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Cruising Free as a Speaker – Mistakes to Avoid

Daniel HallBy Featured Speaker Daniel Hall

Being an approved cruise enrichment lecturer is the greatest gig on the seven seas. The deal is simple: you furnish the cruise lines three or four 1-hour lectures on subjects you love and you get a free cruise for yourself and a companion. The best part is the lectures are usually scheduled on sea days so you’ll have every port day totally free to explore. Further, you cruise as a passenger (not a crew member) so you’ll get every other passenger perk, too.

Although it is relatively easy for anyone willing to try there are some pitfalls to becoming an approved cruise lecturer. Here are the things you should watch out for:

1. You don’t do your homework. Learn which cruise lines have enrichment lecturer programs and what topics they generally seek.The cruise lines will know if you aren’t asking intelligent questions. You’ll only be able to sound intelligent about their programs if you’ve done your homework. Being labeled as an amateur because you have not done the required up front work will be the kiss of death to your application.

2. You don’t pick “good fit” topics. The lecture topics you pick must succeed on two fronts. First, they must fit what the cruise lines seek.Second, you must be passionate and knowledgeable about them. This is easier than at first it may sound. From your homework you’ll learn what types of lecture programs the cruise lines like to have onboard. Once you have done that, find topics within your personal knowledge base that match what’s popular on the cruise lines. You may have to make a list but EVERYONE has at least two or three topic areas in which they have proficiency, if not expertise. However, if your topics are all wrong,you’ll fail before you start.

3. You don’t make a professional, cogent presentation to the cruise lines. You’ll need to sell yourself and your lectures to the cruise line. Take the time to do it right. Be prepared to talk about how the lecture(s) fit within the cruise line’s format. Why passengers will like the lectures and why you’re qualified to talk about it. Get to the point. If you botch this initial communication with the cruise line they won’t have much faith that you can communicate in front of an audience of their passengers. Consequently, you may not get the chance.

4. You send an unpersuasive “lecture packet.” If you have done a good job with the initial contact, the cruise line will want you to follow-up with more information about yourself and your lecture. Think about this information as a mini-press kit that may contain a video or audio of your lecture. Your lecture packet must continue-the-sale that you started with the initial contact… if it doesn’t you’re in trouble.

5. You’re not flexible. You are trying to get your foot in the door. It will pay to be as flexible as possible with the cruise line about when you can cruise. Remember, you are there to help the cruise line entertain/ educate its guests. If you limit the time you can cruise to a specific week of the year, you may never set sail. Show as much flexibility as your schedule will allow and you’ll dramatically increase yours odds of getting approved.

6. You don’t educate yourself in the process of getting approved. Learn all you can about how to be approved as a lecturer. Not only will it streamline and take the guesswork out of the process but also dramatically increase your odds of success. Start by checking out

Daniel Hall has cruised the world as an onboard speaker and is teaching others to do the same both through his new e-book Speak on Cruise Ships: Eight Easy Steps to a Lifetime of Free Cruises by Sharing Your Passions and Interests as an Onboard Lecturer (Even if You’re Petrified of Public Speaking) and his one-on-one mentoring program. Get details at

To subscribe to the FREE 6-part mini-course on which this article was based Avoiding the Fatal Mistakes That Will Prevent You From Cruising Free as an Onboard Speaker by clicking (or cutting and pasting) the link above.

Copyright 2005 By Daniel Hall

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This post is by a guest writer. Please see the "About" section above for more information about today's featured expert.