Make your Mark on the World: How to Become a Motivational Speaker

Table of Contents

Introduction

The process of how to become a motivational speaker is both exciting and complex. To make an impact, you have to plan strategically and put in consistent effort throughout your career.

We’re here to guide you on this journey. If you’re ready to dive into how to become a motivational speaker but aren’t sure where or how exactly start, keep reading! This comprehensive guide will equip you with all the tools you need. From identifying your niche and crafting a compelling talk to building a strong online presence and scaling your speaking business – we’ve got it all covered. We’ll also talk about the influence and impact public speakers wield across industries and how you can continue learning to stay abreast of industry trends.

Successful motivational speakers have transformed lives and organizations across the globe from the stage. It’s time to take your place among their ranks and spark positive change!

Understand the Impact of your Words

If you desire a motivational speaking career, you doubtless want to inspire people and organizations, help them overcome challenges, and guide them towards success.

A good speaker doesn’t merely hop on stage and talk for 45 minutes. They leverage shared experiences and universal truths that create connection, facilitate learning, and drive action. If that sounds daunting, you’re in the right place!

Professional speakers are catalysts for personal and professional growth. They encourage listeners to step out of comfort zones and take action in life. The influence you wield goes beyond the stage; it impacts lives profoundly long your talk concludes.

Have you been sitting on a passion for creating change or a dream of sharing your message with the world? It’s time to make your mark on the world.

The Widespread Influence of Motivational Speakers

In today’s digital age where podcasts are as common as radio shows once were, the reach of motivational speaking extends beyond individual events. Entirely new audiences may hear your talk online. This ability to touch lives across geographic boundaries contributes to the rewarding nature of a professional speaking career.

This far-reaching influence that transforms public speaking into more than just delivering talks. Speaking becomes a tool for positive societal change. When you step onto your first stage, you’re not just figuring out how to become a motivational speaker. You’re taking a step toward impacting individuals, organizations, and even societies with your message.

Influence Of Great Motivational Speakers: By The Numbers

The data backs up the impact of being a great motivational speaker. When surveyed, young people and  working professionals alike attest to the positive impact of motivational speeches.

If you’re not convinced that motivational speaking is a great avenue for making an impact, just look at the income generated by top-tier public speakers . Some motivational speakers make upwards of $300k per event! While you won’t start out in that income bracket, there is high demand for inspirational speakers who equip their audiences with tools to create change in their own lives and businesses. You can use our free speaking fee calculator to figure out how much you should charge for your first speaking gig.

Being a motivational speaker doesn’t stop at earning money or mastering public speaking skills. Yes, content and delivery are important, but so are the empathy, authenticity, and insight that help inspirational speakers create real change. Inspiring people towards personal growth, business success, and long-term flourishing is a way to give back to the world. As you continue learning how to become a motivational speaker, remember the legacy of lasting impact you will leave!

Find Out Exactly How Much You Could Make As a Paid Speaker

Use The Official Speaker Fee Calculator to tell you what you should charge for your first (or next) speaking gig — virtual or in-person! 

Create a Compelling Talk

Launching your speaking business involves a few key strategies. Mastering content and delivery of your speech is one of the fundamental pieces of being a good speaker. We’ll use this as our starting point of the roadmap for how to become a motivational speaker!

Many aspiring speakers underestimate how challenging it can be to put their message into words. Especially if you are multi-passionate and want to speak to many audiences, you might try writing half a dozen motivational speeches and burn out.

If that sounds like you, there’s good news and bad news. The bad news is this: you can’t speak to everybody. In fact you shouldn’t. Because here’s the good news: honing in on one target audience within a niche where you have credibility and expertise will propel your business to far greater success.

In short: at the start of your career, you should only be focusing on one message and one audience. Fortunately, that means you can write just one great signature talk.

A truly compelling speech forms cornerstone of every successful speaker career. Such speeches demand thorough research and creativity. You have to be in tune with your audience ‘s challenges. You have to pack in enough information and inspiration that they will feel empowered to create change in their own lives. Here are a few elements that will help make your signature talk do just that!

Meeting your Audience’s Needs

Your signature talk should always solve a particular problem for your audience. Structurally, this means answering two fundamental questions : “So What?” And “Now What?”.

Answer “So what?” by demonstrating why your audience should care about what you have to say. Answer “now what?” by providing actionable takeaways they can implement toward solving the problem you address. Using these parameters will keep your talk relevant and to the point.

Leverage Storytelling

If you listen to any great public speakers, you’ll notice they make great use of telling stories. Storytelling makes motivational speeches come alive, simplifies complex ideas & creates lasting impressions. It doesn’t come naturally for everyone, but it’s a skill you can master with practice and intention.

Good storytelling requires drawing from personal experiences which resonate with your target audience. A successful motivational speaking career doesn’t require crazy life experiences or an Olympic medal. Take note of the little moments that strike you in your day-to-day life and consider how they relate to your talk.

If you couple your real-life stories with humor (where appropriate), you’ll strike a chord with your audience and communicate the authenticity and honesty of your personal brand. As our founder Grant Baldwin likes to say, if it’s memorable for you, it’s memorable for your audience!

Getting your signature talk right takes practice. You may have to debut your talk before an audience a few times before you figure out what really resonates–which brings us to delivery.

Deliver Your Talk

Delivering a motivational speech goes far beyond memorizing a script. It’s about inspiring your audience to overcome challenges in their personal and professional lives.

Your stage presence is critical in this process. All speakers struggle with stage fright, so acknowledge and work with any anxiety you have. Being yourself will help you maintain confidence and relate to your audience.

Incorporating visual aids into your speeches can be another effective strategy for reinforcing impactful points. Use slides at your discretion, but ensure you can deliver your talk without them in case of a technical emergency!

The Effective Use Of Silence

The power of silence is easily overlooked as a key strategy for speakers. A strategic pause creates anticipation for listeners and gives them time to absorb information before moving on. This technique requires practice–too long a pause could lose listener interest whereas too brief might not have any impact at all. Practice the rhythm of silence within your speech to enhance both effectiveness as well overall appeal.

Varying Delivery Styles

Depending on the setting and audience, you may have to adjust your delivery and stage presence. Keynote speakers tend toward energetic performance-style presentation, while workshops often demand a more conversational tone.

Be flexible as you interface with different audiences and learn what resonates with them. Always ask your event planner for parameters, as certain industries have particular expectations for dress code and demeanor. Within those parameters, feel free to experiment with different vocalization, outfits, and pacing as you get on new stages.

Grow your Business

Once you’ve begun your journey as a professional motivational speaker by crafting a signature talk for your target audience, it’s time to get paid gigs. Treating speaking like a business instead of a hobby isn’t just about income, but more about broadening your impact among audiences far and wide.

Acquiring Speaking Engagements

If you’re reading about how to become a motivational speaker, that means you probably want to make some money doing so!

Free or paid, most speaking careers start with a cold call or email. Research event planners and decision makers in your target industry and get used to making the first move. You might have to reach out to dozen of prospects before one finally gets back to you. As your business grows, you’ll start hearing back more and more often.

At the start of your career, you have to gain experience wherever you can. This could involve pursuing initial free and low-paying opportunities that offer benefits such as exposure, networking, and video footage.

Consider offering talks at local community centers, schools, or your chamber of commerce. These organizations often welcome guest speakers but pay very little. If you need to work on your delivery, consider joining Toastmasters, an organization devoted to cultivating public speaking skills for all kinds of professionals.

Building Your Online Presence

In our digital era, having a strong online presence is paramount for any aspiring successful motivational speaker. A well-structured speaker website acts as your virtual storefront where potential clients can discover more about your speaker menu. Your demo video should be front and center, since this is what event planners want to see when they’re searching for potential speakers.

Establishing yourself as a thought leader on social media is another important pillar of your digital footprint. Most speakers choose one or two channels to build community, test ideas, and attract potential clients and audience members alike.

Ideally, you will focus on a platform where you can fully be yourself and where potential clients and audience members already congregate. LinkedIn is especially popular for industries like marketing and tech. Creative professionals often gravitate toward Instagram. Twitter is full of political junkies, journalists, and cryptocurrency enthusiasts.

As you start building your presence online, you can also lay foundations for future business directions like writing a book or starting a podcast. You will better be able to bounce ideas off your follower and stay on top of market demands.

Leveraging Networking Opportunities

Speaking is an industry build on human connections. We just can’t overstate the power of networking in growing your speaking career. It goes beyond showing your face at cocktail parties; it involves forming impactful connections that pave the way for high-paying speaking gigs, references from fellow professionals, and long-term client relationships.

Consider joining professional organizations like the National Speakers Association, which provides abundant opportunities for speakers across all levels to network effectively, learn from established figures in their field, and gain exposure among potential clients. Once you “level up” and deal with consistent demand for your speaking services, speakers bureaus can help you manage that demand and connect with the best clients.

Besides industry-specific groups, local business networks, industry associations, and online communities can all serve as avenues for speaking and relationship-building opportunities.

Monetizing Off-stage Opportunities

In addition to earning income directly through speaking fees, you can strategically build additional income streams around your speaking platform.

If you’re an author or thinking of writing a book, selling books after delivering speeches could provide additional revenue stream. If your book offers more detailed solutions to the same problems you offer in your talk, this is a great value-adding resource for audience members keen on delving deeper. Similarly, offering coaching services allows you to engage further with those you inspire the most.

To harmonize such initiatives with your overall speaking business, ensure two things about the products and services you offer. First of all, they should align closely with your personal brand. Secondly, they must meet real needs within the target audience–don’t just ramble on about adjacent topics without confirming that market demand exists. Scaling your business in this way builds credibility and helps you position yourself as an authority figure.

Free Download: 6 Proven Steps to Book More Paid Speaking Gigs in 2024​

Download our 18-page guide and start booking more paid speaking gigs today!

Continuing Your Education

Speaking is a dynamic industry with new trends coming into the spotlight every year. The key to maintaining relevance and effectiveness lies within continuous learning, improvement, and growth. Nobody learns how to become a motivational speaker overnight! The most successful speakers are open and honest about their knowledge gaps and bring their audience along to learn with them.

The National Speakers Association, among other professional organizations, offers an invaluable platform for ongoing education by connecting you with peers who share insights from their own speaking careers.

Courses and Certifications

In addition to networking opportunities, a wealth of online resources focus on enhancing public speaking skills or specific areas related to motivational speaking. Platforms like Coursera offer comprehensive courses developed by globally recognized institutions.

Beyond general public speaking courses, certifications tailored towards your area of expertise can also be beneficial. These might range from leadership training if you’re targeting CEOs or business owners, executive or life coaching certifications, and even graduate degrees.

Mentorship Opportunities

One of the greatest benefits of networking in the speaking community is finding mentors who can help you understand industry nuances typically not covered elsewhere. You can find mentors at local speaking organization chapters, national events and associations, or even on social media. Speakers are a friendly bunch–find someone who is 2-5 years ahead of you in their career and introduce yourself!

Conclusion

The journey to becoming a motivational speaker is paved with passion, dedication, and strategic planning.

You already know the power of motivational speaking and its transformative impact on individuals and organizations alike. You’re ready to craft an incredible talk and put in the hours required to get on stage and make your message heard. You know how to use the internet and social media to scale your business and crush your goals.

If you can’t wait to inspire others with powerful words and transform lives across the globe just like successful motivational speakers do, it’s time for action! Start shaping your successful career as a speaker today by joining us at The Speaker Lab. We’ll guide you every step of the way – from setting up your website to getting booked and paid to speak!

FAQs

What are the requirements for becoming a motivational speaker?

A motivational speaker solves a problem for a particular audience with strong public speaking skills, established expertise in their niche, and an authentic personal brand. They also need marketing savvy to promote themselves and secure speaking engagements.

Do you get paid for being a motivational speaker?

Yes. Professional motivational speakers typically charge fees for their services, which include preparation time as well as actual presentation time during the event.

How much do motivational speakers get paid?

The pay varies widely based on experience, reputation, and demand. On average, new speakers might earn between $1,000-$2,500 per speech while top-tier speakers make tens of thousands per gig.

How do I become a paid motivational speaker?

To start earning as a motivational speaker, select a problem to solve within a niche where you have credible experience. Build your brand through a strong online presence and free speeches wherever you can get in front of an audience. Reach out to as many leads as you can in the industry of your choosing to land paid gigs.

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Pinterest
Email
Reddit

Explore Related Resources

14 Motivational Quotes to Inspire You Today
Discover 14 powerful motivational quotes to inspire you, boost your confidence, and help you overcome challenges.
10 Famous Motivational Speeches You Need to Hear
While you can find hundreds of inspirational talks on the internet, we think there's something really special about these ten talks.
Crafting a Message That Inspires: 7 Tips for Giving a Motivational Speech
Here are seven tips for how to give a motivational speech that you can start applying right now.

Learn How You Could Get Your First (Or Next) Paid Speaking Gig In 90 Days or Less

We receive thousands of applications every day, but we only work with the top 5% of speakers.

Book a call with our team to get started — you’ll learn why the vast majority of our students get a paid speaking gig within 90 days of finishing our program.

If you’re ready to control your schedule, grow your income, and make an impact in the world – it’s time to take the first step. Book a FREE consulting call and let’s get you Booked and Paid to Speak®.