do it right. don't waste time. Don't waste money.
YOu want to be a college speaker?
get smart, expert help you need to get started right...
You have a vision of being a paid speaker in the collegiate space. You want to help students make better choices and impact the world. Maybe you have a story that needs to be shared. But, where should you begin?
How do you get those first gigs? How do you price your services? Should you join an agency? What are the good ones, and how do you appeal to them? How do you get noticed by students and the campus professionals who hire speakers?
Most importantly, will anyone want your message? Who on today's college campus will pay for what you're offering?
Getting started as a college speaker is so much more than building a Power Point. In some cases, a student organization is spending a huge amount of its annual budget to have you for one night, and you need to be sure you deliver!
You need to think about:
• How to develop compelling content that makes sense for college audiences.
• Whether or not to incorporate visual elements, humor, personal stories, video or activities.
• Investing marketing dollars wisely. (SPOILER ALERT: You're going to have to spend money before you make any.)
• How to behave ethically in the space so that you earn positive word-of-mouth among campus professionals who make or break a college speaking career.
• How to avoid the most common mistakes new speakers make when speaking to college students.
• Making key decisions about whether to go self represent or seek agency representation. Should you try to get bookings nationally, regionally or locally?
• Standing out among the throng of people who consider themselves speakers. How to develop a hook that makes you memorable.
• Pricing and management of the business part of the endeavor. Whether you want this to be a meaningful hobby, a strong second income source, or your full-time pursuit – you need an action plan.
"All I can say is, Wow! On a 50 minute phone call, T.J. gave me 10 tangible things to implement right away to increase my business. After being a full-time speaker for almost 5 years, I know I have a ton to learn. In just a few moments, he gave me career changing information."
- Odell A. Bizzell II, Founder, IMPACT Student Success Program
WHy hire T.J. to coach you?
There is no one who knows more about developing professional speakers in the collegiate space. T.J. has spoken to more than 3-million students at more than 3,000 paid college and higher ed conference engagements since 1992. As the founder & CEO of CAMPUSPEAK from 1999-2014, T.J. assisted dozens of today's most successful college speakers to build their speaking careers. He created The College Speakers Academy, helping dozens more. He continues to mentor and develop new speakers as a partner with the ForCollegeForLife speakers agency.
T.J. will give you the blunt, honest advice you need. He will tell you what's strong about your program, and what needs work. He will give you strategic steps for your first, second, or third year of college speaking that will allow you to create momentum.
• Analyze the strengths and weaknesses of your program, helping you identify the parts that will appeal most to student leaders and other campus buyers.
• Help you structure your program for maximum benefit to college audiences.
• Challenge your attitudes, language and assumptions that sink many people who try and fail in the college market.
• Assist you with program titles, write-ups, web text, social media, promotional materials, and your speaker bio.
• Help you identify the best conferences to attend to showcase your programs.
• Provide links to others who can help you put the pieces together: writers, photographers, visual designers, and (sometimes) even a roommate for a conference.
If you have potential for the college market, T.J. will tell you so. If your potential is weak, he will tell you that, also. Knowing your viability might save you a huge amount of time, effort and money.
If you show potential for the market, T.J. will open up his enormous network in higher education – campuses, conferences and other speakers achieving in the space.
Becoming a quality college speaker takes time, and a lot of effort. He doesn't guarantee you bookings, but T.J. will work with you to direct your energy in the most productive way.
"T.J. has been responsible for launching some of the biggest careers in college speaking. He knows his stuff, and he's not always gentle. No sugar coating, and no wasted time. He will give you action items that will turn you into a legitimate college speaker. Best of all, he will make sure you're not wasting time doing things that sink you before you even start. He will call you on your dumb moves, and if he believes in your potential, he will definitely help you make it happen."
- Michelle Guobadia, Speaker, The Catalyst Agency
free 30-minute consultation
If you are interested in having an initial consultation, please email T.J. using the contact page on this site (link is on the left of this page). In that 30-minute consultation, T.J. will answer your most burning questions and will evaluate if he can help you move your plan forward.
Speaking to college students is uniquely fulfilling. Knowing you're making a difference for the next generation of leaders is an honor and a real rush! You have a chance to impact students at one of life's most critical developmental moments.
But, to do it right, you need to make smart decisions at the outset. Invest in a coach whose instincts and experience have yielded success for some of the best known individuals in the business.
"When I first started off in the college speaking industry, I approached A LOT of people for help. T.J. was one of the few who gave me valuable advice that helped me with branding, dramatically sped up my learning curve, and challenged me with the reality of what it really took to be a successful college speaker. His has helped me to maximize my impact on students! Time with him is time well spent."
- Justin Jones-Fosu, Speaker, JustinInspires.com