There are a lot of great things about being a speaker: you get to travel to amazing places, you get the VIP treatment at events and you even get some pretty cool swag. But I'd say one of the best things about being a speaker is getting to know the others in the industry.
I've been public speaking for more than 20 years but, admittedly, it wasn't until recently that I've decided to take my public speaking to the next level – traveling and really looking at this as a viable (and realistic) stream of income. In my quest to continually grow as a speaker, I'm taking notice of a few things, and the most obvious is that while there are hundreds of conferences and events that happen across the United States and the world, the number of available, qualified and GOOD speakers to present at these events is not as vast.
By the end of this year I will have spoken in at least seven different cities...as many as that seems, it's actually a small number compared to other speakers, but I like it like that. Anyhow, I'm beginning to appreciate the community of speakers that I've met and get a chance to see city after city. When you're in a city (or country) you've never been to before, it's refreshing to see familiar faces. It's always great to have some folks to decompress with about your talk and peers who can give you sound advice and feedback.
I'm looking forward to continuing to grow and expand my network and friendships with other speakers. After all, only iron sharpens iron!