Putting it in perspectiveThe first thing that comes to mind when we talk about the speaking and training industry is to think about the huge annual seminars, conferences, and conventions usually conducted by industry associations, societies and professional bodies. Added to this are the corporate training by elite universities, polytechnics, colleges, giant consulting firms, and the like. Not far left behind are the global motivational speaking giants and celebrity speakers such as Tony Robbins, Brendon Burchard, Darren Hardy, Jack Canfield, Victor Mark Hansen, Les Brown, Brian Tracy and hundreds and hundreds of other giants. Then you have super-celebrity business moguls such as Donald Trump and Richard Branson that get paid up to $100,000 per appearance. These business moguls are in a class of their own. Some books have spawned global movements such as Chicken Soup for the Soul by Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen, Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki, and Guerilla Marketing by Conrad Levinson, to mention a few. So it’s a huge market out there.How big is the industry?Training Industry.com estimated the global market for training expenditures in 2011 was about $287bn. They expected the market to grow to about $292bn by 2012. Market Data Enterprise estimated the Motivational ”Self-Improvement” market to be about $10.4bn. In my opinion these are extremely under-reported figures as they may reflect at best market of OECD countries. Putting all countries in the picture may result in figures three times bigger, so it’s a huge industry, that clearly overlaps with other industries such as ICT, and education, where formal education, certification and the like take place.Who are the key players?The key players as we mentioned at the beginning include corporate training arms of almost all universities, with elites such as Harvard, Wharton, Stanford, Columbia, and MIT taking global lead. Then you have global leadership institutes such as INSEAD in France, IMD in Switzerland, and Cranfield in England. Then you have global consulting giants such as McKinsey, Accenture, PWC, KPMG, that don’t only consult and audit, but also train their clients in best practices. In the speaking segment the global leaders are Toastmasters International, National Speakers Association (NSA), and International Federation of Professional Speakers.How can you belong?A whole book can be written about how you can become a trainer or speaker. The best place to start is to visit your local library or neighborhood bookshop and look up books on the training and speaking sections. To help you jumpstart, the best place to begin is to decide which niche you wish to serve. While you may play in different niches, the biggest earners are niche players who have developed expertise in their niches to the point of becoming celebrities. To become a trainer, the best place to start is to become an expert or at least, a knowledgeable professional in the area you wish to train on, for example, sales, leadership, and communication. To really gun for the seven figures, seek out the experts, submit to their mentorship and coaching, then join their networks. The best mentors will open up their networks for you.What can you sell as a trainer and/ or speaker?The training and speaking industries have overlapped so much so that sometimes it is difficult to say these days where one ends and where the other begins. For all intents and purposes, the two industries are tending in one direction and are coalescing into one huge information industry. For the purposes of this article, however, we will keep the two industries separate, at least for now. To be a trainer, the most lucrative segment to focus on is corporate training. Most quoted companies dedicate huge sums to their annual training budgets, sometimes as high as 10% of their profit before tax, so there is huge money to be made there. As I said earlier, the more focused you are, the better. In the speaking or motivational segment or niche, while you also sell expertise as a trainer, unlike the corporate trainer, you’ll be selling directly to individuals most of the time. So to really succeed in the speaking industry, you need to develop your unique spin of what you want to sell to your target audience. As the saying goes, there is nothing new under the sun. If you look back far into how the industry developed from the days of Napoleon Hill, W. Clement Stone, Earl Nightingale, Jim Rohn, Bryan Tracy to modern day icons such as Tony Robbins, Darren Hardy, Marcia Weider, and Brendon Burchard, the one thing that sets the most successful speakers apart was and remains the ability to develop a unique style that gets you on the radar.How to make 7 figures Thanks to technology and the proliferation of media, the training and speaking industries are merging into one huge industry that people now refer to as information marketing industry. When you are selling corporate training, what exactly are you selling? If you look at it closely, you are selling information and ideas. Maybe, how to carry out certain tasks better, how to hone a particular skill, or how to direct a change in attitude or behavior in a more desirable direction. The same applies to the motivational speaking. The outcome you desire is the same, you are conveying ideas and information that your audience can use to better their lives in various areas, such as health, wealth, self confidence, time management and other dimensions. While in the past, an average speaker if he or she was lucky could get ten or twenty people into a hall to listen to what he or she had to say, today you have a global audience, thanks to the internet. So the first step towards your 7-figure earning is to leverage the power of the internet and the associated technologies to your advantage. According to Janet Switzer, there are more than 50 information products you can market. Assuming you have 20 products, and you are able to sell to just 10,000 monthly at the rate of just $20 per person, you can make about $4,000,000 per month. Not bad for a start, but it will not happen overnight. You have to keep at it, and be willing to pay the price. I know celebrities that are making more than that figure per month, so jump in, the water is warmer than you think.