Without a doubt, age is a factor in establishing credibility with an audience. I am sure that many people think that if you are older and being paid to address an audience, you must have something valuable to say. But what about novice speakers? How do these individuals, who may still be in their 20’s, get the opportunity to speak when no one knows who are they are?

If you are in that situation, the best way to begin your public speaking career is to get in touch with the various business clubs, social organizations, and charitable organizations within your community and volunteer to speak to them FOR FREE. It is important to understand that, in the beginning, you will not be paid. (Therefore, don’t quit your other job quite yet!)

Joining a Chamber of Commerce and/or business leads groups are also excellent avenues to introduce yourself. In addition, these types of organizations will often give you an opportunity to speak as well as provide a source of referral business for you.

Why is credibility so important in this particular type of career choice? Because you must be qualified in some fashion to talk about a particular subject. Either through your education, your life experience, or your business, you must know more about your topic than the majority of those in your audience. Otherwise, why should they bother listening to you?

There are many, many speakers who talk about the same topics. To even get your foot in the door, you need to have your own angle, something that sets you apart from the others and makes you an expert in your field. Audiences want to listen to experts – not those who might happen to want to talk about motivation but who have yet to find success motivating others.

Writing a book or producing audio or video products also helps establish you as an expert. In addition, these types of products can be an excellent means of income and are a quick way to move ahead.

Another aspect of establishing yourself as an expert is to hone your skills in public speaking. Just because you may be an expert and just because you want a career in this field does not necessarily mean you are a dynamic speaker. Take a course in public speaking, join Toastmasters, or attend a presentation skills workshop.

Admittedly, establishing yourself in public speaking is not quite as easy as applying for a job for which you are qualified; however, your rise on the public speaking circuit is much more likely if you have the right angle, a product in hand, and are credible both in your delivery skills and in your expertise.

Author's Bio: 

The Voice Lady Nancy Daniels offers private, corporate and group workshops in voice and presentation skills as well as Voicing It!, the only video training program on voice improvement. To get started improving your presentation skills, click Voice Training and Presentation Skills for Nancy's free ebook.