How I became an international public speaker

Recently, I was interviewed by Monique Blokzyl on her monthly community call, mySpeakerBusiness. I very much enjoyed our discussion.

Monique is passionate about helping people who want to become professional speakers get a start. She has interviewed dozens of people over the years so that we can hear their experiences firsthand and learn some of the ideas that they have put into practice. If you would like to join the mySpeakerBusiness Facebook group, head over there and let Monique know a little bit about yourself.

The interview is below. In it, we discuss such matters as:

  • my educational and professional background;
  • how and why I decided to leave a good job at the World Health Organization to become a full-time speaker and trainer;
  • how I got my first client;
  • the pros and cons of working part-time while trying to build your speaker business;
  • why you should go outdoors to get some of your most creative ideas;
  • how to find what it is you want to talk about;
  • the reason why I give speeches and trainings;
  • the importance of having a good network, including on social media;
  • how blogging has helped my speaking business tremendously;
  • three (perhaps) non-obvious tips that will serve you well if you want to become a professional speaker (or even if you don’t!);
  • and lots more!

I hope you enjoy it.


About John Zimmer

International speaker, presentation skills expert, lawyer, improv performer
This entry was posted in Motivation, Personal, Public Speaking Business and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to How I became an international public speaker

  1. Really nice read. I like to speak but it does not pay in Africa as it would in the West.

    Liked by 1 person

    • John Zimmer says:

      Thanks for the comment, Ngobesing. If you like to speak, definitely keep at it. I don’t necessarily mean that you should quit your current job; having a reasonable income is important. But perhaps you can do speaking engagements on the side. Maybe they will lead to something more permanent for you. Even if you only speak on occasion and not as your full-time job, you can still have a big impact on people’s lives. You can be a “success inspirer” as the name of your blog attests. Good luck!


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