchak, “King of the College Speaking Circuit,” reviewed them all during a teleseminar I conducted with him today. You can listen here.
It’s a preview for his College Speaking Success Boot Camp Dec. 4-7 in Los Angeles, and attendees can save $750 if they register by Sept. 30.