Do you nurture the ambition to become a motivational speaker?
Are you wondering how to achieve this?
Maybe you have a knack for inspiring others, and you’re an expert in a field where you can share your knowledge to add value to others.
It might also be that you see yourself as an excellent public speaker and would love to use this talent to motivate others who need it.
Another interesting thing about motivational speakers is that many people make a fortune from this career while impacting others and enjoying what they do.
Well, the good news is that while public speaking could be the inborn talent of most folks, it is a skill that can be learned or developed.
Hence, in this blog post, we’ll share some effective steps you can take towards becoming a motivational speaker.
How to Become a Motivational Speaker – Who is a Motivational Speaker?
Motivation has been defined as the act of getting inspired or being infused with the desire to do something.
Sometimes, people are self-motivated in that they get the needed motivation to make a change in their lives or pursue a career from within.
However, there are times when an external source of motivation might be needed to give an individual that extra push to do something worthwhile or pull through in their career path.
That is where motivational speakers come in.
A motivational speaker gives speeches or speaks publicly before an audience and inspires them to take any action, decide, or change a mindset.
What Motivational Speakers Do
It is far too easy for people to get discouraged sometimes and get frustrated, whether with their personal lives or their chosen professional careers.
This might be because of problems or challenges that they encounter daily.
They can get so focused on these problems that they lose the needed motivation to set their goals and ambitions and begin to lose confidence in themselves.
Your role as a motivational speaker is to redirect such ones and help them see many other opportunities available to them.
At the end of the speech, a good motivational speaker would Psyche up the audience and change their mindset, leaving them so determined more than ever to make a move and stay inspired.
To be effective as a motivational speaker, though, you should be an expert in your field.
A lot of motivational speakers choose to use their personal experiences and stories as a means of inspiring others.
It could be that they have been able to make an overwhelming transformation in their lives, and they want to share how they were able to achieve this with other people.
Depending on your area of specialization, you might be invited to gatherings, schools, seminars across your country or outside to motivate people with your talks.
You can even grow so big that you write and sell books that inspire people in the chosen field you’ve decided to explore.
Whatever medium is used, the goal would always be to motivate the reader or audience to make certain positive changes in their lives.
How to Become a Motivational Speaker – Areas you can Specialize as a Motivational Speaker
It is not just enough to nurture the desire to become a motivational speaker.
You need to have a focus area or area of specialization.
It’s important to consider which area you have the needed knowledge and/or experience to inspire others in.
This is very important if you are to make a success of your career as a motivational speaker.
Here are some areas of specialization you can consider as a motivational speaker:
Business Management and Entrepreneurship
If you decide to specialize in this area as a motivational speaker, it means that you will be speaking to businesses at every level and helping them reach their goals.
You can choose to focus on entrepreneurs, especially start-ups who might be building a business from scratch.
Many of these startups are owned by individuals new to entrepreneurship and may need guidance or inspiration to get started.
As a motivational speaker for businesses, you are equipped with the necessary skills, knowledge, and, more importantly, the experience to guide such people through words of inspiration.
You can also be of immense help to those who have already spent time running a business but have experienced certain challenges along the way.
In such situations, the journey might look difficult and the destination blurry.
However, your wealth of experience expressed in your words of motivation can give them the needed impetus to wax stronger.
You can even share your own experiences of success or failure, which is why experience is just as important as knowing when starting a career as a motivational speaker.
Personal Growth and Development
We have individuals disoriented by life worldwide, and some lack focus or a definite purpose in life.
This might result from the kind of environment they grow up in, the type of people they associate with, pressure, the anxiety of life, or any other challenging situation.
These have led many into a depression, and a lot of these never really get the energy or drive to get back on their feet.
However, you can help in this regard as a motivational speaker.
Motivational speakers who specialize in humans’ personal development are the most common type of public speakers you can find around.
This is because these kinds of motivational speakers aim to help individuals find their purpose in life and give them a lift from their disoriented state into a state of hope, belief, and fulfillment.
Any of the aforementioned mediums can be used in communicating these motivational speeches, be it offline or online, through social media and/or podcasts and YouTube videos.
Sports Athletes Motivation
We also have motivational speakers who venture into the sports field or industry.
Many times, what a sport team needs is more than a coach or manager to discuss tactics.
They also need inspirational speeches that can help them be adequately motivated to reach their goals.
If you have experience in this field, you can share this with athletes and influence them to succeed.
This can be shared over a sports radio or TV show, social media, or podcast.
Motivating a Marginalized Gender
In many lands, the female gender or the womenfolk, for example, are marginalized.
They might be seen as less important than their male counterparts, which might affect them in getting opportunities for growth and development.
You can specialize in motivating this group of people and showing them how they can take charge as leaders and step out of the limited roles they have been subjected to.
These motivational speeches can be arranged in many settings, such as community groups, to reach many of these affected genders.
Note that the gender of interest might also be the male gender, and a motivational speaker can specialize in helping these get motivated.
It is also another area to specialize in as a motivational speaker.
Motivational Speaker Focused on Helping Students
As a motivational speaker, your area of specialization might also be in schools where you can access youths who are just beginning to figure out their purpose in life.
You can focus on helping these choose a career path by sharing your personal stories or experiences and the knowledge you’ve gathered in that area.
To be certain, schools will appreciate such motivational speakers as they know how important it is for these students to get this guidance at such a critical stage of their lives.
Regardless of what field you choose to engage in your motivational speaking career, one thing that makes you stand out is your qualities and values.
How to Become a Motivational Speaker – The Important Qualities of Successful Motivational Speakers
Becoming a motivational speaker doesn’t happen overnight.
It takes a lot of effort and dedication, as we will soon see.
However, certain qualities make the best motivational speakers globally, such as Brian Tracy, Robert Kiyosaki, Zig Ziglar, Nick Vujicic e.t.c. Stand out and become renowned worldwide.
If you also want to be a successful motivational speaker, you should work on cultivating these qualities.
Some of the most important ones are:
Good Communication Skills
This is one of the most important qualities you need to possess to have a successful motivational speaking career.
Good communication skills are a combination of many skills that makes you an excellent public speaker that people would want to listen to.
Some of the speaking skills that count as good communication skills are:
- A good listener
- Maintaining Eye Contact
- Good Use of questions, e.t.c.
Your main job as a motivational speaker is to communicate with your audience, and hence you need to work to cultivate these and other communication skills.
Knowledge and Expertise
The worst thing motivational speakers would do is delve into an area or industry they know little or nothing about.
Being a motivational speaker isn’t just about deciding one morning to start speaking to inspire people.
The question is, “Are you vast in the subject/topic area you are speaking on?”
People usually tend to listen more to motivational speakers who are experts in their field or have the experience to back up their claims.
While experience is a plus, it is not important to have many years of experience in your chosen field.
However, you should acquire a lot of knowledge and gather enough information about that area of specialization before delving into it.
This can increase your chances of success in the world of public speaking and motivation.
Passion; How to Become a Motivational Speaker
Being passionate means having intense emotions about something and having the enthusiasm/burning desire for it.
You will also need this quality if you want to become a motivational speaker.
It is one thing to know a particular subject, and it is a totally different thing to present the information the right way.
The way you deliver your words is just as important as the information you want to pass across.
It should carry the needed weight to spur your audience into action.
If you are not passionate about the subject you are talking about, there is little chance of moving your audience.
True, the task of speaking before a large audience can sometimes be very daunting and can give you cold feet.
However, you need to work on this and improve your confidence levels if you are to be a successful motivational speaker.
When you’re nervous before your audience, they can easily tell, which would affect how they accept your message.
Hence, you need to show them that you are confident about what you are saying.
That would move them one step closer to taking in the information and acting on it.
Flexibility and Dynamism
It would be difficult to make a success of motivational speaking if you are rigid as an individual.
The most successful motivational speakers understand that people change, and so do their needs, purpose, and even the environment.
Additionally, there might be new trends in your area of specialization.
You need to be aware of these changes and be ready to adjust if needed.
This flexibility and dynamism will help you keep up with the demands of your profession and stay at the top of your game.
Long speeches can sometimes get irritating and boring to an audience, and hence, you need to learn audience engagement as a motivational speaker.
Engaging with the audience would make your sessions more interesting, and there is less likely to be distractions during the presentation.
You can achieve this through great storytelling, use of questions, dialogue e.t.c.
That is another quality that can give you an edge in your career as a motivational speaker.
Empathy involves understanding people’s unique needs and circumstances and being able to put yourself in their shoes, so to speak.
You need to let the audience feel that you know what they are going through, and this will show in your choice of words and presentation.
When you are empathetic, you are more likely to reach your listeners’ hearts and give your speech the needed impact.
A Genuine Willingness to Help Others
To become a successful motivational speaker, you need to have the right objective to help others.
Granted, motivational speaking is a lucrative career, and you can make some money off it.
However, this should not be your primary goal.
You should do this because you love to help people and inspire them and see them make needed changes to better their lives.
However, if you go into it with the wrong purpose in mind, it can be hard to sustain, and your audience will soon see through the selfishness.
Authenticity; How to be a Motivational Speaker
Being authentic means being true to the message you pass to your listeners or audience.
As a motivational speaker, you do not want to parade opinions and views that your life doesn’t reflect before your audience.
You cannot be a motivational speaker talking about a healthy lifestyle, for example, and you do not care about yours.
Therefore, you should show your audience that you also believe in the values and ideals you serve them because they will be watching you closely.
Regardless of the topic, you are speaking about, motivation is to spur your audience and make them feel inspired.
You cannot achieve this by always wearing a sad face or a serious look.
Your chances of success as a motivational speaker increase when you can balance the seriousness of the message with a fun outlook.
Add elements of humor in your speeches, make good use of the stage, and always be lively.
It sure has the magic to make your audience motivated and inspired.
How to Become a Motivational Speaker – What Can You Do?
We’ve seen 10 of the most important qualities that you need to develop as a motivational speaker.
If you have these, you are already setting yourself up for sure success in this profession.
However, there are other steps you need to take in your quest to start a career as a motivational speaker.
We will take you through those steps now, one at a time:
1Identify your Area of Specialization
The first rule of being a motivational speaker is that you cannot be a “Jack of all trades.”
It is essential that you “choose your battles,” or in other words, decide on an area of specialization.
That means you should not jump into an area that seems to be making others more money but you have little interest in.
You need to specialize in an area that interests you because it helps you have the knowledge and the needed passion for the job.
If the area(s) you specialize in doesn’t interest you, it will show in your presentation, and you might struggle to inspire others.
You can start by making a list of the many areas of interest and then using the elimination method to prune it down.
2Know Your Target Audience
Just as you cannot talk about everything, so also you cannot talk to everybody.
It is simply the truth about being a motivational speaker.
Therefore, you need to identify who really needs your message and those that will benefit more from it.
You can have good insight about this from those who engage more with your content, probably on your social media platforms.
This can help you identify your target audience and also assist you in growing them since you now know where they can be found.
3Develop your Content and Make it Stand Out
Once you understand what you want to talk about and who you want to talk to, the next thing is to develop your content.
You can do this by writing out all the ideas, concepts, information, and other things you want your listeners or audience to learn about.
Be sure to make them as detailed as possible.
While at this, it is also important that you focus on making your content unique.
You understand that there are lots of motivational speakers out there, even in your chosen niche.
However, you want your content to stand out, whether in the message, delivery, or presentation.
You can even look at how you can deliver well-known information differently.
4Take Courses to Develop Public Speaking Skills
Do you remember all those skills and qualities we referenced earlier that successful motivational speakers have?
Well, the good news is that you learn them all.
Some individuals might have certain skills as a result of genetics or the environment they grow up.
However, it is still possible to learn such skills or improve them.
You can find many of these courses on Youtube or online learning platforms such as Udemy, Udacity, Coursera e.t.c.
Whatever time, money, or energy you use in this process of learning is well worth it.
5Market Yourself Online
A good online presence is very integral to your breakthrough and development as a motivational speaker.
You can start with most of these social media websites that are free to use.
Examples are LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter e.t.c.
Add what you do on your profile or bio, something like; “Motivational Speaker on XYZ.”
It is not just enough to say you are a motivational speaker.
You also need to be active on these channels.
Do not hold back from sharing your views and opinions on your chosen area right away.
Also, be consistent with it.
You can also spend a little to get a professional website that introduces you.
It should also talk about your educational background, experiences, and what you do.
This is a good way to market yourself and get people, especially your target audience, to be familiar with what you do and find you easily.
6Be Willing to Start for Free
At the end of the day, despite the good motive of starting a career as a motivational speaker, we all want to generate income, and that is fine.
However, at the start, you need to be willing to offer your services for free.
This is another way to create awareness about your profession and what you do.
Depending on your niche, you can start making offers to schools, offices, business workshops or seminars, to come on and do what you do best.
It makes people become familiarized with you, and with time, they might even be the ones to start inquiring about your charges.
7Listen to Other Motivational Speakers; How to Become a Motivational Speaker
If you are to become a good motivational speaker and go far in that career, you need humility.
There should be that conscious awareness that you are not the first, and there are others before you who are better than you.
You, therefore, need to invest time and attention in listening to other successful motivational speakers.
This you can do by reading their books or watching their videos.
If they also have blogs, visit their blogs and read their articles.
You can also listen to podcasts, when applicable.
The goal is to learn from these and see how they hone their speaking skills.
You can also learn from their presentation and, of course, the knowledge.
8Leverage your Close Contacts to Market Yourself
At this point, you are feeling more confident in your ability to become a successful motivational speaker.
Do not hold back from letting others know you are actively looking for public speaking gigs or opportunities.
You can begin with your close contacts like your relatives, friends, acquaintances, workmates, or business partners.
Additionally, you can also attend events that allow you to enlarge your network, meet more people and tell them about your chosen career.
It might surprise you to see how many opportunities and offers you can get from these.
9Get Yourself a Mentor
Mentorship is different from the process of watching or following other motivational speakers and trying to learn from them.
You can get a mentor by looking at some successful motivational speakers, either in your niche or not, and approaching them to mentor you.
Let them understand your decision on this chosen career, your objectives, and what you need them to do for you.
Many successful motivational speakers will be more than willing to help you become one yourself.
10Submit Applications for Speaking Gigs; How to Become a Motivational Speaker
It would be unrealistic to expect people to start seeking you out while you are just beginning your career as a motivational speaker.
At the start, you will need to apply for these gigs or opportunities to speak at seminars, conferences, gatherings, e.t.c.
To know where to look, you can search to see where other motivational speakers in your industry take on speaking engagements and apply there.
You can also talk to event planners about your profession and ask them for opportunities to appear in their events.
11Set your Fees and Make them Realistic
As time goes on and you continue to grow in your career as a motivational speaker, you will have to start getting paid for your job.
Do not just decide on a fee in your mind.
That might either be well below what you deserve or overblown and make you lose opportunities.
Instead, find out what other motivational speakers charge to guide you.
You also need to learn how to negotiate when you get a gig.
This is to ensure you are getting the right value for what you offer.
Final Thoughts on How to Become a Motivational Speaker
Who is your best motivational speaker?
Do you have a motivational speaker that inspires you, and you long to become like them in the future?
Well, the good news is that you have what it takes to become a motivational speaker yourself.
In fact, everyone does, and don’t let people tell you otherwise.
Once you can identify what you want to talk about and who you want to speak to, you are one step closer with the right motive.
Next, develop the most important skills and qualities of the best motivational speakers outlined in this article.
Then, take the needed steps to kickstart this journey and continue developing as you become a motivational speaker.
The possibilities are endless for you.
Also, you could become as good or even better than that motivational speaker you look up to.
You can as well make a living out of this.
Above all, you can get the satisfaction that comes from inspiring and helping others.