How to Get Started as a Motivational Speaker
Have you discovered your calling? Is helping others your gift? Do you wish to inspire and energize the world with your message of hope?
If so, motivational speaking may be the perfect career for you! It’s not without its challenges, but becoming a motivational speaker may be the most rewarding decision you ever make.
There are several steps that you need to take before you can become a successful motivational speaker. Keep in mind that you do not need to do these all in order. Many of these are ongoing tasks that the world’s best speakers are still perfecting.
Becoming a Motivational Speaker | Where to Start?
Here’s how to get started:
1. Determine your mission statement
What is your goal?
Check out any non-profit and you’ll find that they have a mission they base all their efforts on. As a motivational speaker, you must do the same.
Some examples of concise mission statements from non-profits include:
- Best Friends Animal Society: A better world through kindness to animals.
- In Touch Ministries: To lead people worldwide into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ and to strengthen the local church.
- Make-A-Wish: We grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength, and joy.
- Habitat for Humanity International: Seeking to put God’s love into action, Habitat for Humanity brings people together to build homes, communities, and hope.
Or, if you want to keep things extra brief:
TED: Spreading Ideas.
Think of yourself as your own non-profit as you craft your statement. As you refine your message, search the Internet and explore the industry to find out if someone else isn’t already doing what you’re planning on doing. If you find some similar speakers, figure out a way to make yourself stand out.
2. Develop your story
It’s time to expand and develop your mission statement into speeches, lessons, and stories that can help others, complete with examples from your own life. To do that, ask yourself these two questions:
What do you want to say?
What qualifies you to say it?
We’ve all had experience that shape who we are, and we’ve all learned valuable lessons from these experiences. Which events from your past had the biggest impact on you? What did you learn, and how can others benefit from these lessons?
Eric Thomas, for example, went from being a homeless high school dropout to one of the most successful motivational speakers in the country. You can feel his passion when he speaks. He makes you feel like all your goals are within your grasp if you just work hard enough. He shows himself at his lowest point and contrasts that with his current success. He sells the message of: if I can do this, so you can you!
The best motivational speakers make the listener feel empowered like they can take on the world and accomplish all their goals, if they only decide to put in the effort. One pattern you’ll see a lot goes along the lines of: “I used to be just like you… But look at me now!”
How will your story do that in a new, exciting, and encouraging way?
3. Learn as much as you can
Do you have any degrees related to your intended subject? Are there online courses you can take to learn more? Saying that you’re a certified in a certain area, or that you completed a training course, can help improve your legitimacy.
Spend as much of your free time as possible studying. Search for the most well-respected books related to your field. Read them, and take careful notes. Attend seminars near you and take notes on the speaker. Record what works and what doesn’t.
Alternatively, if you can’t make it to a live event, watch TED Talks! These are fantastic examples of speakers in their element. Try to watch at least once a day.
Identify the public speakers who you respect, and who impress you. Watch their videos, subscribe to their social feeds and read their books.
Becoming an expert in any given field of study is an endeavor that takes constant work and study.
4. Develop your public speaking skills
Search for public speaking classes in your area. Or, sign up for an improv class!
Those classes might seem intimidating, maybe even terrifying. However, if you plan on speaking for a living, these classes can boost your confidence and break down insecurities if you feel nervous about speaking in front of a crowd.
Remember, it’s totally normal to feel some butterflies before speaking in front of a crowd. Find a way to use that energy to enhance your performance.
This is something that all motivational speakers are constantly working to improve.
You probably won’t be a master public speaker when you’re just starting out, but you can at least start out with a firm grasp of the basics.
5. Start a YouTube channel
If you’ve got something to say, start saying it!
Start a video series where, every week, you release a short video about one specific topic. This doesn’t need to be anything fancy… you can deliver the message into your laptop or phone camera. You can also invest in a video production company, but at this stage in your career, it’s totally fine to go the lo-fi route.
In fact, this can help build a rapport with your potential listeners. The more you come across as an actual person instead of a glossy, overproduced and out-of-touch entity, the stronger a connection you can build.
With videos, you can show you’re a great speaker with something valuable to say.
Create a website and social media channels to spread your message. You can promote a video on Facebook and get a decent reach for as little as $5 to $10.
You can share your message even further by transcribing your video into a blog post or converting it into a podcast. There are many ways to leverage a single piece of content.
Get out there! Make business cards. Subscribe to every local Meetup.com event remotely related to public speaking, motivation, and your subject area. Attend all of them. Keep on eye out for conferences you can attend. Hand out your business cards, or ask them to follow you on social media right then and there. One of the people you meet can be an event planner looking for a speaker just like you.
By creating a solid foundation of content and getting your name out there, you’ve taken serious steps towards getting booked at speaking events.
But if you’re looking for the best, easiest, and fastest way to find clients and speaking events…
7. Check out the Fast Client Formula
For many, finding clients is the hardest part about becoming a motivational speaker. Thankfully, there’s a shortcut you can take to find more clients within just 30 days…
No matter where you are on your journey towards becoming a motivational speaker, you can benefit from the Fast Client Formula. It’s helped many motivational speakers realize their dreams and chart their path to success.
When you sign up, you get all the instructional materials you need to learn more about being the best motivational speaker you can be, and —most importantly— how to book your first gigs!
It’s true that becoming a motivational speaker takes some time and effort. After all, if it was easy, everyone would be doing it! But every journey begins with a single step, and you can start yours this very moment. What are you waiting for?