© Thomas (Thom) A. Lisk


DEFINITIONS: Speakers have their own unique challenges and language, and these sidebars will help you understand.

WARNING: Aspiring speakers can waste a lot of valuable time and money so this will help prevent that.

SUCCESS SHORTCUTS: Everyone loves shortcuts to success so these are advice from 30 years of successful experience.

SPEAKER PRINCIPLES: Principles for Success, sometimes universal laws, are the bedrocks, the foundational pillars upon which a person can best build a speaking career. These can be great tips but often are more than that.


Contents—includes five significant parts, 325+ pages


Part 1. Success Blastoff for Speakers

(a) Chapter 1

(b) Professional versus Amateur speakers

(c) Kinds of Speaking

(d) For Free

(d) For Income

(c) Contrasting with Industry Speakers

(c) People who Become Speakers

(d) Educators and Entertainers

(d) Experts and Aspiring Experts

(c) Toastmasters And College Classes Can Help

(c) Tiger Woods—Pro’s Earn the Most

(c) The Least You Need to Know


(a) Chapter 2

(b) The Unique Business of Public Speaking

(c) Make the Commitment to Speaking

(d) Gain family and Other support

(d) Funding Needed to Start

(c) Mentors for Your Business

(d) Advisory or Honorary Board of Directors

(d) Topic and other mentors

(c) Assessing Yourself More

(c) Profits and Losses for speakers

(d) Gross versus Net for the Speaker

(d) Start-up Money

(c) Speakers and Speaking Companies grossing millions

(d) Money is Only One motivation

(d) Motivation to Speak

(c) The Least You Need to Know


(a) Chapter 3

(b) Foundational Pillars for Success

(c) Personality Profiles

(d) Your Profile Pillars

(d) Understanding People Pillar

(c) Pillar Doors

(d) Front Door and Back Door

(d) Window to Success

(c) Administrative and Management Pillar

(d) Your Knowledge Pillar

(d) Your Skills Pillars

(c) Environmental Pillars

(d) Home Environment, Office

(d) Other Environments

(c) Emotional Pillars

(c) The Least You Need to Know


(a) Chapter 4

(b) Potentials Now for Speaker Success

(c) Topics Can Determine Potential

(d) Examples of Topic Expert Speakers

(d) How to Determine Your Best Topics

(c) The Markets Can Determine Potential

(d) Acres Story and Your Priorities

(d) Other Gold Mines for Speakers

(c) Marketing Quality Can Determine Potential

(d) Beginning Strategies to Consider

(d) Ongoing Strategies to Know Upfront

(c) Your Dedication Determines Destiny

(c) Skill Most Affects Destiny

(d) Videotaping Your Trial Performance

(d) How-to Critique and Improve

(c) The Least You Need to Know

(a) Chapter 5

(b) A Decisive Point

(c) Visualizing Success

(d) Vision Statement

(d) Changes Needed

(d) Mission Statement

(c) Passion to Persevere and Serve

(d) For your Topic

(d) For your Audience

(c) Examples of well-known speakers

(d) Finding a Path to Follow

(d) Becoming a Leader as a Speaker

(c) Written Goals Are Most Important

(c) The Least You Need to Know


Part 2. Your Expertise Can Create Income

(a) Chapter 6

(b) Getting Started…and Restarted

(c) Your Expertise Evaluated

(c) Distractions or Pitfalls to Avoid

(d) People and Places

(d) Plagiarism, Copyrights, Trademarks

(c) Planning and Paying Ahead Assures Success

(d) Planning Your Presentations

(d) Planning Your Time

(d) Paying Ahead

(c) Cranking It Up

(d) Operating Capital or Cash Flow

(d) Research, Energy, Contacts

(d) Growing Your Speaking Career

(c) The Least You Need to Know

(a) Chapter 7

(b) Brain Drain

(c) Your Ideas Are Valuable

(c) Your Intellectual Property

(d) Protecting What You Know

(d) Protecting Who You Can Be

(c) Your Brain is Your Greatest Asset

(d) Your Know-how Must Be Transferable

(d) Physical & Emotional Integration for Success

(c) Albert Einstein, Other Brainy Speakers

(c) The Least You Need to Know


(a) Chapter 8

(b) Standard Speaking Engagements

(c) Services Make Your Valuable

(d) Preparing Your Speech or Seminar

(d) Banquets and Keynote Speeches
(c) Intro to Speaker Services and Products

(d) Researching Comparative Value

(d) Comparing your Speaking Objectively

(c) Speaking contracts

(d) Example A

(d) Example B

(c) Breakout Sessions at Conferences

(c) Free and Fee Speaking Can Bring Success

(d) Local Groups

(d) National or State Conferences

(c) The Least You Need to Know


(a) Chapter 9

(b) Other Speaking Services

(c) Speakers Can Offer Various Programs

(d) Trainers, Workshops, Facilitators

(d) Educational Programs that Pay-off

(d) Entertainers or Entertaining speakers

(c) Coaching and/or Consulting

(d) Ongoing Revenues

(d) Time Consumption Trade-offs

(c) Creating Your Seminars: Power Point, Etc.

(d) Creating Books

(d) Creating other Items to Sell

(c) Education with Entertainment

(c) The Least You Need to Know

(a) Chapter 10

(b) Full Time Work, Part time Speaking

(c) Balancing Time

(d) Compartmentalizing Your Time

(d) Renewal Goals
(c) Investing Time Wisely

(d) Telephone Treasures

(d) Eye to Eye

(d) Websites, Internet Action

(c) Webinars and Tele-seminars

(d) Webinars and On-line Education

(d) Tele-seminars Can Create Big Bucks

(c) Time Goals, Commitments, Tools

(c) The Least You Need to Know

Part 3. Markets & Marketing for Speakers

(a) Chapter 11

(b) Where to Speak

(c) Assessing Markets

(d) Based on Your Best Topics

(d) Based on Other Important Factors

(c) Prioritizing Your Markets

(d) Criteria for best markets

(d) Considering how-to test market

(c) Later markets for you

(d) Tactics and Strategies

(e) More Ideas

(c) Surveying Possible Clients

(c) The Least You Need to Know


(a) Chapter 12

(b) How-to Market Yourself

(c) Valued by Branding Yourself

(d) Positioning and Preparing Yourself

(d) Quality Materials or Shoe-string

(c) Intro to Business Marketing Plans

(d) Materials for the Press Kit

(d) One sheet brochures, etc.

(c) Why to Write Articles

(c) Preview tapes, tapes to sell

(c) Website Marketing

(d) For starters

(d) For advanced speakers

(c) Self-promotion do’s and don’ts

(c) The Least You Need to Know

(a) Chapter 13

(b) What Marketing Pays for Speakers

(c) From Suspects to Prospects to Clients

(d) Your Best Clients

(d) 80% of Your Revenues

(c) Your Best Time Investments

(d) Creating Products and Services

(d) Products as Profit Centers

(c) Your Best Material

(d) Prove Your Value with Demo Tape

(d) Signature Stories

(c) The 80%/20% Rules in Marketing

(c) 20% of Your Credentials

(c) The Least You Need to Know

(a) Chapter 14

(b) Pricing Strategies Step by Step

(c) YOU--the Consumer Product

(d) Retail versus Wholesale

(d) For Profit and Non-Profit

(d) Discounting Fees

(c) Traveling Long-distances Affects Fees

(c) Intro to Pricing Services and Products

(d) Speeches, Seminars, Workshops

(d) Other Products: Books, Tapes, Etc.

(d) Coaching or Consulting

(c) Expense Reimbursement

(c) Perceived Value

(d) Realized Value

(d) Comparative Analysis

(c) The Least You Need to Know

(a) Chapter 15

(b) Million Dollar Speakers

(c) Many Still Work from Home

(d) Examples of Successful Speakers Who Market

(d) Benefits and Warnings

(c) Office Assistants Help Marketing

(c) Full-time Speakers Must Travel

(c) Unique Ideas Creating Success for Speakers

(d) Case Study 1

(d) Case Study 2

(d) Case Study 3

(c) Part Time Speakers Must Market

(c) The Least You Need to Know

Part 4. Customers, Patrons and Partnering for Success

(a) Chapter 16

(b) Your Customers Pay Your Bills

(c) Your Customer, Your King and Queen

(d) King/Queen for More than a Day

(d) Create Repeat clients

(d) Become #1…

(c) Ongoing Client Contracts
(c) Accounts Receivable AND Accounts Payable

(c) Professional Codes of Ethics Intro

(c) Policies Toward Partnering With Clients

(d) Criteria for Your Best Client

(d) When to Not Accept or Fire Clients

(c) The Least You Need to Know

(a) Chapter 17

(b) Secret to Speaker Success

(c) Patrons: Who and What Are They

(d) Two Psychological Factors

(d) Examples of Patrons for Speakers

(d) Bird-dogs Point Out Business

(c) Patron Relationship Applications

(c) The Luck Factor for Speakers

(d) Health and Wellness

(d) Etiquette and Protocol

(c) Ongoing Clients for Ongoing Revenue

(c) Your Database of Contacts for Contracts

(c) The Least You Need to Know

(a) Chapter 18

(b) Organizations Need Great Speakers

(c) Your Expertise Needed; Create a Demand

(d) How You Make a Difference

(d) You Help Clients Grow

(c) Client Types Categorized

(c) Which Organizations Need/Hire speakers Most

(c) Which Seldom Hire Speakers

(c) How-to Stay “In Touch” With Clients

(d) Newsletters From Speakers

(d) Postcard Mailings, Promo

(c) The Least You Need to Know


(a) Chapter 19

(b) Speakers Examine Before They Prescribe

(c) Pre-program Questionnaires—Before Events
(c) Surveying Niche Markets After One Success

(d) Realistic Claims Open More Doors

(d) Penetrating Markets & Organizations

(c) Your Position as Expert

(c) More Surveys for Success

(d) Lost Speech Survey

(d) Audience Surveys or Evaluations

(c) Acquiring References Post-Program

(d) Testimonial Letters

(d) Reference List How-to’s

(c) Organizational Systems

(c) The Least You Need to Know

(a) Chapter 20

(b) Solid Gold Marketing

(c) A Gold Mine of Guidelines

(c) Templates for Speakers

(d) Type Styles, Colors, Logos

(d) Photographs, Free Publicity

(c) Selling Headlines or Key Words

(c) Hand Outs That Are Kept

(d) Unique Marketing Pieces for Speakers

(d) What’s Your Excuse?!

(c) The Significant Items on a One-sheet

(c) Makeovers and Make-up for Speakers

(c) Other Important Odds and Ends

(c) The Least You Need to Know


Part 5. Business for Speakers’ Success

(a) Chapter 21

(b) Business Nuts and Bolts for Speakers

(c) Technology for Speakers

(d) Business Operational Basics Needed

(d) High Tech Investments

(d) Computer Systems to Organize You

(c) Image Factors
(c) Challenges to Continue Speaking

(c) Taxes, Forms, Fringe Benefits

(c) Profit and Loss

(d) Reinvesting Profits correctly

(d) Avoiding losses

(c) The Least You Need to Know

(a) Chapter 22

(b) The Business of Speaking

(c) Benefits to the Business

(c) Challenges and Important Advice

(c) Speaking Part-time or Full-time

(d) Part-time

(d) Full-time

(c) Serious Business Ventures

(d) Must-Do

(d) Must-Not-Do

(c) Passive Income

(c) Income past age 70

(c) The Least You Need to Know


(a) chapter 23

(b) Speakers Bureaus or Agents

(c) When Are You Ready

(c) Bureaus Can Book You

(d) Bureau Requirements

(d) Specialized Bureaus

(c) Speakers’ Agents

(c) Communicating with Bureaus

(c) Commissions to Bureaus, Contracts, etc.

(c) Limitations and benefits from bureaus

(c) The Least You Need to Know

(a) Chapter 24

(b) Retirement Planning and Fringe Benefits

(c) Senior Citizens Need Speakers

(d) Investing for Retirement for Speakers

(d) Saving or other Investments for Speakers

(c) Insurance Coverage for Speakers

(c) Autos and Depreciation

(c) Debt Versus No Debt Affects Retirement

(c) No Transit Time to Your Office

(c) You Are the Boss at Last

(c) The Least You Need to Know

(a) Chapter 24

(b) Follow-up, Follow-up, Follow-up

(c) Ongoing Success: Not Location

(c) Hold Yourself Accountable

(c) Follow-up with Clients

(d) Repeat Business

(d) Referral Business

(c) Public Relations Efforts

(c) Serving Best Profits Most

(c) Balanced Living Secrets for Speakers

(c) The Least You Need to Know

(a) Chapter 25

(b) Ethics for Speakers

(c) Things You Want to Think About

(c) Codes of Ethics for Speakers

(c) Codes of Ethics for Meeting Planners

(c) Other relevant Codes of Ethics

(c) Noble Leadership for Speakers

(c) The Least You Need to Know

Appendix A: Further Reading

Appendix B: Organizations for Speakers

Appendix C: Glossary

Appendix D: 13 case studies from actual speakers


(The above Table of Contents is somewhat reorganized in the actual completed book as it is condensed to 22 chapters, however all the above material is included in the book yet all is improved. If you do not see something you need please email us at )



Professional Speakers Bureau International
Dr. Thom A. Lisk, BA, LHD, CSE is the Founder, President and CEO

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