The cruise industry calls it enrichment speaking, and it’s one of the sweetest deals you’re ever going to stumble across as a public speaker. In return for a few hours of your time, you’ll be paid to drink yourself tipsy and eat yourself wobbly across whatever body of water the ship happens to be traversing. What’s your favorite? The Mediterranean, Caribbean, Atlantic, Pacific? Take your pick. Cruise ships are always in need of shipboard diversions for passengers and one the tried and true standbys is to hire an enrichment speaker, which is a fancy way of saying an expert on a particular topic.
Here are six ways to snag these gigs.
1. Do your homework. Know which cruise lines hire enrichment speakers and what topics they want. If you waste their time during the interview asking questions to which the answers you should already know, don’t expect a call back.
2. Make sure your topics fit. At least as bad as not having a clue about what each cruise line wants is to not have pre-approved yourself on topics that are a good for them and you. If you’re not passionate about it, chances are you’ll fizzle when the time comes to present it multiple times, and you won’t be asked back.
3. Sell yourself first. Your first contact with the cruise line must be impressive and top notch. If you can’t sell yourself to their hiring rep, you’ll never get the chance to bomb on stage. Be professional and cogent, explaining clearly and succinctly why your lectures will provide the most benefit to passengers.
4. Your press kit must kill. If the initial first contact goes well, there’s a good chance they’ll ask you to send a press kit, which should go without saying must be a professional presentation. Continue the sale you started on the phone. Make it look good and don’t forget to include audio and/or video.
5. Be flexible. As a first time enrichment speaker, it will work in your favor to essentially tell them you’ll go on stage anytime, anywhere. With these gigs being in such high demand, don’t expect to get very far in the process if you play “superstar” and only work on your schedule. It’s ever so easy for them to cross your name off the list and move on to the next one.
Finally, educate yourself completely on how the process works. Don’t lie about having done enrichment gigs before if you haven’t, but be aware enough of how the thing works that you don’t sound like Gomer Pyle while they’re trying to hold an intelligent discussion (“Shaazam, Sarge!”) Their time is important to them. Don’t waste it.
The Speaking of Wealth Team
Flickr / milan.boers