Are you a source of motivation for your friends or family circle? Are you a ‘go-to person’ for your friends with disappointments, failures, or heartbreaks? Do you think you have always helped your close ones in healing themselves by motivating them?
Do you relate to all the above instances?
Then, let me tell you, you have naturally got all that it takes to become a motivational speaker, and I want to take you through a few things that will help you become a great one!
Yes, you got that right! What you might have been doing subconsciously or out of instinct can be taken up seriously as a full-time profession by you!
Does that sound interesting to you? Then let me tell you, all that it requires to get into this profession is the knowledge about the right method and requirements to brush up your natural skills into professional expertise.
Before I share with you the knowledge, let me first help you grab a quick idea about the basics of being a motivational speaker and who would be your customer and why would they need you.
What makes a person a motivational speaker?
First of all, it is essential to realize why at all a person would go for a motivational speaker.
At any point in time, you might have come across many people struggling through continuous or occasional phases of emotional slowdowns, depression out of failure or lack of confidence in doing anything.
You might have even had your own experience as well! Certain stages of incidents might put someone in a situation in which he or she is unable to perform anything positive.
Such conditions can lead him or her to look up to someone who can help him take better decisions and give his best reaction to it.
Here comes the role of a motivational speaker. A motivational speaker is the one who can charge up a person with the power of his “words”!
If you are willing to take up motivational speaking as a profession, you are taking up a job to transform someone’s life, shape someone’s dreams or influence someone’s thought process.
Does that sound interesting already? Well, I will guide you to develop your skills into perfection right here in this blog. But before that, you need to look for the target audience who would listen to you.
What do people look for in a motivational speaker?
“People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing- that’s why we recommend it daily”- Zig Ziglar.
You might be wondering why people would choose you over any other motivational speaker.
It’s the conviction, with which you speak, that’s most important for people to believe that you are the person who they can look up to.
A motivational speaker is often looked upon as someone who can change a person’s life, his thought process and track his path to success or positivity.
It is not always necessary that you need to have a successful track record or a ‘rags to riches’ success story. All those people seek are positive words, positive attitude, energy, and encouragement.
Sounds too ambitious? Well, don’t worry, sit back and relax.
Grab a cup of coffee and take yourself through these ten steps that would not only boost your confidence but would also help to turn your dreams into reality!
Here is an 8-step-guide that motivational speakers all over the world stand by. These guides can help you develop your skills
Skills to the point of being one of the most amazing motivational speakers ever!
1. Choose your niche:
To be one of the bests in this field, you have to understand the needs and demands of your audience. You may specialize in a specific niche, like motivating entrepreneurs or students towards their goals. When you are particular about your niche, rather than going general, like, “motivational session for all,” it is easier to connect with your target audience.
Let me give you an example to help you understand how choosing a niche works best to attract the right audience.
Jenny, a young girl in her teens, is looking for a job. After many failed attempts at finding one, she decides to attend motivational sessions. She finds two speakers with the following profiles:
Harry: Well-renowned motivational speaker. Conducts motivational sessions for men and women of all age groups.
Sarah: Young and energetic, motivational speaker. Conducts Motivational sessions for aspiring professionals.
Going through the above two profiles, who do you think would Jenny choose? You’d say that Sarah would be a better option for Jenny, although Harry is a well-renowned expert in his field!
What works here are two simple things.
One, the niche. Jenny would realize that her problem can be better-taken care of at the session provided by Sarah. It would cater to professional fields.
Harry is more generic. He would not be able to appeal to the audience that has certain specific issues.
It is essential to be niche-specific. People seeking motivation do have a purpose and many “What if?”s in their minds. They are finding a fast and decisive solution to all their doubts.
And second, the ability to connect to your target audience with the right adjectives. Jenny is a young job, an aspirant. She would be able to connect herself with a young and energetic speaker. A person who would understand her life goals better.
You needn’t be of the same age group as your audience. All that you need is a Powerful Statement! A statement that can convince your audience well that you are in some way related to them and you are one among them.
2. Listen to some great motivational speakers:
To start any profession, the best way to do it is to follow how others in the same job are doing it. What works best, in this case, is, following the leaders in the field concerned.
To kickstart your profession in motivational coaching, the ideal way is to listen to some great motivational speakers.
You can listen to them live or in tv shows. But the best platforms that I would recommend are social platforms like Youtube, which hosts millions of videos of motivational speakers from all over the world.
There, you can choose the exact kind of motivational niche on which you would be delivering your speech.
You may watch some amazing motivational speakers speak in the videos of TED talks and motivational podcasts like this one.
3. Prepare yourself for stage presence:
Not everyone feels comfortable in public speaking. Almost every speaker goes through nervousness, anxiety or shakiness during the first time they stand up in front of an audience.
The biggest challenge in paving your way from pep talks among your friends to delivering a motivational speech to a big audience is overcoming the Stage Fright. Fear of public speaking is pervasive, but then, there are ways to overcome it too.
The best way to feel confident about delivering your speech to the audience is to write down your statement in a piece of paper, and then practice as many times as you can!
Whenever there are feelings of anxiousness while being on stage, always keep in mind that, every speaker has had his ‘first time’ too! But with more and more practices, experience, and learning-while-doing, all of them have reached where they are today. All that’s needed are practices and self-corrections!
There are numerous courses on brushing up your skills required to become a fantastic motivational guru. There are courses like leadership courses, communication skill enhancement courses, public speaking courses, psychology courses, training and coaching courses, and so on.
Find out the areas in which you think you need to work on, or you lack confidence. You may enroll yourself in the courses that suit your requirements and get yourself a credential too!
Find out a list of online courses that you can join to brush up your skills professionally, a good example is this course.
4. Prepare your content:
As I have said before, a motivational speaker can transform or influence the thought process of his audience with the help of strong, powerful, and convincing statements.
Your audience will not only remember your persona but will also recall your content which was appealing.
It is essential to keep your audience engaged in your speech throughout your session. Make sure that your speech is not dull.
- For an engaging speech, begin your statement with an unusual or surprising introduction. For example, starting your comment with an attention-grabbing fact or information.
- Prepare your speech in parts and deliver them keeping a flow like a story. Keep a catchy beginning, an engaging middle, and an impactful-ending.
You may add witty statements or funny incidents. Or you may add motivational quotes to keep your audience interested in your speech and eager for more that’s to come.
- Jot down whatever you find that is relevant around you, in a paper, that can add value to your script. Practice this speech in front of a mirror several times.
- To start with, repeat the same in front of your family and friend circle. This will help you overcome the uneasiness of public speaking, if you have any, to a great extent.
- Record your mock sessions, and find out what requires correction, emphasis or a cut.
- Take feedback from your family and friends and work on your areas that need improvement.
- Work with a timer, to track your timings and keep your speech compact within the allotted time.
5. Market yourself:
After all the preparations and contents that you have made, what’s also important is to let your audience know about your existence!
Unless they know about you, they are not going to listen to you!
The best and the cheapest and also the most engaging medium of advertisement in social media.
You may create your blog with your own introduction. There you can explain your message and target audience. You may take help from a professional website developer to give you the best results. After your website/blog is ready, start sharing your blog links amongst your friend circle, social groups, and related groups online. This can help and draw attention and hit the right audience.
You may reach out to institutions and organizations, where they invite motivational speakers for conducting sessions for their students/employees. You may find many such platforms and institutions by searching online.
For example, if you are into motivating youngsters for overcoming failures, you may reach out to high schools and colleges.
If you are looking forward to motivating middle-aged employees for improving their living standard, you should reach out to local organizations or organizations where they hire motivational speakers on contract for their employees.
You may also search for events and conferences, where motivational speakers get invitation.
After going through a few sessions, you will not only gain confidence but will also trigger natural marketing effects through the “word-of-mouth” medium.
As you develop yourself more and more and reach out to more people, you would start getting invitations and calls from institutions and events!
For a detailed read on how to get your target clients fast with tools and techniques, you can take help from these articles:
6. Using effective techniques in your speech:
Apart from an excellent address rich in content, many other aspects, combined, also impact the effectiveness of a motivational session. All such characteristics help in generating an overall impression of you and your course.
The way you speak, the way you address your audience or the way you dress up, act as essential cues in creating a general personality. Your audience will be moved if they can connect with you in some way or the other. Also, similarly, if your audience finds it difficult to communicate with you, they might not be influenced by your words and advice.
You may find some effective tools and videos here:
To keep your audience in awe, you have to follow certainly the dos and don’ts’s while you deliver your speech.
Here are some of the common do’s and don’t’s that are essential to keep in mind:
- Dress code- Just like every other profession that goes by a dress code, a motivational speaker too can be judged by the way he/she dresses up.
Dress up according to the kind of session you are about to conduct.
For example, if you are taking sessions for the professionals at the organizations, it is crucial to dress up professionally from head to toe.
Perfectly fit formals always work wonders in most types of professions.
If your session is for the youngsters, you may go to casuals according to the mood of the topic.
A pair of shoes matching with your outfit, or a set of accessories that complement your look would boost your personality meter score as well as your confidence!
- Observe your gestures- Avoid unwanted gestures like walking to and fro, while speaking; taking too many pauses between your speech, saying repetitive words in your address; keep moving your hands in a dramatic way, and so on.
Standing in a fixed position with small movements is a kind gesture.
- Make eye contact- Try and keep eye contact with one person at a time while you speak.
Do not look up and down. Unnecessary looking up and down would create the impression that you are nervous. Always keep your vision at the eye level throughout your speech.
- Making hand gestures- Small hand gestures can add conviction in your speech. Do not wave your hands too much; keep them as composed as possible.
- Keep your voice audible to all your audience- If the audience is enormous, project your volume till the last row of the audience. Do not make your voice sound like it’s shouting. Keep your voice in control, making sure that all your audience can hear you.
- Use of graphics- Even if your speech is entirely theoretical, it is advisable to deliver your speech along with a presentation. Such presentations may include cartoons, graphics, statistics, data, pie-chats, and diagrams. Graphical displays make the performance exciting and help in eliminating the monotony of the long speech.
- Keeping your script relevant- Always keep your content on-point with pertinent information or examples. Do not keep talking about an issue that does not relate to the topic of interest in your session. Do not make your discussions lengthy. Keep suspences in your scripts, but make sure that your audience does not get bored of it.
- Engage your audience with remarks- Make your session interactive by engaging your audience into a two-way interactive session. You can ask them questions like “Do you agree with me?”, or you may ask easy riddles, in between, that are relevant. That way, your audience would find the session interesting. You can also make them ask you questions in case they have a doubt.
Following these basic techniques can help you rectify your physical gestures and add up more positivity and confidence in your presentation!
Your style of delivering your speech may be different from others. What matters most is how attractive you can make it for your target audience. A session that will take them through a breath-taking visual journey!
You can follow coaching tips and techniques that will help you to understand coaching methodically. Here are some articles that will give you a better understanding of the same:
7. Get a certificate:
While credentials may not be compulsory, acquiring one can act as a profile booster for you. Also, getting yourself enrolled in a course can help you learn several basics in a more systematic method that you might find applicable in your speeches too.
Certification courses are available on campus as well as online.
8. Take feedback from your audience and rework:
The best judge for your session is your audience. If you want to understand how well are you doing, the best way to do so is to take a feedback survey.
You can circulate a feedback form to your audience at the beginning of the session and ask them to fill it up and submit it at the end.
With the responses, you will be able to understand what’s going right and what requires correction. Only with proper feedback and understanding of the same, it is possible to rectify your mistakes or develop skills that are demanded by your audience.
Feedback sessions may also help you in understanding what exactly the audience expects from you. After you know your audience, it gets easier to connect directly with them.
For a list of topics and videos on motivational sessions, have a look here:
How much do motivational speakers make in a year?
The next thing that comes to your mind is definitely the salary that you can expect from starting your career as a part-time/full-time motivational speaker.
Just like every other profession, salaries of motivational speakers vary depending on various factors like experience, expertise, reputation, skills, or background.
While a well-reputed and experienced motivational speaker can earn up to $312,000 annually, the median salary is $107,173. The lowest earners in the field earn a minimum wage of $10,860 annually.
Getting started The profession where you inspire several people and help to bring in a positive change in their lives is itself exciting and enjoyable. Job satisfaction could be quite high for newly joined professionals as well as the experienced ones.
Preparing well-scripted speeches with facts and figures, quotes or funny statements, requires a lot of research work, time, patience, practice, and preparation, until the combined work moves together in a smooth flow that becomes thought-provoking and compelling to the audience.
After you get well-trained and experienced into motivational speaking, you can decide whether to make this your full-time or a part-time profession. While 79% of the motivational speakers worldwide have chosen their business as a part-time job, 21% are doing it full-time.
The trend of job growth in the profession could be highly influenced by the demand for experts in the subject of study. Fields that have shown rapid growth include home health services, family/individual services, and information services.
With the increasing trend of organizing events through event planners, the event-planning industry can be expected to grow by 11% in the coming decade. And with more upcoming events and planned meetings in the future, growth in the demand for motivational speakers is a good possibility.
So, there’s a high potential for motivational speakers in the job industry. All you need to do is brush up your skills, you’ll be on your way to just be the support of your friends and family, you could soon be inspiring a nation!