Motivational speakers have a knack for energizing people to get up and take action. They use their life experiences to inspire people to overcome challenges and take control of their own lives.
But did you know that anyone can be a motivational speaker? Of course, a motivational speaking career takes time to build.
Still, it’s not entirely unattainable for those who have an important story to tell. Below are 7 easy steps on how to become a motivational speaker.
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Here’s what you’ll need to do to become a successful motivational speaker:
- Identify what you’re an expert on
- Develop a unique message you want to share with others
- Tap into the mindset of your target audience
- Book speaking engagements to gain experience
- Develop your craft as a professional speaker
- Network with organizers and other speakers
- Use your online presence to market yourself
#1. Identify your area of expertise
Motivational speeches require passion. Nobody wants to listen to an inspirational speaker who doesn’t care what they’re talking about.
After all, that’s not very inspirational, is it?
Look at your life and identify what you’re passionate about. If you have expertise in a particular subject, this can make you more credible as a motivational speaker.
But don’t worry too much about developing expertise in a particular subject just for the sake of credibility. Audience members will respond most to your level of passion.
Start with something you know
It’s tempting to want to branch out and try something new. And by all means, do that!
But when choosing a subject for your public speaking career, consider something you already know. That way, you save time and can start your speaking business with a leg up.
Motivational speakers tend to draw on their life experiences. So if you’re having trouble coming up with a subject for your speaking career, write a list of things you feel strongly about.
Then, see which subjects you want desperately to share with others. That’s the kind of passion you need to be a motivational speaker.
#2. Develop a unique perspective and message
Now, it’s time to build your content. There are plenty of motivational speakers out there.
But you want to bring a certain value that others simply can’t. Develop a message that’s unique – one you haven’t heard from other motivational speakers before.
People are always looking for new perspectives and ideas. So as you draft your motivational speech, keep this important tidbit in mind.
What sets you apart from other motivational speakers?
Obviously, public speaking has a lot to do with engagement. So, in what ways will you engage with your audience that other motivational speakers don’t?
In what ways will you engage with your audience that other motivational speakers can’t? Or won’t?
It’s always good to learn from other experienced speakers. But you can learn just as much from them about what they don’t do.
If you can identify a need, create a solution. If you’re already wanting something more from a motivational speaker, it’s likely that others are wanting that too.
#3. Get into the mindset of your target audience
When you hire a magician speaker from Clean Comedians, you don’t just get a public speaking aficionado. You get a corporate performer who meets with the event staff beforehand.
Someone who listens to the event organizer and understands who the target audience is. As a good speaker, you must do the same.
There’s no point in becoming a public speaker if you don’t have a particular audience in mind. You have to ask yourself, “Who am I talking to? Who do I want to resonate with?”
The answer to these questions will help you write speech after speech. If you don’t know what your audience wants to hear, then you’re not really giving them anything to be motivated about.
What value do you have to offer them?
The best motivational speakers always have the audience in mind. Their speaking career is crafted around the audience’s desires and, more specifically, around what the speaker has to offer them.
As a culture, we like concrete answers and solutions. But we also like to be the center of our own narratives.
This means that sometimes, we would rather speak than listen. So how do motivational speakers get folks to stop talking and start listening?
They offer the audience concrete solutions to everyday issues they are experiencing. People are more likely to listen to you if they know you have something to offer them in return.
So as you go through your motivational speaking career, keep this in mind. Public speaking places equal emphasis on both the “public” and the “speaking” part.
#4. Gain experience by booking speaking engagements
If you want to become a motivational speaker, you have to start somewhere. Look around and advertise your business.
Different motivational speakers got their start in different places. So there’s no wrong way to start.
Look locally first to identify where you might serve your own community. Then, as you develop your professional career, the opportunities will come flooding in.
Start with local events, then work your way up
It’s tempting to want to dive right into the business world of motivational speaking. But slow and steady growth is the way to go when establishing your motivational speaking career.
Audiences like to know that the motivational speakers they are listening to have a certain level of expertise and authority. You wouldn’t trust someone as a motivational speaker if they started speaking only two weeks ago, would you?
Working engagement after engagement will help to feed into your credibility as a motivational speaker. Each time you speak, know that you’re adding another event to your resume.
It may feel like you’re not making progress at times. But every engagement is another opportunity for you to hone your craft and make a name for yourself even if only locally to begin.
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#5. Hone your speaking skills and presentation skills
Throughout your motivational speaking career, there will always be new things to learn. No professional motivational speaker stopped developing their skills once they hit a certain point.
They continued to hone their craft while furthering their message. The same speech you delivered at your first event should have quite a few edits once you reach your tenth event.
Just like with any career, growth and development are integral components of being a successful motivational speaker.
So, how do you keep learning? You look to your peers, mentors, and inspirational leaders found in your niche industry.
Learn from other professional speakers
There are dozens of online courses out there meant to develop your skill set as a speaker. Take these courses and learn from other speakers in your local community.
Ask a colleague if they might help you with a particular speech. Reaching out and asking for advice is a great way to network with other speakers in the area.
There are plenty of things to learn from your peers. And you may find that you’ve accrued some helpful advice to share with them as well.
Either way, your development as a speaker should be ongoing. Successful speakers didn’t get to where they are by writing one speech and saying, “That one’s good enough.”
#6. Network with event organizers
Networking with other corporate speakers will certainly give you an advantage. But who’s actually hiring you for the event? The event organizers, of course!
Getting to know the organizers and their intentions with an event is a great way to set yourself apart from other speakers. If you leave a good impression on one organizer, they’ll likely tell others about your professionalism.
And this can lead to even more connections to the line. You’d be surprised at how some speakers don’t think to leave such great impressions on those that hire them.
So stand out from the crowd. And be the speaker everyone wants to work with.
Make a name for yourself as a reliable motivational speaker
Earlier, we mentioned the importance of getting to know your ideal audience. Well, when working on different events, you’ll want to understand each audience as fully as possible.
Every audience will be different. But meeting with organizers ahead of time to understand the crowd will do wonders not only for your speech.
But also for your versatility as a speaker. Some speakers deliver their speeches the same way across audiences.
But this doesn’t leave much room for personalization. Instead, speakers who cater their message to specific individuals in the audience are far more likely to resonate with the crowd.
You may speak eloquently and make good, solid points. But if you can’t speak directly to a member of the audience, why are you speaking in the first place?
#7. Create a professional online presence
Nowadays, it’s important to market yourself more than ever. Speakers should treat their website and social media platforms as an online resume of sorts.
Let’s say an organizer wants to hire a funny speaker to give a talk at an event and your name pops up. The first thing they’re going to do is Google you.
If nothing comes up, that organizer won’t have an idea of who you are or what kind of talk you can deliver. So they’ll likely move on to the next candidate.
But if you have a robust channel, showcasing your talents, that organizer will know exactly who you are and what you have to offer.
Invest in a marketing strategy that will boost your search engine results
When it comes to going digital, you can get as creative as you like. Some speakers film their talks and upload them as YouTube videos.
This way, potential clients have a clear idea of how the talk itself will go. If that doesn’t quite seem to your speed, try engaging with users online in a different way.
Post on your social media channels, answering client questions. Engage with their comments and always welcome them into your space with open arms.
How you engage with people online should also translate offline. At least, that’s what an organizer will want to assume.
So if you engage with users online, they’ll think you speak just as warmly to clients in person. This is the best way to show off your unique talents, and all in a space where your work is documented.
Nobody is going to want to hire an old so-and-so. They’re going to want someone with a name, presence, and background that qualifies their suitability for the job.
Being a motivational speaker can lead to so many different opportunities down the line. But for now, it’s important to know where to get started.
We hope these tips can help you craft your speaking career in a positive way. As always, at Clean Comedians, we strive to bring joy to our clients through positivity and laughter.
So if all else fails in your motivational speech, go for the laugh. We’ve got plenty of other blogs that mention how to craft the perfect funny speech.
So feel free to browse around while you’re here. We’re rooting for you!
Keep Reading: 7 Tips On How To Become A Funny Keynote Speaker
Adam Christing is a professional comedy magician, virtual MC, and the founder of CleanComedians.com. He is a member of the world-famous Magic Castle in Hollywood and a popular corporate entertainer, magician, and virtual speaker.