How Public Speaking Remains Relevant In 2021

The subtle ways speaking continues to skyrocket

Speaker Nation
7 min readApr 22, 2021

In this blog post, you’ll uncover the various ways the public speaking industry continues to thrive amidst the loss of live events.

It was just over a year ago when many public speakers started to feel the almost immediate impact of the pandemic wash over a once-thriving industry.

Many jumped to conclusions. “The speaking world will never be the same again.” “How am I ever going to continue my career?” “Back to the drawing board…”

It’s fair to say that the repercussions of a global pandemic on the speaking industry could certainly scare one into believing their livelihood was on the brink of collapse.

But it’s also fair to say that perhaps this disruption couldn’t have come at a better time…

So to those speakers who say public speaking is dead after 2020… We challenge you to revisit your thinking, because the thing is, it’s more relevant now than ever before. It’s just changed, and so it’s up to you to change your course of action alongside it.

When it came to live events being canceled all over the globe within what seemed like seconds, it was truly fascinating to see event producers start getting creative. It started with some of the big names like Tony Robbins; he took “Unleash The Power Within” online. Eric Edmeades, Speaker Nation founder, launched an online version of one of his most popular speaker training programs. Musicians took to live streams of their concerts or concert series. Suddenly, speaking events were back, just in a different way — virtually.

It was truly fascinating to see event producers start getting creative

While the Speaker Nation team sat back and watched this chain of events unfold, we couldn’t help but notice a major power shift starting to take place. You see, a lot of speakers who previously hadn’t had the opportunity to speak at some of these more well-known events were suddenly receiving invite after invite from event coordinators everywhere. Why? Because it wasn’t as expensive to bring in speakers anymore! You no longer had to worry about travel costs, accommodations, food and beverage, riders, etc.

It became apparent how much easier (and cost-efficient) it was for both speakers and audience members to simply click a link and join an event.

A side effect of this effective and efficient platform shift? Events got more plentiful! It seemed like all of a sudden, everybody and their brother were running a virtual live event. Of course, some of these events weren’t as well produced as others, but also some of them were really powerful and impactful. Either way, this opened up the door to a lot more opportunities for speakers to take the stage even if they maybe didn’t have the resume to back them up.

This meant that for people who were just getting started in the speaking industry, it quickly became a lot easier to reach audiences all over the world.

When you think back to even a couple of years ago when a speaker would show up virtually to an event, the audience got the impression that the speaker didn’t care to make the effort to be there in person. Now it’s the acceptable thing to do! Whether you’re patching yourself in from a state-of-the-art studio or a makeshift office, your audience knows you want to be there and you’re ready to wow.

If you ask the speakers who are changing their course of action alongside the changing landscape of the industry whether they’re getting more or less speaking gigs these days, our guess is that it’s likely they’ve spoken at more events in the past year than ever before. It’s that easy. You can Zoom in from across the world and be part of an event in the morning and then hustle your way through an evening Hangout, all in an effort to get your name out there and your content heard. Frankly, if you’re not taking advantage of having technology and virtual events on your side by this point, you might want to reevaluate your business plan.

Think about it:

When you’re invited to an event overseas to speak, the process generally looks like this…

Sure, the event is one day of speaking for you, but the travel and adjustment in between chalks it up to nearly a full week out of your life. From preparing for the trip to navigating new territory, to battling jet lag and your energy, it certainly seemed like a lot for one engagement. Especially if you’re already working on an overloaded schedule.

Now, you can get out of bed, prepare for your presentation, brush your hair and click a link to join. You can speak to the same audience without having to go through the same trials and tribulations to get there.

You can speak to the same audience without having to go through the same trials and tribulations to get there.

This goes for you, too, event coordinators! It’s easier to track down your speakers when it comes to a virtual event. You don’t have to stalk them down to their hotel room and wonder if they’ll show up, because all you need to do is find them either on or off the Zoom line. How much less stressful is that for someone coordinating a massive event?

As you can see, we’re encouraging you to look at the positive side of this transition in the industry. Because trust us, there are a lot of benefits to the way public speaking is going these days.

The thing is, the speaking industry distinctly changed in 2020. There’s no question about it. But in no way is professional speaking dead. In fact, professional speaking is arguably more relevant now than it has ever been before.

In no way is professional speaking dead.

Another way we saw this to be true was through the influx of online programs popping up all over the place. Everyone who was ready to change with the times was frantically trying to figure out how to take their business online. That meant moving your in-person speaking programs to the internet, your modules and products to the virtual world, and even brick-and-mortar stores moving to get online.

Whichever virtual medium these businesses chose, each required an understanding and skill set in public speaking. Facebook Lives, pre-recorded videos, Zoom meetings, etc. They all meant needing to have an understanding of effective communication if they really wanted to get their message and motive across.

Speaking is incredibly powerful. These content creators were suddenly realizing that if they’re not really great at speaking, they’re not going to be able to get their message out there, they’re not going to be able to communicate with their audience, and they’re not going to be able to get their business on the mend.

The transition has undeniably been an incredible one to be a part of, but it’s key to remember there are opportunities everywhere. If you want to grow your influence, if you want to get your message out there to an audience, if you want to find who your audience is, if you want to create an online course, whatever your goal might be, it’s all possible as a result of the disruption that came from 2020.

It’s key to remember there are opportunities everywhere.

If you’re one of those people who’s out there saying, “I want to be a speaker, but the speaking is dead” or “I want to be a speaker, but I can’t find an event,” the reality is you’re just not looking in the right places.

The speaking industry has exploded, and if you stay in tune with this transition you’ll be witness to the continual positive growth and changes happening all the time. We believe the years ahead are going to be some of the most exciting times the speaking industry has ever seen.

So if you want to be part of it, don’t be one of those speakers who just sits back and waits for live events to come back. Because they will come back, but would you rather be the speaker who fell behind while waiting for the great return, or the one who has been consistently honing their craft, practicing, and developing their skills so you’re one of the first to be booked for the live stage.

Don’t be one of those speakers who just sits back and waits for live events to come back.

Dive into the shift, because the best is yet to come…

If you want to continue mastering your speaking skills and bettering your chances of excelling during these exciting times, check out our free resourceful video series, “How to Become A Master In The Art of Public Speaking” to support you on your journey.



Speaker Nation

Speaker Nation is an international community that provides education, career development, and coaching for aspiring and professional public speakers.